I grew up in the 80s. David Bowie, Prince, George Michael were the foundations on which much of my musical tastes and sensibilities were built. Even when I became too cool for top 40 and whatever it was MTV was morphing into, Bowie was still weird enough to appeal, Prince’s genius remained unparalleled, and George Michael’s unabashed embrace and expression of his sexuality was inspired. I mourned their deaths, spending the day(s) that followed, listening to my favorite songs and celebrating their artistic and social contributions with others on social media.
But Carrie Fisher? Sharing an article or an interview clip feels so inadequate when I think about her influence on my life and yet, I find myself at a loss for words to describe that influence. Losing her hurts a lot. We were traveling today and whenever I opened my phone, I found myself in tears as I scrolled through Facebook and Twitter, looking at all the tributes, reading all the quotes and memes, looking at photographs, etc.
As a child, Princess Leia was everything. It should go without saying that without Princess Leia there would be no Elspeth. After all, they have so much in common (access to ancient power, operating under the assumption that their biological father is dead, a sibling unknown until adulthood, wait…what?). Well, perhaps their similarities a bit of a stretch but no doubt Leia Organa laid the ground work for every audacious character I’ve ever written (and will continue to write).
As an adult who struggles with all manner of depression and anxiety, Carrie Fisher’s mental health advocacy was even more important to me. To the fight to destigmatize mental illness, she brought her trademark fierceness, eloquence, and humor. Every time.
She also brought Gary. Who among us is not also hurting a little for Gary?
I apologize. All this seems scattered and desperately insufficient. Suffice to say I feel this particular loss acutely and a tribute, however short and inadequate seemed warranted. In the meantime, I’m going to bury myself in fics (my own and others) for the next three days, and demand the gods form a protective buffer around the rest of our heroes.