When David Bowie died I was in a state of disbelief and shock for days. I knew he was just a rock star—a retired rock start at that who had found peace in being a (very rich) dad doting on his daughter. Nonetheless, Bowie had been my nearly constant companion for over 30 years. My decision to skip his Pittsburgh concert and got o Japan instead has been my persona example that choices open and close doors. As the years went on I believed (hoped) that there was always a chance I could actually see Bowie in concert, even as I knew that chance got slimmer and slimmer each year. When he died, the solidity of “never” hit me hard. I lamented with co-workers, old friends texted me with condolences and shared memories. Bowie’s death was a finality and a visceral loss.
By contrast when our trio of Mormon apostles died, I had a much different reaction. With Packer I was relieved that Thomas Monson had outlived him, thus saving me (us) from having his teachings “canonized.” With the three as a whole their deaths brought me nose sense of loss but rather a fear of whom would be called to replace them.
The contrast of my reaction to Bowie’s death versus the apostles’ deaths has led me to wonder (still unanswered), “What kind of Mormon am I?”