In a year already overflowing with loss, to hear the latest news that Carrie Fisher passed away earlier today, never recovering from the massive heart attack last week, is just one more mind-numbing tragedy in a year that can’t end soon enough.
Forever known as Princess Leia in the Star Wars series– a pop culture icon complete with bumpy past, demons, issues and razor-sharp wit. Fisher rose above the pigeonhole to become a celebrated author, screenwriter, as well as an outspoken advocate for mental health and issues over drug and chemical addiction. The demons were legendary and freely spoken about. She wasn’t shy about opening up regarding her past – the catharsis and revealing nature of stardom endeared her to millions.
In this interview, done only a month ago, she talks with NPR’s Terry Gross for the program Fresh Air, discussing her latest book, The Princess Diarist, which chronicles her Princess Leia experience and the little-known affair she had with Star Wars co-star Harrison Ford.
Difficult to imagine this would be the last time we’d hear from her. More difficult to imagine that, after hearing the initial shock of her Heart Attack only a few days ago, and hearing upbeat reports from family members; quietly saying to ourselves that 2016 wasn’t going to get this one. That Princess Leia was too tough for this to happen – that we didn’t want to keep losing the people we loved so much – maybe this time it would be different.
No. Barely recovering from painful losses in recent weeks, to now hear that one more has left so suddenly, is almost too abstract to consider right now. As I am sure it is for everyone who has some memory of Carrie Fisher, some recollection, some moment. For many it will be Princess Leia – for me, it was April in Hannah and Her Sisters – not a huge role, but a nicely and honestly portrayed one. Sometimes it’s the small gestures that make the biggest impressions.
All I know is – it is beyond sad, and it may be difficult to sit through the entire 30 minutes of this interview. But it serves as a remembrance of the person, a reminder of the fragile nature of our lives.
I’m sorry for all of us – but grateful she was among us.
RIP: Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)