Today, at the altogether too young age of 27, Amy Winehouse was found dead. (Having never heard her music, I’ll not comment upon it–though one does not take home five Grammys in a single evening without being hugely talented).
John Donne, though himself dead many centuries, has this to say about Miss Winehouse’s death:
“when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated; God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God’s hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again, for that library where every book shall lie open to one another; as therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come; so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness.”
We are all of us but a heartbeat away from death’s door at any given moment. None of us knows when death’s knell shall sound for us; Miss Winehouse’s tolled today.
Dr. Donne, to us, has this to say:
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”
Amy Winehouse was a member of the human family, and her death diminishes us all.
We would do well to remember that.