“The Show Must Go On”

My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies
Fairytales of yesterday will grow but never die
I can fly – my friends

Great lyrics from an awesome band.  Queen released the album Innuendo in 1991, the year their vocalist and songwriter died of a bronchial infection due to AIDS.  This album included one of my favorite songs, The Show Must Go On, from which the lyrics above are taken.  Rather prophetic, don’t you think?  Or, maybe, simply a farewell message to his legions of fans.

People die every day.  (I know…duh!)  My point is that, regardless of the circumstances, those of us who know and/or love the newly passed must find a way to deal with the grief and continue on.  Taken from Freddie’s perspective, though, the lyrics take on a different meaning.  Hiding behind the make-up, pretending there’s nothing wrong, putting on the brave face for others while knowing they’re dying, maybe even wishing it would just end.

Inside my heart is breaking,
My make-up may be flaking,
But my smile, still, stays on!

It’s this aspect of the song that holds real meaning for me.  My mom died last year after almost a year battling lung cancer so I understand “the show” …acting like it’s easy to deal with the pain and advancing weakness so that everyone doesn’t know how bad off they are and so that they aren’t the center of depression when others are around.  It sucks!

I have great respect for those who find themselves in situations like Freddie’s or my mom’s and are able to continually put on “the show,” and while I wouldn’t prefer the other extreme …the woe is me, lying around bemoaning their situation, I would like to offer up that it’s okay to show the “cracks in the makeup.”  We don’t expect you to be rocks.

Here’s The Show Must Go On by Queen:

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