Monday, February 3, 2014

The Death of Philip Seymour Hoffman

When I saw the post about the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, I instantly wished that it was one of those silly Internet hoaxes and that it wasn't true. This happens from time to time, and anytime I see a post of the death of some celebrity, I immediately discount it.

This time however, I didn't.

Maybe I didn't discount it because it seemed consistent to me.

I want to be clear here, I loved PSH's work. He was such a hard working and gifted actor that transcended the talents of other great actors around him. Some of my favourite characters that I comment on all the time are from his portrayal of Lester Bangs in the movie, "Almost Famous" or his work in "Charlie Wilson's War" when he took on the role of the late Gust Avrakotos with amazing and dizzying wit. I mean, you could go down a list of small or large roles that PSH played and the common denominator is that he nailed all of them regardless of size or importance of the character he played. His talent was evident.

Yet, what was also evident to me was that he looked like a 90 year old man trapped inside the body of a 46 year old.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

It was clear to anyone who wanted to notice that Hoffman had some big issues and it showed out in his appearance and health. What those issues were exactly were known only to him, and maybe a small amount of people that he trusted, but it should've been clear to anyone who looked at PSH that he needed serious help.

Perhaps he didn't want the help? Or maybe it was one of those really unlucky moments that claim your life when other people like Keith Richards can be clinically dead a half dozen times over a period of time like 50 years (which was longer than Hoffman's entire life) and still avoid the Grim Reaper. I don't know, but what I do know is Philip Seymour Hoffman looked awful in the final years of his life and that there was a reason as to why.

I've always thought that he was a tormented soul. I remember making a list of celebrites that I would love to interview and ask some direct questions to, and he was on the top of my list. So when I heard the news of his passing, I was really sad. In fact, I am still sad about it. Not that I will never interview him, or get to meet him, but more for his wife and 3 kids, and the people who really knew and loved him.

I can only imagine how his kids are doing right now. To have your father or husband win the Oscar for best actor and be an accomplished actor and celebrity, and then to find him dead with a needle in his arm from a Heroin overdose... well, I don't even think I need to finish that sentence.

It is senseless, and it doesn't need to be.

We are such simple beings who really work extra hard to complicate life, don't we? We are so significant about the truths and stories in our lives that we find some dark place to visit and end up staying there for a while, enrolling others in our reality which does nothing but keep us down. That's why PSH chose to use heroin, or to drink or to numb himself to cope with the demons rolling around in his head. Maybe his were a little bigger than ours, and maybe not. Yet, those demons cost him his life. The way he saw his reality and the truth he gave to it, cost him him life from freedom and peace of mind.

Simply stated, we aren't the truths that most of us think we are.

Yesterday, it was Philip Seymour Hoffman. It could've been anyone. It could've been you, or someone you love dearly.

I hope that his kids and wife knew how much he loved them. When you die suddenly, it's always bound to have an impact on the family of loved ones you leave behind. I would hope that they find that peace and understanding inside of that, and I hope that we all use his lesson to leave that to our loved ones in the same manner.

Thank you Philip Seymour Hoffman for your contribution to this life, and God Speed in your next journey...