When our heroes are gone

I Was a teenager working weekends as a dishwasher in a club when Marilyn Monroe died of a drug overdose. I had known nothing of her personal life. I had simply admired her glamour and talent. That she had been a poor kid, too, and had become famous made me feel—even though I never considered myself beautiful—that maybe I could make something of my life.

At the time, it took me quite a while to work my way through feelings of grief and frustration over her death. I began to understand, although very slowly, that however widely admired particular human beings may be, we shouldn't pin our hopes on them. They can make mistakes and disappoint us. And when they pass from our lives, we may feel left alone.

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December 11, 1995
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