Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Good-Bye, Lucy

The inspiration behind John Lennon's "Lucy in the Sky" died. Lucy Vodden's death was announced yesterday. Her obituary touched me on a few levels.

The first thing that I noticed from the obituary1 is her age. She was my age. The obituaries that I found don't state her date of birth, so I wonder about that.

I had never concerned myself with the inspiration behind the song before. I learned from the obituary that the song was inspired by a picture that four year old Julian drew, which he referred to as "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." My daughter also drew a "in the Sky with Diamonds" picture when she was about four years old.

Speaking of "four years old," I was four years old when "Lucy in the Sky" was recorded. So I'm the same age as Lucy (and Julian).

The obituary states that Lucy died of Lupus. This is so refreshing to hear. I'm not kidding. Typically chronic illnesses such as Lupus are not listed as the cause of death. Rather, it's the failure of a compromised vital organ that gets reported. For example, nobody said that my father died of ALS; his official cause of death was asphyxiation,2 as if he suddenly got a plastic bag caught on his head and had not slowly wasted away without even enjoying his retirement. Mentioning that Lucy suffered with Lupus is like awarding her with a badge of honor. We should recognize her suffering and give validation to the millions of others3 who have the condition, as well.

1The obituary that I read this morning. If this link requires a subscription, please try this one from Yahoo! news.

2Listen you butt-head doctors, he wouldn't have stopped breathing if he didn't have ALS.

3It is estimated that the number of people in the USA who have Lupus is 1.5 to 2 million.


Silly Girl said...

A beautiful story. I didn't realize there was a real person behind the song.

Rummuser said...

I was given to understand that Lucy in the sky with the diamond was to sing about LSD! This makes more sense.

Square Peg Guy said...

I had heard comments about LSD, too, so I never thought there was a real girl behind it all.

Thanks Silly Girl & Rummuser.