David Bowie's Son Shared This Letter From Doctor About Father's Passing. Wow.
The world mourned the loss of David Bowie on January 10 - a legendary singer, songwriter, producer, actor, multi-instrumentalist, painter, record producer, and overall human being.
Duncan Jones, Bowie's son, shared a tribute to his father, penned by the palliative care doctor that they came to know throughout Bowie's 18-month cancer illness.
Find the letter below.
Oh no, dont say its true whilst realization of your death was sinking in during those grey, cold January days of 2016, many of us went on with our day jobs. At the beginning of that week I had a discussion with a hospital patient, facing the end of her life. We discussed your death and your music, and it got us talking about numerous weighty subjects, that are not always straightforward to discuss with someone facing their own demise. In fact, your story became a way for us to communicate very openly about death, something many doctors and nurses struggle to introduce as a topic of conversation. But before I delve further into the aforementioned exchange, Id like to get a few other things off my chest, and I hope you dont find them a saddening bore.
Thank you for the Eighties when your ChangesOneBowie album provided us with hours of joyful listening, in particular on a trip from Darmstadt to Cologne and back. My friends and I will probably always associate Diamond Dogs, Rebel Rebel, China Girl and Golden Years with that particular time in our lives. Needless to say, we had a great time in Kln.
Thank you for Berlin, especially early on, when your songs provided some of the musical backdrop to what was happening in East and West Germany. I still have Helden on vinyl and played it again when I heard you had died (youll be pleased to hear that Helden will also feature in our next Analogue Music Club in the Pilot pub in Penarth later this month). Some may associate David Hasselhoff with the fall of the wall and reunification; but many Germans probably wish that time had taken a cigarette and put it in Mr Hasselhoffs mouth around that time, rather than hear Ive been looking for freedom endlessly on the radio. For me that time in our history is sound tracked by Heroes.
Thanks also on behalf of my friend Ifan, who went to one of your gigs in Cardiff. His sister Haf was on the doors that night and I heard a rumour that Ifan managed to sneak in for free (he says sorry!). You gave him and his mate a wave from the stage which will remain in his memory forever.
Thank you for Lazarus and Blackstar. I am a palliative care doctor, and what you have done in the time surrounding your death has had a profound effect on me and many people I work with. Your album is strewn with references, hints and allusions. As always, you dont make interpretation all that easy, but perhaps that isnt the point. I have often heard how meticulous you were in your life. For me, the fact that your gentle death at home coincided so closely with the release of your album, with its good-bye message, in my mind is unlikely to be coincidence. All of this was carefully planned, to become a work of death art. The video of Lazarus is very deep and many of the scenes will mean different things to us all; for me it is about dealing with the past when you are faced with inevitable death.
Your death at home. Many people I talk to as part of my job think that death predominantly happens in hospitals, in very clinical settings, but I presume you chose home and planned this in some detail. This is one of our aims in palliative care, and your ability to achieve this may mean that others will see it as an option they would like fulfilled. The photos that emerged of you some days after your death, were said to be from the last weeks of your life. I do not know whether this is correct, but I am certain that many of us would like to carry off a sharp suit in the same way that you did in those photos. You looked great, as always, and it seemed in direct defiance of all the scary monsters that the last weeks of life can be associated with.
For your symptom control needs, you will presumably have had palliative care professionals advise on pain, nausea, vomiting, breathlessness, and I can imagine they did this well. I envisage that they also discussed any emotional anguish you may have had.
For your advance care planning (i.e. planning heath and care decisions prior to things getting worse and before becoming unable to express them), I am certain you will have had a lot of ideas, expectations, prior decisions and stipulations. These may have been set out clearly in writing, near your bed at home, so that everyone who met you was clear on what you wanted, regardless of your ability to communicate. It is an area not just palliative care professionals, but in fact all healthcare workers want to provide and improve, so that it is less likely that any sudden health incidents will automatically result in a blue-light ambulance emergency room admission. Especially when people become unable to speak for themselves.
And I doubt that anyone will have given you Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in the last hours/days of your life, or even considered it. Regrettably, some patients who have not actively opted out of this treatment still receive it, by default. It involves physical, sometimes bone-breaking chest compressions, electric shocks, injections and insertion of airways and is only successful in 1-2% of patients whose cancer has spread to other organs in their body. It is very likely that you asked your medical team to issue you with a Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Order. I can only imagine what it must have been like to discuss this, but you were once again a hero, or a Held, even at this most challenging time of your life. And the professionals who saw you will have had good knowledge and skill in the provision of palliative and end-of-life care. Sadly, this essential part of training is not always available for junior healthcare professionals, including doctors and nurses, and is sometimes overlooked or under-prioritized by those who plan their education. I think if you were ever to return (as Lazarus did), you would be a firm advocate for good palliative care training being available everywhere.
So back to the conversation I had with the lady who had recently received the news that she had advanced cancer that had spread, and that she would probably not live much longer than a year or so. She talked about you and loved your music, but for some reason was not impressed by your Ziggy Stardust outfit (she was not sure whether you were a boy or a girl). She too, had memories of places and events for which you provided an idiosyncratic soundtrack. And then we talked about a good death, the dying moments and what these typically look like. And we talked about palliative care and how it can help. She told me about her mothers and her fathers death, and that she wanted to be at home when things progressed, not in a hospital or emergency room, but that shed happily transfer to the local hospice should her symptoms be too challenging to treat at home.
We both wondered who may have been around you when you took your last breath and whether anyone was holding your hand. I believe this was an aspect of the vision she had of her own dying moments that was of utmost importance to her, and you gave her a way of expressing this most personal longing to me, a relative stranger.
David, you will live on in our hearts.
David Bowie and Duncan Jones, shared by Duncan on Twitter.
People Who've Pretended To Be Dumber Than They Really Are Explain Why They Did It
Just about everyone has made a sizable effort to make themselves appear smart.
Be it to impress a potential boss, a prospective client, a first date, or the parents of your significant other, people often will use big words, make bizarre references that only a select few would understand, or simply nod along and laugh even though they haven't the foggiest idea what's going on.
Surprisingly, people also pretend to be less intelligent than they are almost just as frequently.
What's more, people usually tend to "play dumb" for the same reasons they try to appear smarter than they actually are, as a way to impress or climb up a social ladder.
Of course, people also play dumb for many other, sometimes bizarre reasons.
"Have you ever pretended to be stupid or not as smart as you are? Why?"
Coming Off As Over Qualified
"It was quite common practice in my home country to hide the fact you have a masters degree to get certain jobs."
"Because either you were 'overqualified' and they couldn't afford you or they instantly knew you will only be temporary asset until you find something matching your education."- Redditseason 1 sonograms and tube tops GIF by momGiphy
Conflict Resolution And Ego Massaging
"Has helped me out of sticky spots."
"And people seem to like it when they feel superior to me."- NecessaryImmediate93
"I live in Germany and I speak C2-level fluent German, until one of those people on the street try to start handing me a bible or some charity pamphlet then i'm all like 'I no deutsch verstehe' lmao."- Zack1018
"I pretended to be less fluent in a language than I am before, if that counts."
"Anyone who’s lived in Japan is familiar with the NHK man, who comes to your door and pesters you to pay the NHK fee."
"NHK is the national public TV station, and everyone who owns a device capable of receiving it is supposed to pay a monthly fee to fund it, but there’s no penalty for not paying, and quite a lot of people just don’t."
"The representatives can be veeeeery pushy though."
"Well, I didn’t even own a TV, but when I first started living here I somehow got pressured into signing up to pay the fee."
"Though after that I just ignored the bills until eventually they sent an angry one saying you’d better pay or legal action blah blah."
"So I called them and used my best foreigner voice to explain I didn’t understand what I signed up for and the lady was very nice and said, 'Of course, you couldn’t have known, I’ll cancel that for you'.”
"Problem solved!"- lygerzero0zeroconfused one more time GIF by Paramount NetworkGiphy
Oh, To Be The Ringmaster...
"When you realize your family is a Circus, you tend to be the clown."- B-Town-MusicMan
Know Your Audience...
"In all aspects of life I've found reading (and playing to) the room is the best way to get by."- gosog28052·
As Long As You Don't Mind Never Being Promoted...
"It comes with benefits at work."
"Meaning less work."- doofusdoomedBored Season 3 GIF by The OfficeGiphy
Saves A Lot Of Trouble
"All the time because I don’t feel like arguing."- goodfaceman
"Yes, because I don’t always feel like arguing. Many people are closed minded."
"They won’t even entertain a new to them idea."- Errol-Flynns-Ghost
"Yes, because i think its a waste of time to argue with people who are very narrow-minded."- Separate-Trash2375Christian Bale Nodding GIFGiphy
The Element of Surprise
"People like to feel more clever than others."
"It can also come in handy to be underrated."- Aluanne
Keeps The Peace
"All the time, it makes people more comfortable."- khamelean
"Especially when dealing with police, or other authority figures."
"Also in general life so as not to alienate people."- captain_jeremiahgood witch flirting GIF by Hallmark ChannelGiphy
Wanting People To Like You
"The line is just too thin between being smart and seeming a know-it-all."
"The others will feel belittled."- kapaj55687
It's understandable that people feel inclined to play dumb to avoid conflict, or perhaps make others feel better about themselves.
Though it's important to remember that everyone should be proud of who they are, and no one should play dumb in hopes of making someone else like them.
Such people probably aren't worth having as friends.
People Break Down Subtle Signs Your Coworkers May Have A Secret Sexual Relationship
Sex in the workplace is a problem.
Everybody sees it. Eventually.
The stolen moments.
It's all on display.
And the one lesson I've learned most assuredly is... you can't hide the attraction for long.
My best advice... be cool. Ignore one another.
And even that can be a sign.
Redditor IndependentSwimmer67 wanted to discuss the times we've all suspected the scandalous relations of coworkers, so they asked:
"What are the subtle clues that indicate two coworkers may be involved in a secret sexual relationship?"
The number of co-workers I've witnessed have flings?
I could write books.
ScandalSeason 1 Lol GIF by NBCGiphy
"They laugh just a little too much and a little too loud at each other’s jokes."
"They stare just a little too long…"
"The new 17 year old kid where I work was overheard saying 'there's no way that Rimshot and the kitchen manager don't have something going on. You see the way they act around each other?' Me and the kitchen manager have been married for 12 years."
"My wife had that moment at her work. Patient transporter always stopped by and chatted up the unit clerk. Only 3 people in the department knew they had been married for decades."
"Always going to lunch together. Both call in sick or on vacation at the same time. Disappearing at the same time during team building or company functions. Both are working late. Leave work at the same time. None of these are conclusive but should create suspicions."
"I worked in a place years ago with two co-workers who'd always disappear together for lunch and come back two hours later with McDonald's that they then ate at their desks. Not terribly subtle."
"I had a boss who I was almost certain was having an affair with one of our HR ladies. They would always sneak off to go chat together, they'd go smoke together, they took lunch together every day, she'd go hang out in his office. They were both married."
"Her husband got offered a job at the company and I remember when my coworker learned about it he was like 'really?' And gave a wide-eyed glance and a nod over at our boss's office. So I wasn't the only one who thought this. As soon as her husband came to work there, all the visits stopped."
Restaurant LifeTv Show Hulu GIF by The BearGiphy
"Check to see if they have both significant others, if the answer is yes than they are probably doing it. Especially if it’s a restaurant."
"If it's a restaurant, significant other or not, they're f**king. - 25 years working in restaurants."
Oh, the restaurant life. Sex and food = Scandal.
Let's PlayLove Island Couple GIF by PeacockTVGiphy
"They don't work in the same areas but are constantly together, looking at each other too much plus referencing conversations they had outside of work. They are a little too playful."
"There was a rumor at my last job that I was sleeping with one of the cashiers. The rumor got started because she was my best friend and I would give her a hug every morning when I saw her. Most people assume men and women can’t be just friends, so obviously hugs equal sex."
"The moment I found out about the rumor I texted her fiancée and said 'Apparently Haylee and I are having an affair. It came as quite a shock to both of us, because we had no idea.' He though it was pretty funny. When I told my wife, she said 'AGAIN?' This isn’t the first time a rumor like that has been started about me."
"Frequent eye contact, conversations that revolve around flirting, slight touches."
"One time we were in a meeting with just the newbies doing training (no management) and one of the girls very lightly brushed the arm of the guy next to her while getting a pen or something and this girl Emma just stops and shouts 'WHEN DID YOU TWO START SHAGGING?!'
"My wife was pulled aside once by her religious boss who pointed out that he had noticed her leaving the building at lunch times with a strange man and that he didn't think that it was appropriate knowing that she was married."
"What he didn't know was that the 'strange man' was me. We happened to work for different companies on different floors of the same building. Some times it's best to keep out of other people's business."
"I worked at a law firm a while ago and one of the partners and the receptionist were having an affair. Both married and the receptionist became pregnant. I’m not entirely sure who the kid’s father is. But the way I could tell was that I was her backup coverage so any time she needed a break I would cover. The partner would call and either ask for his secretary and hang up before the transfer happened or say nothing and hang up. They both divorced their spouses and are now married."
We NoticeSeason Finale Moments GIF by Sweetbitter STARZGiphy
"When it happened at my old job we started to notice when their lunch breaks started to align and they both walked out of a private room together everyday. They were both on their cell phones at the same time and refused to really talk to each other in person."
The signs are there if you look closely enough, especially in certain jobs like restaurants.
Do you have any signs that we missed or funny stories to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Sometimes learning about us humans is downright scary.
The things we're capable of... or the things we're too stupid not to be aware of, is mind-boggling.
And the more we know, the better we can cope and maneuver.
Redditor rui_xox33 wanted to discuss some of the darker aspects about this mortal coil, so they asked:
"What are some creepy facts about human nature?"
Get Nakedcsi miami GIFGiphy
"On a recent date with a CSI agent I learned that a lot of people die naked on or near the toilet. Apparently people get very hot and try to strip down when close to death."
Like a Starfish
"We possess the genes for regeneration similar to starfish and salamanders. They are on the same chromosome as the genes for scar tissue formation. However they are not turned on whereas the scar tissue genes are."
"So technically, we could pull a Piccolo and regenerate limbs like a starfish."
"But we don't because it's waaay too metabolically demanding on energy. If we could do it, you'd likely shave years off of your life in exchange. Instead we make scar tissue to reinforce the injured area."
"After a back surgery, your organs might have been moved to perform certain parts of the surgery. The doctors don't move your organs back to their original place. This funny feeling you get after the surgery is your organs moving themselves back to their original place. Yes, they are capable of that."
"The eyes have a separate immune system than the rest of the body. If your body's immune system realizes your eyes exist, it'll attack the eyes and reject them from the body as it would a virus."
"I also have a fun (?) fact about the eyes: The retina isn’t really fixed in the eyes."
"The part where the nerves leave them is quite inflexible but towards the outside/lens the retina is staying because of osmotic pressure. I know because I had a blood vessel that somehow leaked and a couple of months later the retina in that eye detached in a big way. It’s not so funny when several doctors say something like, 'that doesn’t look good' when examining your eye."
Object Around You...drumming sub pop GIF by Sub Pop RecordsGiphy
"If you happen to have brain injury, there is a condition that makes you unable to recognize objects around you. Like, you will see a fork, the colors and the shape of it, but you can’t know how to use it, if it’s edible or not, etc. Pretty scary thing to imagine."
Brains and forks, not always a great combo.
From the TopFail Long Jump GIFGiphy
"The call of the void. This occurs when humans are on high places, like rooftops or cliffs, and get the urge to jump. It’s actually pretty common."
"Learned memories, i.e. people 100% sure they remember things which actually never happened but were told many times by media/memes/others. I observed this for certain episode which happened less than 10 years ago and which everyone whom I asked witnessed themselves personally, but they all 'clearly remember' it in a way it was presented in memes and jokes and not how they actually saw it happen."
"Risks during birth are abnormally high compared to other species. Because of our upright gait (mother's narrow pelvis) and big heads, fetuses cannot 'fully' gestate until being born. Humans have to be born prematurely while the head is still tiny and squishy. Otherwise, childbirth would not be survivable at all."
"Most people that die due to hypothermia get naked before dying."
"This is because, blood stops flowing to your extremities, so you don't lose body heat. Just before death, the brain kinda 'gives out' and allows blood flow to return to normal. This sends warm blood to your cold limbs, making you feel very hot and sweaty, so you strip."
EvilSeason 9 Phoebe GIF by FriendsGiphy
"That pretty much everyone has the capacity for extreme evil given the right circumstances."
Humans are weird. I wanna be a spider.
How about you? Do you have anything to add to this list? Let us know in the comments.
Friends Of People Who Won The Lottery Describe What Happened After They Got The Money
Most of us have had one of those fantasies about all the magical things we would do if we won the lottery, like starting an antique car collection, buying a mansion, or even more humbly paying off their or their family's debt.
But most of us have limited knowledge about what it's actually like to win the lottery or what their lives look like after winning.
Redditor RivalxGames asked:
"Have you ever actually met or known someone who has won the lottery? What happened to them?"
"Friends of ours won 30 million dollars. They took a group of us on vacation. Then they bought a cottage and built a house."
"Not much really changed. They are doing great."
"My MIL (Mother-in-Law) won $33k on a scratch-off. She paid off some debt and got new windows installed on her house. The new windows in an 1890s farmhouse are amazing, don't think I've seen a happier woman!"
Spending Where It Matters
"I knew a welder who won a 30 million jackpot."
"He retired, bought two Ford GTs, and spends his time doing yard work, playing low-stakes poker tournaments, and raising his two young kids."
"His wife bought a crib from me used for their second child."
Two Kinds of People
"I've known two people who won, actually."
"One was a friend of mine in high school who won $15k on a scratch-and-win. She rented a house downtown and threw a party."
"Somebody said I should stop by and check in on her, because they'd been down to the party and hardly recognized anybody."
"Sure enough, I got there, my friend met me at the door, put waaay too much money in my hands, and told me to go get a bottle of wine. She just partied with whoever was around until it was gone, which took about three weeks."
"Next was a friend of mine from Toronto who is mostly known for doing zombie walks. She won a 'cash for life' dealio and I think it's around ten thousand a month. She bought a theremin and started making 50s-style monster movies and is generally living a high-rolling rockabilly lifestyle."
It's All About the Goats
"My neighbor won the lottery in his sixties, it was something like 1.2 million in the late '90s. We lived in a trailer park in a rural part of the US, a pretty low-cost-of-living area so the money stretched pretty far."
"He bought his trailer and land outright with the money and pretty much just spent every day drinking on his porch and yelling at his goats."
"If I remember correctly, he used a good chunk of what he won to put his son and grandkids through college. Died of liver failure at 85 or something. Not a terrible way to do it, all said and done."
Oh, the Irony
"A neighbor won a few million, built an old folks home, named it after his mother, and she refused to live there."
People Letting Their True Colors Show
"Someone got 30k or something. Not too much, not too less. She got a lot of hate for not 'sharing her riches' whatever the f**k that means."
"I did see news footage before of someone in the US, I believe, who won a huge amount but somehow they worked it out that they could wear a 'Scream' mask or some sort of Halloween mask to the check pick up and photo session. And I can't blame that person at all."
"My favorite was I saw a legit story about an older woman who lived in a trailer park who won several million at least in the lottery."
"Her kids quietly moved her out of the trailer once they saw the ticket at her place and knew she won, they found her a new home in some retirement condo community that was nice with extra amenities and they packed all her stuff up for her. Whatever they didn't take from her trailer they just donated out and sold for her and sold the trailer off."
"Because they did not want her going back there after everybody found out she won all that money, especially when she was older and more likely to be manipulated with sob stories or demands."
"Some of the neighbors went on about how sad they were they never got to say goodbye and fair game, I can believe the odd one was sad. But I suspect most were sad they didn't get to see her to ask for a cut of that money or ask her if she could just help them all out."
"Technically, a kid from school's parents won a few hundred thousand. His parents were chill, and acted like they had the same money as before, but the kid was acting like a baller."
"My aunt's husband won $36 million. They bought property and traveled. He liked to fish and drink and build stuff. He passed away three years ago, but he was an awesome dude."
Keeping It Simple
"I know two people who have won significant sums (well, significant for me)."
"The first guy won $100k back in the early 2000s. He and his wife agreed to split it between them. She bought a car. He slowly lost most of his half over the course of a couple of years playing in poker tournaments."
"The other people aren't friends, but I see them a few times a year. They won $61 million in 2013. They bought a home i my mom's neighborhood (lakeside property, but priced in the $200k - $500k range back in 2013, depending on which lot)."
"I'd met them several times before finding out that they were 'screw you' rich. You'd never know they were more than a regular retired couple who had enough money in the bank to take cruises and such. They are some of the most down-to-earth people I know; nice cars, but nothing fancy, etc."
Blasts from the Past
"I had a patient, a hairdresser who owned her own shop, who won about 6 million. Her winnings were announced in the local newspaper."
"She consulted the right professionals, worked a plan to sell her salon, and mapped a way to retire on her winnings without a change in her lifestyle."
"But she told me that she had old boyfriends, and even guys that barely knew her in high school, who called her with some variation of, 'You know, I always loved you...'"
"She just laughed and blew them off."
An Epic Pizzy Party
"I worked with a guy who won like $3k/week for life on a scratch-off. He continued working for like six months before he bought a truck and went and lived the O/O life in the oil fields of North Dakota. He bought everyone pizza on his last day."
Keeping It Humble
"A friend won 1 million. They paid off their house. Saved for their kids' education and basically don’t live paycheque to paycheque anymore. Both of them still work full-time."
That Darn Pandemic
"I met a girl at a party shortly after the pandemic who won 1 million pounds. She won it about six months before the pandemic hit. Her parents are already millionaires and her dad convinced her to put more than half of it into reliable stocks."
"She also planned a huge family holiday all around Asia... Well, the pandemic hit, canceled the holiday and disintegrated all her shares."
"She said she bought a house for 200k, a new car for 20k and she has about 100k left, and still has her same job."
While some of these were extravagant by everyday standards, most of them were heartwarming in how the person continued to lead a simple, if not also humble, life after winning a large cash prize.
It's a great reminder that while money can afford someone stability, that money doesn't necessarily equate with happiness.