Grieving Celebrities (Christine McVie)

I never met Christine McVie, but the grief I feel upon her passing yesterday is as real as if I had. It’s the same sadness I felt when people like Robin Williams, Tom Petty, Prince, and Princess Diana died.

Celebrities often bring something into our lives that feels personal, even though we don’t know them personally. Through their music, their comedy, or their acting, they fill us with joy and hope, ask us to reflect on ourselves and the world, and often say or sing what we can’t articulate. And when our favorites die, our grief is palpable and–in case you question if you have the “right” to miss someone you never knew–our grief is valid. (See Can You Grieve Someone You Never Met?)

In the case of Christine McVie, it was the relatability of her lyrics that made her so special to me. In “Over My Head,” she describes her lover’s mood as a circus wheel, changing all the time. (I’ve definitely been there, still doing that.) Her song, “Don’t Stop,” always lifts me up, reminding me that yesterday is gone and tomorrow will surely be here. But of all her songs, “Songbird” touches me the deepest. It’s a love song filled with promises I aspire to keep with my closest relationships: to not cause them pain, to never be cold, and to love them unconditionally and with certainty. I can’t listen to it without crying—especially for the way she sings it.

For more than forty years, my life was (and will continue to be) enhanced by the words of a woman I never knew, but yet, through her musical gift, I felt I knew. May her children and friends find peace and support in knowing millions of people are grieving with them.

Please share in the comments your favorite Christine McVie songs, or how another celebrity’s life and/or death has impacted you.

11 thoughts on “Grieving Celebrities (Christine McVie)

  1. I keep listening to her song “Over & Over.” The deluxe edition of Tusk was the first CD I bought with my own money. I could have kept borrowing my mom’s album, but I wanted a copy of my own. Hearing that song start up on my boombox was magical as a teen. She’ll definitely remain on my mind for awhile.

    1. Love that Tusk was your first CD! Such a great, innovative album, but sadly underrated. Did you see their performance of Tusk (and Songbird) on their tour CD, The Dance? AMAZING.

  2. Thanks for the wonderful tribute to Christine McVie. I saw her and all the original Fleetwood Mac players in Minneapolis a handful of years ago, or maybe a little more than that. It was a stunning concert! I think we can truly grieve and be sad when someone that we’ve never met dies.

    1. One of my regrets is not seeing FM (or the original Eagles) in concert. I could never come up with (i.e. justify) the $$. I do love their DVD The Dance, though. Made me feel a little bit a part of the audience.

      1. My son bought the tickets for my husband and me. He makes lots more money than us. He did it as a thank you to us. I guess we were okay parents! LOL

  3. well, you know how close fleetwood mac is to my heart, most especially stevie. and maybe i initally listened bc of stevie, but i grew to love christine’s songs just as much, and my husband was a big christine fan. ❤ songbird will always be my most favorite chris song.

    i've seen her with FM, but a few years ago (probably more than i think), we saw Lindsey and Christine do a concert together in Denver, it was great and she did a lot of her newer stuff too.

    the only "celeb" death that left me in a puddle of tears was RBG. tom petty and robin williams were also sad for me, for many reasons. i have also felt sad that freddie mercury died when i was a kid, before i knew his music…and it feels like a loss to not ever experience it in person. i feel that way about jim croce too, like man, if that dude had lived, he would've been another elton john or billy joel, know what i mean? so maybe i grieve "what could have been", if that makes sense.

    1. RBG was difficult for SO MANY other reasons than celebrity, for sure. Freddie is a good mention, too. That you saw Lindsey and CM…I have no words. That must have been absolutely amazing and fun.

      I listened to a podcast about John Denver the other day (Mo Rocca’s “MoBituaries”) and someone commented that had he lived, he’d have been as revered as Dolly Parton, which I agree with. I think Jim Croce would have been, too. Such talents, both of them, who died way way way too young.

      1. I loved John Denver’s music. I saw him in concert. He played and sang for 2 1/2 hours. He gave his band a break halfway through the concert and for 30 minutes it was just him, his voice, and his guitar–unplugged. It was magic.

  4. I agree that what we feel when we lose one of our favorite artists/performers is a real grief. Especially the ones who went early and unexpectedly. Robin Williams is still one that I tear up when I think of him. John Denver as well, especially since he was one of my mother’s favorites and my daughter’s too. We had the opportunity this past August to visit the marker on the beach in Pacific Grove where his plane went down. The plaque had lyrics from Windsong, and we brought it up on YouTube and listened and had ourselves a good cry. That was 25 years ago he died – I guess when you really connect and relate to their work, it is like losing a good friend. RIP Christine.

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