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Why 'When I'm Gone'?

23 May 08 - 12:18 PM (#2347709)
Subject: Why 'When I'm Gone'?
From: Sir Roger de Beverley

The idea for this thread came to me after reading the obituary for Harry Gurevitch in The Guardian, hearing of Barry Nettleton's death yesterday and listening to the Eric Andersen version of Phil Ochs's "When I'm Gone" on the same day.

Why do we wait to appreciate people until they are dead? Isn't there a place for posting an appreciation of someone while they are still around to read it themselves?

I don't mean the big names who get plenty of reviews etc but those people who we all know who are great players/teachers/organisers/facilitators/runners of sessions etc and all round good eggs on the folk scene.

If you think that it is a good idea, why not post one here.

23 May 08 - 01:34 PM (#2347750)
Subject: RE: Why 'When I'm Gone'?
From: Little Hawk

"Why do we wait to appreciate people until they are dead?"

Guilt for our past inattention?

Because it really GETS our attention when they die?

They can no longer disappoint us once dead?

We have a chance to praise them excessively at last without risking embarrassing them with our inaccuracy or insincerity?

It shows others how much we loved them? (or not)

People who can't stand them will be less inclined to rain on our parade when we praise them, because it's gauche to speak ill of the dead?

Heh! I'm figuring these are a few of the common reasons...

23 May 08 - 01:37 PM (#2347754)
Subject: RE: Why 'When I'm Gone'?
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko

Who said we wait?

I think most deserving people do get recognition and accolades during their lifetime. If anything, the hoopla around their passing is a final affirmation.

23 May 08 - 02:26 PM (#2347781)
Subject: RE: Why 'When I'm Gone'?
From: Art Thieme

As with the death of Captain Dennis Trone recently, a dam broke for many of us when he died in the plane crash---and the feelings just sort of erupted. He NEVER would've accepted, personally, that kind of sincere, overt, emotional outpouring. I did manage to tell him some if it. But there was just so far one could go...

Afterwards, we are talking to the family, and to others who were there, and who knew what we were talking about.


23 May 08 - 03:25 PM (#2347800)
Subject: RE: Why 'When I'm Gone'?
From: Joe Offer

Reminds me of Give Me the Roses While I Live:
    Give me the roses while I live trying to cheer me on
    Useless are flowers that you give after the soul is gone
Still, I think it's a normal, human thing to treasure those we've lost, more than those we have. But you know, I'm not sure that while I'm alive, I'm ready to accept the things I hope people will say about me after I'm dead - partly because I am well aware of my own shortcomings and I want to work on them awhile become I get to the Final Examination.
Any other good songs on the subject?


23 May 08 - 03:51 PM (#2347805)
Subject: RE: Why 'When I'm Gone'?
From: gnu

Not to be morbid, but, often, when it appears that a situation indicates an impending death, it's only polite not to acknowledge it out of respect for the soul in jeopardy. Much moreso for "others close".

I visited someone very near and dear to me today. At one point, he and I shared a private moment, "away from the eyes of others". We looked into each others eyes for all of ten seconds, never spoke a work, and said volumes. He knows. And I know. But, to acknowledge it any manner is not fair to "others"... at least until death is imminent.

An extreme case, perhaps. But, in many instances, it IS the case.

23 May 08 - 04:04 PM (#2347811)
Subject: RE: Why 'When I'm Gone'?
From: Escapee

If you love someone, you can always tell them tomorrow. What's the rush?

I almost checked out quite abruptly a few years ago, and since then I say "Thanks " and " I love you " as often as possible.

23 May 08 - 04:20 PM (#2347816)
Subject: RE: Why 'When I'm Gone'?
From: Little Hawk

Well, to be serious, if I may echo Art...

It's an emotional watershed in one's life if one cared about the person who died, and you can't help but express that. That's why we show appreciation after people die.

23 May 08 - 05:17 PM (#2347837)
Subject: RE: Why 'When I'm Gone'?
From: Jeri

I think when people are still around, we let them know they matter, and when they die, we tell everyone else.

I would hope that people I care about know I care about them and I don't really want to make it a public thing. There are times when words aren't necessary and may get in the way. To say 'I love you' or 'you mean a lot to me' is often stating the bloody obvious and can creep people out, but we often just need to say these things as if they're sacred, just in case the other person hasn't noticed.

I'm not so good at hiding how I feel. I don't try. My friends will know. Public figures and those I've encountered along the way, maybe not, but saying so on a website that they likely don't read and possibly telling them at all doesn't feel like it's for their benefit. I dunno. It's an individual, personal, matter.

24 May 08 - 01:17 AM (#2347979)
Subject: RE: Why 'When I'm Gone'?
From: Big Tim

Phil Ochs was much appreciated in his lifetime - but only by the folk minority, including myself and my wife (a big fan). He could never compete commercially with the likes of Dylan and Presley.