Sound Off: Shocking Deaths & Moments of 2016 

There have been far too many deaths in 2016. Yeah, let’s start the blog post like that. Then again, death is a part of life. My grandmother always reminds me, it’s a debt we all have to pay. We don’t know when, where, or how it will happen. On top of the shocking deaths this year, there have been quite a bit of prolific moments in 2016 that will most definitely define 2017.

What’s most shocking, well astounding and saddening as well, are the amount of of artists, actors, etc. that have died. The most shocking to me? Their ages.

Most recently George Michael and Carrie Fisher died. George Michael was 53 and Carrie Fisher was 60. If that wasn’t enough devastation for the holiday season, her mother Debbie Reynold’s, passed away a day later at 84. Here I am talking to my nearly 85 year old grandmother and she says “you pray you live to see my age.” Trust me, I do.

Death is a subject that not many people want to discuss. It’s too depressing. It’s too sad. Why bring it up? It’s not something you can escape. It’s not something you can ignore. No, you don’t have to sit and dwell on it, but you need to be aware and not so oblivious to the fact that it happens. Death doesn’t care how old you are or how much money you have. It’s “one size fits all.”

The shocking deaths of the year began with David Bowie (69) passing away from cancer. Prince (57) suddenly passed away in April. I’m a wrestling fan and for anyone that watched in the late 90s know of Joan “Chyna” Laurer (46) who passed away in April as well.

The legend Muhammad Ali (74) passed away after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Gene Wilder (83), most popularly known for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, passed after a battle with Alzheimer’s.

Some people may look at the deaths of Ali and Wilder as “normal” since they had a disease of some sort and due to their age they had “lived.” Is living for years with a disease, I mean decades, really living?

Unfortunately the losses didn’t stop there. More recently Florence Henderson (82) of The Brady Bunch passed followed by Alan Thicke (69) of Growing Pains (yes, Robin Thicke’s dad).

Aside from deaths we cannot forget the highlight moments of 2016. Well for starters, Donald Trump trumped (pun intended) Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. That’s right Trump Towers has been elected President of the United States. I mean, am I really surprised? To go from Obama (a black president) to Hillary (a woman), yeah, right. We weren’t progressing to that level. Still, #ImWithHer, not that it matters.

There was a ton of Kardashian turmoil (Kim robbed, #KUWTK stopped, ChyRob drama, Kanye breakdown). Leonardo DiCaprio FINALLY won an Oscar for Best Actor. He had only been nominated 3 times. It’s not like he had a Meryl Streep nomination streak with no wins. Let’s not forget the challenges from #UNameIt to the Mannequin and my personal favorite #JuJuOnThatBeat.

Moving on to sports, Ronda Rousey lost AGAIN. “And still….” NOT . Kobe Bryant and Peyton Manning retired and the sports drought ended. The Cavaliers actually became ‘Believeland’ with their first championship win and the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. The worst of the worst became the BEST of the BEST. Let’s not forget the Broncos winning Super Bowl 50 (that halftime performance though!) & the Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley up.

Beyonce caused another uproar with her album Lemonade (plus her appearance at the Super Bowl where people actually wanted to protests …  okay). I mean, can she show up every year? I wouldn’t mind. Her sister, Solange, let us all have Seat at the Table and earned her 1st #1 album of her career. #BlackGirlMagic.

It didn’t stop there. Summer 16 was on fire with the Rio Olympics. Simone Biles smashed in gymnastics and Michael Phelps retired with 28 medals, 23 of them gold. Now that’s  what I called best in the world.

There were plenty of cell phone explosions and other explosions in general this year. Oh plus hacking and more hacking, and more hacking. Let’s not forget to mention that Apple removed the headphone jack and passed off the iPhone 7 as something ‘visionary.’

2016 all in all wasn’t completely horrible although there were so many prolific icons lost this year. It was like as soon as it simmered, we lost another. Seriously, cheers to 2017: positivity, health, and wealth. Who knows what 2017 will bring.

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