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Performances until the end

‘Performances until the end’ is a sort of part two to our recent blog post titled ‘Making a difference until the end‘ Much more can be written about those like Carolina Panthers’ special teams coach Bruce DeHaven and Mount St. Joseph University basketball star Lauren Hill, portrayed in part one. Some of us have friends and family who’ve lived life like that, and all of us can also be inspired with those performing artists, who like the sports figures in part one, continue to perform, even in the face of death.
 
Here are three brief stories with the common theme of giving inspiring performances near or until the very end.
 
Starting with David Bowie, whose long time band mate and producer of his just released ‘Blackstar’ album, Tony Visconti, confirms what becomes evident, that …”Bowie’s final work was a knowing farewell…He always did what he wanted to do,” said Visconti. “His death was no different from his life—a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift.” Rolling Stone phrased it this way: “For more than four decades, Bowie’s life was inseparable from his art. Of course his death would be as well…”
 
Then there is the continuing story of Valerie Harper who facing an incurable brain cancer since 2013, appeared even up to a few days ago at an event, and has performed on various stages including “Dancing With the Stars,” where Harper said the show had been an “opportunity for me to carry a message that people should always keep trying, no matter what they face”. Harper told ABC News in early September that no one should ever give up on life.
 
Lastly, and perhaps an unlikely reference are the musicians of the RMS Titanic who all died when the ship sank in 1912. These eight musicians, often referred to as heroes, began playing shortly after the Titanic hit an iceberg and began to sink. The band members started playing music to help keep the passengers calm as the crew looked for solutions. Many of the survivors said the band continued to play until the very end. One passenger wrote: “Many brave things were done that night, but none were braver than those done by men playing minute after minute as the ship settled quietly lower and lower in the sea. The music they played served alike as their own immortal requiem and their right to be recalled on the scrolls of undying fame.”
 
In some ways Bowie, Harper, and the Titanic musicians expressed their end of life experience as art, which can be a take away for all of us to persevere with our own creative endeavors to the very end.
 
To read more on David Bowie story, click here

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