I made an exception to my morning soundtrack this Friday. I listened to a different sort of gospel music. I listened to the testimony of a man named Prince Rogers Nelson. A year ago, we lost a beautiful man , a revolutionary voice, a musical genius. A year later, many of us are still in shock and experiencing grief. We continue to celebrate life and joy in his honor.
I first saw Prince in his “Controversy” video on MTV. Who was this handsome man playing that song with the funky beat? From 8th grade on, I was best friends with a Prince freak. Though I don’t consider myself a super fan like some of my friends, I loved his music, style, and political boldness.
The day Prince died, I was in a state of shock. My brother had sent me a text. I said it was a hoax or a joke. I was aware Prince had been hospitalized due to exhaustion. It never occurred to me that there might be any other reason for an emergency. I did not cry that day. I reached out immediately to my best friend and one of my dance sisters who is a devoted Prince fan. I wanted to be sure they were all right and I sent them virtual love and hugs.
The following day, radio stations devoted time to playing Prince’s hits. I was driving on a rainy morning to work when “Purple Rain” was played. I broke down and wept. That morning, I decided I wasn’t going to dwell on the reasons for Prince’s death. He lived fully. Prince was committed to veganism, animal rights, his faith in God, his craft; he pursued his passions to the fullest. I would remember his life and legacy.
Many of my friends fell into deep depression when Prince died. Still, the loss brought us closer together. His death reminded us not only to continue loving his music but to love one another. I was blessed to take part in a Prince Tribute dance with Bay Area Flash Mob. I committed to weeknight classes during the busy beginning of the school year because I wanted to show my love, respect, and admiration for Prince through dance. We were lucky to be able to reprise that dance for my friends who are Prince super fans. It was an honor to share that experience with them and the warm and loving Prince fan community.
Prince blessed us with so many gifts. We still feel the loss and will likely always feel it. I take comfort in knowing Prince is with God. #wemissyouPrince #Princeforever