Life's not a dress rehearsal

Dom Burch is the founder and MD of Why Social, a strategic marketing consultancy, and former senior director of marketing innovation and new revenue at Asda. Trained in PR, Dom has spent the last 17 years in a variety of comms roles at Asda, Direct Line and Green Flag including head of PR and head of social.

I woke up this morning. Turned my phone on and headed to Twitter as per usual.

The first tweet I read simply said: 'Can't believe it. David Bowie.'

I jumped to Google and sure enough Sky News was reporting Bowie's son had tweeted his dad had died from cancer after being diagnosed 18 months earlier.

It would appear the musical legend had died just a few days after his 69th birthday having also released his latest album.

But no one was quite sure. The news channels cautiously quoting their sources just in case they were on the end of a very cruel hoax.

Brendan Keogh caught the mood brilliantly, tweeting:

"If Bowie is really dead at least this inability for any of us to tell reality from fiction is a really fitting way to go out."

And in a silly ironic twist I thought back 24 hours when I'd fallen for a supposed local paper story about Bowie singing in a curry house in Suffolk.

It all reminded me of the day Twitter broke the news of Amy Winehouse's untimely death.

A sense of disbelief, followed by the need to share something, anything, to express condolences, pay respect, and then to celebrate his work and achievement.

I screen grabbed my timeline at 7.25. Every tweet in succession referred to Bowie.

It was an indication of just how revered he was by so many.

69 these days is no age at all to die.

My parents are both in their early seventies and I don't think of them as 'old'.

It reminded me of that famous quote, life isn't a dress rehearsal.

Bowie was the master of reinvention. He refused to be pigeon holed or play by anyone else's rules. He was a style icon.

But above all he was an artist, in the truest sense of the word.

His influence will live on for many years to come, and his art and life will continue to inspire.

To quote Space Oddity:

And the stars look very different today...

...Planet earth is blue

And there's nothing I can do.

Follow Dom on Twitter @domburch

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