We’ve had a seismic breakdown when it comes to dealing with death.We live in fragmented societies, precariously held together in cyberspace. We hardly know the name of our neighbours, let alone pay our respects at their open casket. Gone are the traditional community structures which have, for centuries, made death the familiar and mundane.
We live in an age where death is grotesquely paraded through televised autopsies, but where anti-ageing products are incessantly advertised and instant fame offers an illusionary immortality. We’ve developed a resistance to our inevitable fate.
But our poster girl for instant fame, Jade Goody, has snapped us out of that delusion. She has brought us back into the cold reality – which is that for all of our virtual realities, we will die, and that death could snatch us at any given time.
Perhaps we are so engrossed in her tragic story because it has anchored us to a reality that we had lost – lost in the surreal haze in which she has had such a starring role.