Posted by: suek2001 | February 8, 2014

Saying goodbye to a great actor too soon..

This has been an eventful week..a lot of things have happened in the world of pop culture..The pathetic Super Bowl….the Olympics…Leno retiring(for now, at least)…the Beatles anniversary and so on but the one event that I keep coming back to is the death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

He died at the age of 46 in New York on Super Bowl Sunday….As Entertainment Weekly put it..”This one hurts”..a gifted actor in great character roles…and the power to transform an ordinary film into something you remember…..

I loved him as Lester Bangs in Almost Famous…Great movie about misguided people who love music and try to find their place in it…Bangs is the moral conscience of the movie..and Hoffman gives a relatable edge to that character. He could have come across as some music elitist but his words came out of a place of sadness and longing for what rock and roll was to a generation and what it was slowly turning into…

The same could be said for Hoffman..a lot of us saw greatness in him..the actor..the personality…the “everyman” quality. The Academy saw it too..He won an Oscar for “Capote”.

This week, we watched him throw it all away…for drugs….he threw away his life…his kids…his career…his friends…everything…for heroin…

Some say, I shouldn’t waste space on a druggie who didn’t know how good he had it…Some say I should just remember the greatness that he brought to each role and forget the way his life ended…Others find it horrible that the media gives him attention when soldiers in far off lands give their lives for our nation…I disagree with all of these notions…

Hoffman is deserving of this blog entry…not because he’s a cautionary tale on drug addiction and the consequences therein but because he’s a human being…and in his life, he did get the chance to really rise above the darkness that drove him to drugs. I have no clue what led him down that path. He struggled before and overcame it once but sometimes those old habits and old lies repeat in the head..and he went down that dark path again….

I will not judge this man..even though my heart hurts in anger over this loss…I want to ask him “Why risk all you have for that high?” but I know that is one question that can never be answered by an addict or someone dealing with deeply private issues.

As someone who has struggled with depression and dark thoughts, I can understand why the soul would want to numb out that pain with drugs…or other vices…I never turned to that as my way of dealing with it…self-hatred was my drug.and it was easy to digest….and it numbed me and spiralled me towards a blackness….but amazingly, I was pulled out…by…and prayers of people who cared…That’s all it took for me…and there are moments that it all comes back but I am stronger now…not because of some inner self-will but a love from God…from family..from friends…and a sense that Life is the reason for living….and my love of music has saved me more times than I can count…

I truly believe we ALL have purpose..both rich and poor…famous and unknown..American or abroad…we all have a reason to be here…and it hurts like hell to see someone like Phillip Seymour Hoffman throw his away….I’ll never understand it but I hope that other addicts will see this tragedy for what it is…a wake up call…and find their purpose….God brought me mine…

I hope we all find ours one day….

I’ll close with a line from a Black Crowes song that’s been running through my head all week…

“She keeps a lock of hair in her pocket
She wears a cross around her neck
Yes, the hair is from a little boy
And the cross is someone she has not met
Not yet”

..and here’s my favorite Phillip Seymour Hoffman scene:



  1. What a beautiful post, Sue. I felt exactly the same way about PSH. I was a fan and a big admirer of his work, the way he’d disappear into characters. Will and I even saw him play Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman” on Broadway and know we’d truly experienced something special. We never know what can drive people to darkness like that, so grace, even for Hollywood celebs like Hoffman, needs to abound. I couldn’t stop thinking about his family…what an awful thing to happen to three kids 10 and under.

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