Death is the great leveller. No matter how rich and powerful you are in life, you will inevitably die. You will die just like the beggar on the street, the criminal in prison or the lady who put too much sugar in your French Roast Starbucks coffee this morning. Everyone dies.
I take a great deal of pride in knowing which celebrities are dead and which are alive. I have somewhat of a morbid fascination with the subject. I've been maintaining a list of celebrities who have bought the farm since September 2000 as part of my Dead Pool page. The Dead Pool itself is an ongoing contest between my brothers and I in which we attempted to predict who would die sooner rather than later. I sincerely believe this Dead Pool is keeping certain famous people alive.
When a celebrity passes at an old age, it's not exactly shocking. Bob Hope and Katherine Hepburn are good examples of this. They were beloved, but their time had come. Other times it is an untimely death, but it doesn't hit home with me personally because of my feelings towards the deceased. Aaliyah and John Ritter went too soon, but I didn't pray at the alter of either. Then, there's the celebrity death that truly effects me. Since September 2000, this short list consists of George Harrison, Layne Staley, Roger Neilson and Johnny Cash. All four deaths were predictable, but each person had touched me on a personal level making their loss that much more painful. They are missed.