Like many people, my first reaction to David Bowie's passing was shock. I understood on a rational level that he, like me, was human, and therefore mortal... But I think part of me didn't really believe could die. That maybe he was beyond death-- larger than it as he had been larger than life.
His passing leaves many things to grapple with: The incredible weight he must have felt knowing his death was coming soon; the urgency to respond to this revelation with a final performance and creative gift to the world. The fact that a gift is given whether the recipients deserve it. A sometimes ugly past. The incredible legacy of his work.
I feel confident in saying that many of my favorite artists-- musicians and otherwise-- would not be who they are today without David Bowie defying the status quo. The complicated intricacies of his past need not be overlooked to still appreciate the incredible contribution he made to our culture, from gender politics to art. That work deserves tribute from all who were impacted by it. Raising a glass felt like the most fitting way to say thank you to that incredible Oddity in the sky.