The Force is Dark Today as I Say Goodbye to Carrie Fisher
I just opened my computer and was slapped in the face with headlines that Carrie Fisher has passed away at the age of 60.
My heart is heavy.
May 25, 1977, I was introduced to Carrie Fisher. She was in a movie called Star Wars. It was unlike anything I had ever seen, and I remember coming home and begging my parents to load my siblings and me in the car and go to the drive-in so I could see it again.
She was Princess Leia.
Her iconic cinnamon bun shaped hair would be replicated over and over on my head–there was an extended period of time where, when I emerged from the bathroom with this hairstyle, everyone knew I was about to take cleaning the house to a whole new level.
Carrie Fisher, to me, was the first female that played the role of a heroine.
She was an action figure that fit in my hand and broke the gender gap–because, while my male counterparts wouldn’t touch my Barbies, yet expected me to race cars on their orange Matchbox rails, Princess Leia was the action figure we all wanted. Decades later she’d sum it up for me by saying,
“I got to be the only girl in an all-boy fantasy, and it’s a great role for women. She’s a very proactive character and gets the job done. So if you’re going to get typecast as something, that might as well be it for me.”
She gave me a voice.
She made me believe that women were fierce.
Star Wars would fade into a memory of my childhood.
Then I had children, and suddenly that spark ignited.
My son’s loved the trilogy. They fell in love with Carrie Fisher, just as I had.
Suddenly, Carrie Fisher was no longer an icon from my childhood, but the same icon in my children’s childhood. Except for this time, for this generation, she was witty and wise on her own.
Sure, she was Princess Leia, but she was also Carrie Fisher.
A woman of strength.
A woman who opened doors for conversations on Mental Illness.
A woman who wrote best-selling novels, and incredible screenplays.
She laughed at herself.
She inspired with her words.
Today, my heart is heavy.
Today I seek the wise words of Master Jedi Yoda,
“Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not. Attachment leads to jealously. The shadow of greed, that is.”
Today, Carrie Fisher traveled to a galaxy far, far away.
I’m going to miss her.