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Just Me

Heath Ledger

Posted on 2008.01.23 at 06:28
This started as a comment on a friend's journal. I decided it was more appropriate as a post on my own.

I think Heath Ledger's death is a tragedy, and I find it very sad, no matter whether his death was a simple accident of sleeping pills, A more complex error of recreation, or suicide.

The more facts come to light, the more I'm inclined to believe the first of those possibilities. And while the word "hope" is an absurd one to use in reference to a young man's death, I do hope that it turns out to be the case.

Because what I do know is that Heath Ledger left behind a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, who will have to grow up knowing her father is dead. It will be terrible for her to do so knowing he died because of a simple accident. But how much more terrible to grow up with a father who died because he was playing stupid games with his body and mind, just for fun? And how infinitely worse than that to grow up knowing that your father is dead because he decided he'd rather be dead than keep on living?

Heath Ledger's life was not his own. It belongd to a two-and-a-half-year-old girl. If, as I believe and hope, it was lost through a tragic mischance, that's a desperately sad affair, and we can do naught but mourn. But if it was spent on foolish risk, or forfieted through deliberate choice, our sadness must be informed by our knowledge that it was not his togamble with for fun, not his to surrender. It belonged to his daughter.


maaike_fluffy at 2008-01-23 12:21 (UTC) (Link)
Though we can not be sure until we get some more information, I for one am convinced that the death of Heath Ledger was a tragic accident, and no suicide or misuse of drugs.
The sleeping pills he took were perscibed to him, and various people had reported he suffered for insomnia during the filming of his Badman movie. (There is an quote of him of a few months old in which he says so himself. But I cannot find it so easily)
And, though of course I can never know Ledger personally, he was to me one of the most stable personalities in Hollywood. Despite his recent divorce from Michelle Williams, he seemed to be a doting father with his life on track and a very promising life (and career)ahead. He doesn't seem like a 'junky' type to me, neither do I think he would ever think of hurting Matilda (his daughter) by leaving her like this.

I think the poor man was desperate for a good night sleep and took more pills than perscribed. It was a foolish thing to do, but I, for now, remain convinced it is all a sad accident.

I feel for Michelle Williams, Mathilda, and the Ledger family...

Edited at 2008-01-23 12:45 pm (UTC)
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2008-01-23 13:27 (UTC) (Link)
The more information comes to light, the more likely it seems that Ledger's death was indeed just a tragic accident of sleeping pills. When I was small, there was someone known to my family who died that way. I don't remember any of the details, but I remember my parents explaining to me that the danger of sleeping pills is that, as they begin to work, you forget you've taken them, and, wanting to sleep, take more, and that this can keep happening, over and over. "Did I take a pill? I don't think so. I'll have one."
maaike_fluffy at 2008-01-23 15:54 (UTC) (Link)
*shakes head*

It is sad to think that such a simple mistake (forgetting you've taken a pill) can make the difference between life and death. *shudders* *resolves to put sleeping pills away when she's taken one*
lnalvgd at 2008-01-23 13:56 (UTC) (Link)
My understanding is that it was a tragic accident of overdosing on sleeping pills.

Like maaike_fluffy said above, he did suffer from insomnia because of the character he played in Batman.

I feel for his daughter and although Michelle was no longer with him, this will hurt her just as deeply.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2008-01-23 14:04 (UTC) (Link)
I agree that it does appear to have been just such an awful accident. If so, well, it's the best possible face of a tragic, tragic event.
lillywmw at 2008-01-23 14:07 (UTC) (Link)
There´s no other way to look at this than as a tragic accident.And how many of this will happen today again with young people all over the world?Drugs, guns, cars, wars...It´s so sad, even more thinking in this little girl who only will have the image of his father by the movies never knowing his truely, his heart, mind, personality.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2008-01-23 14:57 (UTC) (Link)
It's incredibly sad, and that little girl is at the center of my thoughts about his death.
maple_mahogany at 2008-01-23 16:28 (UTC) (Link)
Well said.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2008-01-23 20:08 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. So sad, so sad.
katling73 at 2008-01-23 18:53 (UTC) (Link)
Now that is the best summation of the events I've seen so far. Well said.

It's looking like his latest role as the Joker had been preying on his mind more than was entirely healthy. Apparently he was having trouble letting it go at the end of the day and needed the sleeping pills so he could get some rest. That is a very disquieting thing to hear and I can easily see how it, perhaps combined with stress, could result in a terrible accident.

All I can say is that I have enormous sympathy for his family, Michelle William and Matilda. The Australian film industry has lost one of its leading lights and us Aussies have lost a source of great pride.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2008-01-23 20:09 (UTC) (Link)
There's no way to look at this that isn't just crushingly sad.
punkinart at 2008-01-23 20:00 (UTC) (Link)
i do agree with you completely. If it isnt an accident, though, you've got to remember that suicidal people dont have the best judgement. You get enough anxiety and depression in your every day life and one could easily forget their responsibilities because theyre raw to the pain of it. I really hate to defend someone who would do that, but at the same time i feel the need to. Its never okay to abandon a child, but depression can caused impared judgement.if he did kill himself, you've got to know that no one will every fully understand what he was going through because they werent him.

and trust me on this. no one ever considers taking their life unless they feel its the only way out.

now that i've run myself down that particular gauntlet, i dont think he did it on purpose.

any way you slice it, its horrific.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2008-01-23 20:04 (UTC) (Link)
I've dealt with depression. I've dealt with it a lot. I've had periods, in years past, where every single morning, I'd wake up, sit on the edge of my bed with my head hanging, and think about my next breath and how much trouble it would be, and how not worth the trouble to take. At that time, I had nephews, aged 3 and 5, and I knew that someone would have to explain to them why Uncle Jon put his head in the gas oven, why he decided to be dead.

That was enough for me. I don't say it's the same for others.
punkinart at 2008-01-23 20:09 (UTC) (Link)
and up until three months ago, the only thing that kept me here were my parents.

i see what you mean.

i assume there are levels of it, though. some people cant make that connection of how theyre death would affect others. i remember saying a long time ago 'when am i allowed to stop living for everyone else?'
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2008-01-23 20:13 (UTC) (Link)
For an answer to that question, I can only refer you to John Donne's Meditation XVII.
alissomora at 2008-01-23 22:22 (UTC) (Link)
Until we know differently, I'm going to believe it was just a tragic accident - Ambien apparently is a drug that wakes you up but you don't really realise you're awake. He suffered terrible insomnia, and I have too. I know how that desperation for just one night of sleep feels. My heart just breaks for the poor sweetheart, who only wanted to sleep and probably didn't realise how many pills he'd taken. It's so terribly sad.
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