Ex-Wham! singer George Michael dead

At age 53, on Christmas day afternoon, it appears that George Michael has died “peacefully at his home”. Fox News, BBC, UK Mirror, Business Insider confirm. Here is TMZ

George Michael passed away at his home in England at the age of 53 … his rep confirms.

A rep for the pop star says, “It is with great sadness that we can confirm our beloved son, brother and friend George passed away peacefully at home over the Christmas period.”

Details surrounding Michael’s death have not been released. Police say there’s nothing suspicious about the death, according to the BBC. George was a music legend — and sold more than 100 MILLION albums during his career. Michael launched his career with WHAM! in the ’80s — churning out hits like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” and “Careless Whisper.

The immediate thought whenever a celebrity or local person dies, is always, ‘I wonder if they are surprised at their eternity’. Either way, whether the person died in their sin or they died in Jesus, the fact of their eternity becomes real one second after breath expires, and is a billion times worse, or a billion times better, than he could ever conceive while on earth.

I have a connection to George Michael. I’m 56 years old, three years older than he was, and grew up on his songs. I wasn’t saved until I was in my forties, so I enjoyed pop songs with all the range of lyrics from sweet to profane, for half my adult life. I liked Wham! and I liked George Michael’s songs.

But even more than that, music is so forceful especially when you’re a teen and young adult. The lyrics feel almost alive, embedding themselves into one’s brain and heart to settle intimately with the very sinews and tendons of the body, becoming part of us in ways that other leisure activities do not. You hear a certain song, it immediately takes you back, you’re swallowed in a memory with all its smells, feelings, and sensations as if it occurred a moment ago. At Psychology Today the question is asked,

Why Do the Songs from Your Past Evoke Such Vivid Memories?

We all know the power of an old song to trigger vivid memories that seem to transport us back in time and space. What songs bring back emotional memories from your past? The songs we love become woven into a neural tapestry entwined with the people, seasons, and locations throughout our lifespan. What is the neuroscience behind the ability of music to evoke such strong memories of the people and places from our past?

The discovery may help to explain why music can elicit strong responses from people with Alzheimer’s disease, said the study’s author, Petr Janata, associate professor of psychology at UC Davis’ Center for Mind and Brain. The hub that music activated is located in the medial prefrontal cortex region—right behind the forehead—and one of the last areas of the brain to atrophy over the course of Alzheimer’s disease.

The article goes on to describe findings from three different studies about the therapeutic potential the research can yield.

One of George Michael’s biggest hits was the song Careless Whisper. It is about a man expressing regret over the pain that his now-discovered adultery caused. It was a good song, but it was too real for me. It was on the radio when my ex-husband was engaged in adultery and leaving our marriage. This life-altering event occurred over thirty years ago, and the pain of one flesh being ripped back into two has simmered to long healed scar tissue, only occasionally flaring up…such as if I hear Careless Whisper again in an elevator…radio…or in the wake of George Michael’s death. The Careless Whisper is a whisper with teeth, ready to bite.

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. (Hebrews 13:4)

It’s strange how life takes you and your loved ones on different paths. Neither my husband nor I were saved while we were married, but eventually I became saved by grace afterward. To my knowledge, he never was. He died unexpectedly 6 months ago as a young man of 58, and I wonder, did his eternity surprise him? Is he regretting his own careless whisper? There but for the grace of God go I…at any point prior to being saved if I had died my own eternity would have surprised me as I’d be punished for all my own many careless and careful sins.

Adultery is horrible, and it inflicts a particularly painful pain that which takes many decades to soften. The grace of God lifted mine and gave me the strength to overcome anger and bitterness and to forgive. The careless whisper of adultery brings pain and spiritual death. The careful whisper of Jesus on the cross is the guiding whisper of my life, ‘It is finished.’Even as His own breath expired, He brought life to His elect who are now forgiven in sins. The sin of adultery forgiven as all other sins are forgiven. What a difference in life and death Jesus makes.

Men, women, husbands, wives, I can tell you that adultery is terrible, whether it’s the person committing it or the person being committed against. I’ve experienced it, I’ve helped wives through it. It is a dastardly sin. Don’t do it.

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18).

I can never hear that song by George Michael, his Careless Whisper, and not be immediately transported to my old sunny dining room, me with a Walkman sitting at the table doing the bills, and hearing the first notes of the mellow and sultry saxophone, turned up full blast on my ears, my heart breaking, my hands shaking.

My ex-husband died recently, and this brings its own sad weight to the grace-filled heart. The man who wrote and sang the song is now dead, too. One wonders, (hopes), they are enjoying bliss and not torment. My own sins are forgiven and I know the eternity that awaits me. We three, our own unholy trinity inside a song, inside the lyrics, blowing wind borne notes now at long last released, lifting into different destinies.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)