January 12, 2016
This anniversary of loss will be felt round the world by fans who miss Maurice Gibb, and he will be extolled and honored by them all. That’s a wonderful testament to this very cool guy, lovingly known as Mo, and I’m sure his family appreciates the respect and love shown to him. When I think of Maurice, I make a serious effort to remember him without tears or heartache, and there are specific reasons for this. Maybe it has to do with my faith that there is a reason for every happening in life (and I do think it’s written down somewhere…all the “whens”, and “whys” and “hows” of each event in our individual lives). It simply was time for Maurice to leave us. He was needed elsewhere. Maybe his brother Andy and his father Hughie needed his loving humor and support. Andy’s death had an impact on Maurice that affected his life in a way none of us can understand.
Grief is different for every person. I don’t pretend to be an expert on grief, but I do realize certain things. For some, it’s a never-ending ache, and for others it’s a blessing. I say this because when someone we love is lost to a debilitating illness, it’s a relief for the family to know the suffering has ended. We feel sadness, but we are also comforted. On the other hand, when one is lost suddenly, as the world lost Mo, we feel anger and shock. Even worse, we feel cheated, and we rail at God for taking him.
What was so horrible about Mo’s death was that it also caused the death of the Bee Gees. How could Barry and Robin go on without Maurice? The creativity and uniqueness of the songwriting experience of these three brothers as they wrote music together ended in an instant. Reconciling this kind of ending is difficult for fans everywhere. They physically ache for the beauty and brilliance of the Bee Gee musical poetry, that perfect blending of voices that no other musical group could begin to emulate. Lucky for the world, we will always have that sound to enjoy, and it will live for generations to come.
Maurice Gibb ultimately made a mark as an artist, songwriter, performer, father and role model. He lived through his “demons of choice” and tried to conquer them. Going from self-involvement and anger to becoming a better and stronger man marks his true success in life. He ultimately married the right woman when he found Yvonne, and she stood by him through all the dramatic and sordid moments, as well as the thrills and amazing successes that nearly three decades of togetherness would allow. It’s no secret I feel she’s a “superwoman”, and she always handled herself with grace and strength.
Maurice wasn’t an Elvis or a Michael Jackson, and yet his impact is every bit as powerful as theirs. Why? He is beloved for his self-deprecating humor, his incredible talent, his smile and contagious laugh, his energy, his kindness and generosity and his total appreciation of the fans. They felt his love at every turn of the road, and they responded in kind. In the minds of fans around the globe, he was one of them. He was their “Everyman”.
So, on this anniversary of January 12, I pray that fans will picture Mo’s mega-smile and know that if he were here today, he probably would encourage us all to hold on to the good memories. Confucius wrote something that fits Mo perfectly. He said, “Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart”, and that, dear fans, was exactly what Maurice Gibb did for us.