David Bowie’s death took the world by storm last week. As fellow celebrities and fans shared their remorse, the British icon’s son, Duncan Jones, announced that he would be “offline for a while” to take time to mourn the loss of his father.
Very sorry and sad to say it’s true. I’ll be offline for a while. Love to all. pic.twitter.com/Kh2fq3tf9m
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) January 11, 2016
The U.K. physician wrote that Bowie’s private approach to his health issues and death inspired his work with patients.
“At the beginning of that week I had a discussion with a hospital patient, facing the end of her life. We discussed your death and your music, and it got us talking about numerous weighty subjects, that are not always straightforward to discuss with someone facing their own demise. In fact, your story became a way for us to communicate very openly about death, something many doctors and nurses struggle to introduce as a topic of conversation,” Taubert wrote.
Bowie was always a private person, especially when it came to his cancer diagnosis. His friend of more than 40 years, Robert Fox, opened up to the Telegraph and said that he didn’t even know David was dying.
“Nobody knew. Nobody even suggested there was anything,” he said. “And then we woke up on Monday morning and it was on the news. I think that’s the way he wanted it to be.”
“He wanted the minimum of fuss. He was just a private man,” Fox continued. “And I think he wanted to protect his family from the insanity there would have been. It would have impinged on the album, Lazarus, his family – everyone would have been inundated at a time when he didn’t need that or want that. And he did it perfectly.”
In Dr. Taubert’s letter reflecting on Bowie’s life, he went on to thank the star for his work and influence on pop culture. He also thanked him for his advance care planning, which helped his family and physicians know exactly what he wanted during end of life treatment.
Finally, Taubert reflected on Bowie’s latest studio album, Blackstar, which was released days before his death.
“Thank you for ‘Lazarus’ and Blackstar,” he wrote. “I am a palliative care doctor, and what you have done in the time surrounding your death has had a profound effect on me and many people I work with. Your album is strewn with references, hints and allusions. As always, you don’t make interpretation all that easy, but perhaps that isn’t the point.”