When I heard the news about James Gandolfini’s death at 51 it came as a shock for this vulnerable yet tough actor who seemed to fill the screen and capture the attention of the audience so easily in his work on television, stage, and silver screen. A few more tortured self-doubting mobsters would be a good thing. Yet, he was a man with weaknesses and strengths – even aspects of genius. He leaves behind a legacy of words and pictures that will remain. They will grasp the attention of many connoisseurs of the entertainment industry.
How quick life passes and what remains? The Psalmist writes:
for (God) knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But God remembers and our relationship to the Creator of all things matters. The Psalmist also wrote:
2 Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Friends reacted with shock and many commented on what an authentic lovely person James (aka Tony) was. What ultimately matters might be summed up in the words of the Beatles song, “And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.” Loving others, in the most charitable sense of the word, is the thing that remains behind like a lovely fragrance of our life. Keep working on the love quotient in your life for the world needs it badly. Farewell, Mr. Gandolfini. I hope that the “Family” we are made into will touch the world with depth and pathos and leave behind the fragrance of love.