I woke this morning to an alert in my in-box via Google that made me shake my head in sadness. Actor Corey Haim died from an apparent drug overdose this morning in Los Angeles. I grew up watching his movies in the 80’s. Along with his buddy Corey Feldman, as teenagers, they became known as the Two Coreys, a fixture on the big screen in the 8o’s .
As I set here writing this I have to wonder where his family was when the drugs took the place of the phone calls for acting rolls. Some people are just not meant for Hollywood I think–especially the kids that start so young. What was cute at 13 or 14 or even younger doesn’t always translate to adulthood. Look at how many young performers have been swallowed by the dark side of Hollywood: River Phoenix, Brad Renfro, Jonathan Brandis, and so many others to numerous to name.
I’m not blaming Hollywood completely because it’s not the industry’s fault 100%, but they do hold a portion of the blame. The bigger portion of blame falls on the families of these child stars in particular the parents, many who have pushed their children into these careers because of the money and sadly their own desire to live vicariously through those children.
If the children truly wish to be in this business that’s one thing, but often the parents make them feel guilty for wanting to stop. The strong ones stand up to their parents and leave. The ones who don’t often turn to drugs and alcohol to just make it through the day as they live for someone else’s dream. There are times they pull out of the darkness; Robert Downey, Jr. is a prime example of that, but he had a long road he had to travel. I’m not saying that these people aren’t loved–often they are, yet the drugs, alcohol, and depression that drives them to these addictions blinds them to the truth. Some are strong enough to travel that rocky road and others eventually give in to the pain never seeing how much love surrounds them.
We all have our paths to travel and sometimes we have our doubts. It’s only when those doubts take control that we swerve from that path. Picking up that bottle of alcohol, that pill, or needle is far easier than facing those doubts and fighting them off. We often forget that we don’t have to face life alone. There are those who care for us, support us, and believe in us even when we don’t believe in ourselves. All we have to do is open our eyes and see–really see.
Thinking about these things reminds me of my mom’s favorite hymn Amazing Grace.
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind but now I see…
My mother was of Irish and Cherokee descent and a spiritual person proud of her blood line. In honor of her (tomorrow will mark the 3rd anniversary of her death) and all those young souls who have passed without seeing the love they so desperately sought I offer this version of Amazing Grace sang in Cherokee. May they find the peace on the other side that they couldn’t on this earth. Blessed Be…