The only way to stop it going round and round in my head is to write it out. I was in Second Life last night when the news broke of the death of George Michael. At first I thought it was fake news. I quickly googled and saw it on BBC news and then there was no doubt. The shock hit me like a swift kick to the stomach. My brother was here in RL and I said ‘George Michael is dead’, and he was shocked because of that and because I was crying. I was shocked that I was crying too. You never know how something will affect you until it happens. But I had to log out of SL, I had to be alone. It just seemed extra cruel, that he would pass on Xmas day. How could that happen? I was just talking about him the previous day with friends, talking about his talent, singing his songs. So many talented artists have passed this year and just as we’re about to put 2016 behind us with a sigh of relief, it takes one more swipe. I was born in the 80s, when George Michael was beginning his career with Wham. He’s always been there, and I have listened to his music throughout my life. He was not a perfect person, and who the fuck is? That only made him more accessible to me. He was someone I admired as a huge and enduring talent. On a deeper level, he was someone I looked up to as a gay male, someone I identified with, not just because of his sexuality, but because of his sometimes bad life choices, his heartbreaks, his shyness and vulnerability, everything that went into making him absolutely human and real for me. So, I will avoid social media for some days, apart from my heavily filtered friends list on Facebook. I sneaked in to YouTube to grab one of my fave dance tracks by him for this post, and left fast without scrolling. I know that as well as the countless tributes, there will be the troll comments with their homophobia and sick ‘humour’ all over the net. I can’t deal with that right now. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by life for a while now and I have to protect myself from negativity as much as I can. Gotta keep on keeping on, until it’s your time to fly. George, you flew away too early and I’ll miss you much.