In many ways, 2016 has been a hard year.

Loss imprinted itself on the calendar early with the passing of David Bowie in January. As in life, a mind-boggling number of artists followed in his wake over the subsequent months, a seemingly endless tide washed over the days, as wave upon wave of mourning crashed against the rocks. It appeared that all the lighthouses had been left unlit this year.

On a personal note, I lost one of my dearest friends when my grandmother decided to join the party upstairs with Major Tom and the Purple One. May she dance forever in the twinkling starlight.

In November, I lost my country. And with it, some part of my spirit. And with that, a measure of my faith.

But you can’t lose that. Even at your lowest, when all hope is lost. Whether it’s your god(s), or love, or nature, or what have you. You must hold on to something.

Losing George Michael yesterday reminded me.

You gotta have faith.

(I first became aware of George in 1984 when Wham! made it big with “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go,” and then didn’t really notice him again until “Father Figure” went into heavy rotation on MTV in 1988 during a brief window of time when I actually watched MTV in the late 80s. I didn’t become a convert, though, until a couple of years later while browsing in a music store, when a fantastic song came on the store speakers: something about a “teacher” and “saying goodbye.” I immediately made my way to the cashier to ask what was playing. It’s the only time in my life I’ve ever done that. Two minutes later, the album was mine — and I’ve had Faith ever since.)

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