I’ve never been one to feel particularly attached to celebrity, but that day in 2016, waking to the news that David Bowie had died, I was deeply saddened. During my stop for coffee that morning, the look on my face must’ve said it all…the cashier handed me my coffee and said “Today’s kind of a bummer, isn’t it?” “Yeah…I loved Bowie. It sucks,” was about all I could muster and the clerk nodded in agreement. In retrospect, it was a nice moment: Being brought together with someone I only had a casual acquaintance with over David Bowie, even if only briefly, was a testament to Bowie’s unique greatness. I did all the things that day that you were supposed to do: I listened to Bowie on the way to and from work, talked with coworkers about our favorite songs, watched the videos of people gathering all over the world to celebrate his life and posted photos and video of my Bowie vinyl collection to instagram. The one thing I didn’t do, was listen to Blackstar. It had come out only a day or two earlier and was cast in an entirely new light after the news broke. I just couldn’t do it, I wasn’t ready. I needed to spend more time with my favorites before I could say goodbye. I must have listened to Station to Station, Low, Scary Monsters a dozen times each that week. Well, weeks turned to months, months to years and here I am, more than 6 years later…really, truly digesting Blackstar for the first time. That’s not to say I haven’t heard it before. I’ve listened a handful of times in the last few years, but it’s been difficult to want to come back to it, to confront it for what it is: David Bowie saying farewell. It’s a difficult record: musically, lyrically and, for me, emotionally. Blackstar is a record that you need to come to terms with. I’m not sure it’s a record I’ll revisit frequently, even after spending the day today replaying it. Ultimately, it is a rewarding listen, ranking among his best, and I suspect that as sad as I was to say goodbye, the same went for David Bowie.