When someone dies, it's as if people come out of the woodwork to say that they knew the person.
Or knew someone who knew someone who knew the person.
If someone famous dies, there's this idea that if you are on the peripheral edges of that death, that you are somehow "in the know."
If you're a fan, it strikes you hard. When Prince died, I know a lot of people who decided to listen to his music nonstop, for days, and perhaps even now, weeks on end.
It's an odd sort of soothing.
Friday night, the Media was all over the story of NYPD Inspector Michael Ameri, who was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
When I heard the story, I thought: Oh My God, I knew him.
I didn't know him in the traditional sense: he followed me on Twitter, and I followed him. He favorited a Tweet or two of mine, and I did the same.
Does it count?
Did I know him?
Could I be saddened by his passing all the same?
The same way I drowned in the melancholy of When Doves Cry, I felt entitled to feel something for a man who was obviously troubled.
Sure, there is now all sorts of speculation: was he the focus of a federal corruption probe in the department?
Today's Newsday is reporting that not to be true.
Does it matter?
It's still a life given in service, and then lost in the most tragic of ways.
Today I send love and good energy out to a family that lost its loved one: whether it is Prince's family, or Michael Ameri's...or the entire #NYPD Family.