Home » Favorite Lessons » Losing Loved Ones

Losing Loved Ones


Dana Lorge.

Robert Sambursky.

All were lost too soon…

Someone the whole world knew.

Someone a large community knew.

And someone I knew.

All were lost too soon…

It always amazes me when people take the death of a celebrity so personally.  Most of us never knew the celebrity that died, and yet, some of us feel as though we lost a parent.

For me, I guess that celebrity was Elaine Stritch.  But if you’ve read one of my earlier blog posts, you would know that I actually KNEW Elaine (or Stritchy as she allowed me to call her!).

This week, the world lost Prince.  As of yet, we don’t know why (except for the fact that he was feeling ill earlier in the week), but my Facebook feed suggests that everybody loved Prince!  Who knew?

I don’t think I had listened to a Prince song in years, so I dusted off my old iTunes player and downloaded Purple Rain.  And then it hit me…

The music!

THAT’S the connection….MUSIC!

I was TOUCHED by Purple Rain, and so, I was touched by Prince.  His music was inspiring, and so it will be for all time.  So HE will be for all time…

As a singer myself located here in New York City, the cabaret community also lost a beautiful artist this week.  Her name was Dana Lorge, and she was truly one of a kind.  As a strong, vibrant woman who took the expression, “Dressed to Impress,” to the utmost of extremes, she taught an entire community to LAUGH and be BEAUTIFUL in their own way.

I didn’t know Dana too well, but she was my neighbor, and I always loved bumping into her on the streets of Sunnyside. I remember this one particular passing, several years ago now, shortly after I had just moved to NYC, from afar, and without even recognizing her first, Dana shouts at me, “I KNOW YOU!” I turn around to see who it was, and as if anyone else would be wearing the outfit she was wearing that day, I knew it was Dana Lorge. I told her how I had once performed at her open mic nights at The Iguana with Richard Skipper, and that I was floored that she would recognize me after meeting me only once before. She just looked at me and said, “Kid, then you must have been good if I remember you…” You never forget the Dana’s of the world after a meeting like that…

I think what’s so hard about a loss like Dana and Prince is the shock.  Dana’s passing, especially, was not expected. Perhaps it was just too soon. I’m hearing, after all, that she was only “27.”

The hardest death I ever had to deal with personally was just over 10 years ago with the loss of my best friend, Robert Sambursky, to suicide.  What made it so hard was also the shock of his death–how he died–and that no one saw it coming. But I try to remind myself every day that what was even more shocking was the amount of people who showed up to Rob’s funeral!  Almost no one knew him, and yet, that was the largest funeral I have ever attended. He had HUNDREDS of friends and family members who loved him, had he only been able to realize it he would still be here with us today…

Rob, just like the unique talents of Dana and Prince, had a very special voice.  His quiet sound could sooth anyone who was willing to listen, and often times when I would crash at his place, I would ask him to sing me to sleep, which he would do so without hesitation.  “Amazing Grace” was a favorite of his, and to this day I cannot hear that song without thinking of him.

So maybe music IS the answer.

To Prince.

To Dana.

To Rob.

Someone the whole world knew.

Someone a large community knew.

And someone I knew.

All were lost too soon…

And yet, all gave us MUSIC to remember them by…

Let us remember what the Prince’s and the Dana’s and the Rob’s of the world truly mean to us. Let them be a reminder that we are ALL part of a COMMUNITY! Big or small. Cabaret or Broadway. The world or our own.  Because at the end of the day, we are ALL…beautiful…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *