I could probably count on the fingers of one hand, the news stories that have caught me totally by surprise throughout my life.
I still remember waking up to the radio in utter shock, upon hearing that Princess Grace had been involved in a car accident. Similarly so (though I wasn't awake) with Princess Diana's death and the assassination of Yitzchak Rabin (can you see a rather morbid pattern developing here?)
I had another such experience yesterday, when I heard about Heath Ledger's death.
I just so wasn't expecting it.
A suicide bombing in Israel or any other part of the world, is something that sends a shudder down my spine as it is tragically something that I've come to expect.
A political scandal doesn't shock me either or even a natural disaster such as the 2006 Tsunami.
So why was I so taken aback by poor old Heath's passing?
Simply, because it was not something that I could have anticipated in any way.
Here was a good looking guy, clean cut, serious and well respected, who was getting quite an esteemed reputation in the Hollywood and around the world. How could anyone imagine that he wouldn't make it past the criminally young age of 28 (which I celebrated as being the last birthday as a bachelor)?
Who would have guessed that this actor would join a select (but probably not too welcome) club of actors who have died young over the years?
It's that "totally out of the blue" feeling, which I suppose I should be grateful I haven't quite become used to.
Rest in peace, Heath.