Farewell, Ms Fisher

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I didn’t know Carrie Fisher.

It seems redundant to say that, really, but I’ve noticed a trend in recent months for some mouthy trolling type to pipe up whenever someone expresses sorrow at the passing of a fellow human. “Did you know her personally?” Like the only people who matter are those we’re best friends with. Like we’re only supposed to give a crap about the ones who send us a Christmas card.

Carrie Fisher never sent me a christmas card, but let’s be honest – she was much too busy for that shit. A mother, an actress, script doctor, comedian and massively underrated writer, she managed to shoehorn more sass, heartache and living into her 60 years than most people could muster in 100. I’m bereft that she won’t get to live those extra 40 right now, because I’ve no doubt she’d have blown our minds at the ripe old age of 97. She had such endless sass & sunshine to the square inch.

I’m a Hamill-girl, you know that, but Carrie could run rings around the lot of them. Too sharp and sensitive for Hollywood, she once told Graham Norton she would love to escape but refused to move her daughter away from her father.
If she’d taken a different path – just the writing, perhaps – I suspect she’d have been equally lauded, but able to live an altogether quieter, more simple existence. Playing Leia in Star Wars back in ’77 took that possibility away, and though it squeezed her into countless identikit moulds she was altogether too exuberant and unpredictable for, she refused to turn her back on her fans or her legacy. Leia Organa was the world’s first wisecracking, arse-kicking princess, and Carrie made the perfect role model for three generations of girls growing up afraid that tits and ass were their sum contribution to the world at large.

Speaking to Daisy Ridley, the star of the newest franchise installment, she said “You keep fighting against that slave outfit. You should fight for your outfit. Don’t be a slave like I was.”

The obits describe her as a ‘mental health advocate’, but I’m not sure that’s the right wording for all that she did. She simply told the truth, about whatever life threw at her – and when that included mental illness or drug dependency, she never shied away from sharing that too.
She didn’t advoate for mental health so much as simply for real life -for warts and all, for fucking up, and still being successful, and the whole world’s princess.

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I bemoan to Rory often how the quiet-minded define the world; there are just as many of us disordered, floundering, creative over-thinkers. We’re no less ‘normal’ than the placid 9-5ers, but the opposing is either derided or sanitised so completely in the media that it’s easy to feel like the whole world is watching the football each Saturday except you.
Carrie was a loud and welcome reminder that there are other ways of living – that every person is made of a thousand interwoven stories, and that complexity brings insight, wisdom and – with enough struggle – joy. 

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In fact, if you distilled it all down in me, that’s what Carrie Fisher really represents in my heart. The notion that you can be funny, adorable, ridiculous and scandalous; creative, successful, and utterly broken; needy, wanted, and lost in-between, and that all of the above is just plain normal. She was exceptional, but she was relatable, and she made me laugh until my lungs started to burn.
If there’s an afterlife, I hope I get to buy her a margarita some day, and that her dog is sleeping sweetly in her lap.

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Rest well, lovely Carrie. Thanks for sharing your light with us all.

  • Paula Solar

    What can I add to everything you said? I feel each and every one of your words as my own. Well, you know that I guess… we were “together” when we knew she had passed away. That kind of toghetherness, you know what I mean I hope.

    Princess Leia was my first role model in cinema. In a time when girls had to be rescued or saved if noticed at all. She and perhaps Melanie Griffith in Working Girl… they were strong women who could handle things without allowing men tell them what to do or treat them like an inferior just because they were women.

    And I think Carrie Fisher was just like that. She didn’t let anyone tell her how to live her life. She made mistakes of course, she had virtues and flaws of course. But she was honest about them, she was straightforfard and she spoke out… why would she have to feel ashamed of her past? or her present? she shouldn’t! I didn’t know Carrie Fisher, we never shook hands or had coffee together… I never left a comment in her social networks or blogs… but I felt her loss like when I lost relatives I’ve loved and cared for. I will always remember her for who she was, who she truly was. An everyday hero.

    I thought I had nothing to day, as it happens I did say a little bit too much, as usual. Sorry darling.

    Love and kisses xxx

  • Jessica Large

    Lovely tribute. The older I get three more I appreciate the confidence of Princess Leia. I’m glad I have her as a role model. I will dearly miss Carrie.

  • First of all, I’d like to say your writing is beautiful. I don’t know Carrie Fisher the way you do. I never heard of her other life stories, except that she was the Prince Leia. Thank you so much for sharing this. I believe Carrie would love it too.

  • Carrie Fisher, she was an amazing woman and I thank her so much for bringing to life such a strong and amazing character that I wanted to be just like when I watched Star Wars when I was young. What a lovely post Sara πŸ™‚

    Kayleigh | anenthusiasmfor.blogspot.co.uk

  • Hannah Argyle

    This is beautiful Sara ❀

  • Marianne Andresen

    Beautiful!

  • Laura

    So beautifully said Sara, I agree with each and every word. Thank you for expressing what many of us would like to ✨