Letting Go #2 George Harrison


Okay, he’s not on the list.

I watched the three and one half hour film on George produced by Martin Scorsese last night.

I started at seven thirty and due to a couple interruptions, I didn’t finish until midnight.

That man knew how to let go.  He practiced all his life.


I have not mentioned I am a great devoted fan of the Beatles. I’m not a first generation admirer; John Lennon was shot in front of the Dakota when I was a senior in high school. My father called me in to the living room and told me. He had been watching Monday Night Football.  One of the announcers interrupted the game.  My dad didn’t usually follow my interest in rock stars. “It looks like one of your Beatles has been shot” he said gravely.

No, no, no….

I was on the phone to my best friend in seconds.

The next day I watched my English teacher cry her way through class as we watched a Beatles documentary.

My Beatles obsession was well underway and John’s death just put fuel on the fire. From then on, for months, it was all Beatles, all the time. John was dead and I hung on.


Martin Scorsese’s documentary is amazing. I feel like I spent three and a half hours with George and those who loved him most.  George was not apparently a  peaceful man in his entirety . He had bouts of anger. He slid into drug use that was a hallmark of the times, then slid again when the motivation appeared to be more pure escape than spiritual pursuit. His desire to connect with god-as-he-knew-him probably ended his first marriage to Patty Boyd, who he let go of rather dismissively.

Are there problems with letting go?  When you let go, you leave others behind.  Is it okay to be so detached? Was he that detached?   He let go of his beautiful sweetheart, who looks at him with pure adoration in film clips where he vacations with her in the Bahamas. George appeared to be more than ready to let go of the Beatles, too, when that marriage fell apart.  Or was it that he had grown, that his first sweetheart couldn’t follow the path into his spiritual pursuits, that he was tired of being the third brilliant songwriter in a band that included  the greatest songwriting duo of all time?

So he said goodbye, and practiced saying goodbye over and over again, until he said goodbye to all of us.


I have a miserable time saying goodbye.  It has been my goal for years to hang on to everyone who I ever loved.

But you know what? Sometimes they leave you.  Where’s the mutuality in that?

I had fantasies of spending my nursing home days with my best friend, and she dies of a brain tumor. My adored uncles collapse of heart related problems.  My father dies one month before I graduate from college,  My mother dies two months after my daughter is born.

Was I the only one who received the memo? Don’t die on your daughter/niece/ best friend! Pay attention!


At the end of the documentary (spoilers for those who haven’t seen it-and you should see it) so many comment on the profound love they felt from George. How is this possible? How can one love so fully and be so equally ready to detach..from relationships, from life itself?  A mystery to me. Yet George seems to have cultivated just this skill.  Don’t you feel angry, bereft? I want to ask him.

I do. I feel angry. And I want the peace that passes understanding.

Tonight, back to the fire for me. I pick another item from my list and let it burn.

Meet the Beatles again. Thanks George.


3 comments on “Letting Go #2 George Harrison

  1. I was a Beatle fan too (wasn’t everyone?);. George was always the quiet one.
    Is that fire the fire of divorce? Good idea. Do you realise that some seeds take a fire to germinate. After the fire there will be new growth all around you. Good luck 🙂

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