I’ve been trying to find the strength to write this for a few days now. Every time I would try to start, I hit an emotional wall and couldn’t find the strength. Different people are touched in different ways by the lives of celebrities they love. They are inspired or driven in their lives by those they see as their heroes. Carrie Fisher was such a celebrity to many. She was so much to so many, including myself.
For many of us who loved her, it all began when we first saw her in Star Wars. Carrie Fisher’s portrayal of Princess Leia Organa was not typical of what we had seen in princesses up until then. Leia was strong, could take care of herself, and was not at all a damsel in distress. She was someone who I looked up to so much. I was a serious tomboy when I was younger, and it made me feel so good to know there was an actual princess who was just as tough as I wanted to be.
On a personal note, being named after a horror story was not always easy for me. However, one thing I was always able to hold onto was that I also shared a name with Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher. It helped me emotionally shield myself from the awkwardness I felt sharing a name with a telekinetic psychopath. Carrie Fisher gave me someone to look up to as a little girl who gave me a sense of pride I just couldn’t find anywhere else.
Beyond a galaxy far far away though, Carrie Fisher was so much more. She was also an inspiration to anyone who has battled personal demons. She struggled with mental illness and addiction, and was open about both. Her strength has helped many, including myself, to find help when they needed it. Despite her struggles, she never lost her humor. Just another testament to the amazing strength that was Carrie Fisher. If you haven’t seen her stage show, Wishful Drinking, I highly recommend it. It’s currently streaming on HBO GO.
Carrie Fisher was also an extremely accomplished writer. Her most famous work, Postcards From the Edge, was a semi-autobiographical novel Fisher later developed for the big screen. The novel was an outlet for her to discuss not only her struggles with addiction, but also her relationship with her mother. The film adaptation, which she wrote the screenplay for, won two Academy Awards, 3 BAFTAs, and 3 Golden Globes. If you haven’t seen it, I can’t recommend it enough.
My heart aches for her daughter, Billie Lourd (Scream Queens), who has also lost her grandmother, Fisher’s mother, Debbie Reynolds (Singin’ In the Rain). A mother should never have to outlive one of her children, and yet it happens all too often. Her last wishes were to be with Carrie again, and I’m happy she is at peace with her little girl.
All in all, Carrie Fisher is the most inspirational celebrity I’ve ever known of. She helped me deal with low self esteem when I was younger, and has inspired me to never compromise who I am now that I’m older. She was a true force of nature and will be deeply missed. I want to end this piece with Fisher’s instructions on how her obituary should read:
I tell my younger friends that no matter how I go, I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.