Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman – An Amazing Talent and a Fellow Addict

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When I saw the news of his death, my heart dropped into the pit of my stomach.  Noooo!  Not him!  He’s got way too much life to live; way to many more roles to play.  God, I love every movie this man is in.  I have grown up with him, beginning with my all time favorite film, ‘Scent of a Woman.’  His role in ‘Magnolia,’ and ‘The Master’ were two of my favorites as well.  I adore this actor, and I’m genuinely saddened by his untimely death. 

I knew nothing of his prior addiction problem, though intuitively I knew it had to be an overdose.  Something about his genius, the power that came forth when he spoke, and his demeanor spoke to me; he was the kind of person who comes here with a great purpose, and struggles to maintain balance.  I just know the look; the deep set wisdom in his eyes, eclipsed by a stark sadness.  Some of us in this lifetime, simply don’t relate to our surroundings here.  We are sensitive to our strange environment, which doesn’t align with our soul.  We don’t know how to navigate, so we do whatever it takes to feel good when we are troubled (which is often), and to numb the discomfort.  This was Phil.

I read that he had 23 years sober prior to this massive relapse.  It is a very sad way to remind myself that if I pick up a drink again, I’m sliding back right to where I left off, which was at the hollow end of my life.  I’m grateful for the intense reminder, but devastated that it had to occur with a man of such dynamic talent. 

I always imagined growing old with Philip Seymour Hoffman; him behind the screen while I sat in awe of his presence.  I was star struck by him. He moved me emotionally, no matter which role he played.  His passion was beyond the norm.  This man breathed life into his films.  I could write all day about how much I admired him, and how, once again, I am taken back by him, and deeply moved. He seamlessly gave the audience exactly what it wanted, yet gravely undervalued himself.  His death should be a wake-up call to anyone who is even considering relapsing.  Not even a superstar like Philip Seymour Hoffman is immune to the terrible affliction of addiction.

May your soul travel to higher places, good sir, where you will transcend all pain, confusion and suffering.  I will forever hold you in my heart and miss your naturally profound brilliance. I will always be your fan.