An Inglorious End: What A Parent Wants and Doesn’t Want For His Children

Children on a ride

BR & SJ on a ride. Where my children will go – no one knows.

What job would you like for your children? This question or some facsimile of it was recently posed in my dad bloggers group.

If this question were asked directly to children themselves, how many would say athletes, musicians, or actors/actresses? I’d say at least 50%. Sound reasonable?

And why not want such a life? Doesn’t it seem glorious?

You are adored by millions who are intrigued by your every move and word. You have the wealth to do nearly anything you want. You are surrounded by beautiful people who are also living fantastic lives.

Or that’s how it all seems.

While watching the Pathetic Bowl err I mean Super Bowl on Sunday, I got a little bored. Well, at least I showed up – unlike the Broncos. Seriously, was that the most pathetic Super Bowl ever?

Anyway, I got bored during the Super Bowl and therefore went online. While going to check my email, I noticed Yahoo’s top stories.

Unlike most of Yahoo’s headlines, the one I saw on Sunday during the Super Bowl shocked me: Philip Seymour Hoffman found dead in his apartment.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman

I have enjoyed many of his films. The movie that especially sticks out to me is “Almost Famous.” I loved the movie and thought he was excellent. Anyway, I enjoyed his movies as he’s an excellent actor.

I’m far from the only one who respected Mr. Hoffman for his acting skills. He won an Oscar for Capote, was nominated three times for Best Supporting Actor, and also received three Tony Award nominations for his work in theater. Clearly, Mr. Hoffman was talented at his craft.

Mr. Hoffman lived in Greenwich Village and was apparently ‘one of the guys’ there. According to a New York Times Article, he was “an ambassador of sorts for Greenwich Village.” It was “a common sight to neighbors as he pushed a stroller, smoked a cigarette on a stoop or offered directions to a lost tourist.”

Despite being separated from his companion Mimi O’Donnell, the father of three seemed to have a good life.

He was well paid, well known, greatly respected, and seemingly content. All the things society says we should strive for.

Yet, Philip Seymour Hoffman according to the same New York Times Articledied by all accounts, an addict’s death.”

He died alone on his bathroom floor dressed in his underwear with a needle still stuck in his arm and many drug-filled baggies next to him.

Think about that. Picture it in your mind.

Imagine you could see yourself after you’ve died. Think of the sight that Hoffman would have seen.

I don’t think an ending could be more inglorious.

So sad, so pathetic.

According to the article noted above and other sources, Mr. Hoffman had been clean for twenty plus years.

Then last year, he admitted to suffering a drug relapse in 2012.  It began with him popping prescription pain pills. He again went to rehab. He never could completely quit the drugs and alcohol after that.

What a shame, a pity, and a waste.

Damn drugs!

What do I want for my kids? I want them to be strong, confident, self-assured, and fulfilled. I want them to have family and friends who they know they can count on. I want them to know that life can be challenging and frustrating and hard and difficult. But they should also know that life is beautiful and a blessing, and they should strive to make the most of every situation.

Celebrity? The heck with celebrity.

Rest in peace Philip Seymour Hoffman.

photo credit: <a href=””>Wolf Gang</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>cc</a>

11 thoughts on “An Inglorious End: What A Parent Wants and Doesn’t Want For His Children

  1. I didn’t realize he had kids. That makes it even sadder!

    When I was a social worker I worked with a woman who was a fabulous mother, except she had a bad cocaine problem and also tended to run crack houses. I asked her how she had turned out such great kids, and she told me that she would get them off to school each morning and THEN get high/deal.


  2. I was sad to learn he had passed away. He was an extraordinarily talented actor and I’m feeling very sorry for his family and kids.

  3. Couldn’t agree more–who would want that for their kiddo? Talent and success, sure, but celebrity? And did you read the open letter from Dylan Farrow? Does not sound like Hollywood is a safe place for kids. Or adults, for that matter.

    • Maybe the people that crave that attention also have issues. Of course, I don’t mean all of them. But anyway, maybe some of these things go hand in hand.

  4. I’m always curious about the connection between that urge to perform and create and the urge to self-medicate. I think that often – not always, but often – the two came come from the same dark place.

    I also didn’t know he had three kids. That makes it much more worse to me too.

    My favorite with him: Boogie Nights.

    • Boogie Nights was very good.
      Interesting that you brought that point up. I actually mentioned it to someone as well. I wonder if anyone has ever actually studied that.

  5. It’s always sad when someone passes way before their time. And to something like drugs or drinking just makes it worse.

    Great post -really made me think about my son and his future. Thanks for giving me some food for many thoughts 🙂

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