Talented and often much too young, 2016 has been harsh on our much loved celebrities - musicians, songwriters, comedians...
Whenever I look at the 'trending' list on Twitter and see someone's name, I almost expect another dose of bad news.
And whilst I didn't know any of these people personally, and wouldn't even have described myself as a true 'fan' of any of them, each subsequent untimely death takes its toll even on the thickest of skins.
I was trying to work out why - as a borderline millennial - I feel so heartbroken when I hear yet another national treasure has bitten the dust. After all, these people are hardly of my generation - they're not really the people I grew up listening to. And I think it might be because they come from an era of more enduring, solid celebrity - these days, celebrity comes cheaply. In the heyday of many of these greats, accolade had to be earned.
And it shocks us too, I think, that these people - often ones we'd grown up knowing of - are mortal after all. As Bob Marley said on his deathbed, "Son, money can't buy life." In this world of technology and miracles, we are still just flesh and blood.
Of course, we all knew this really - deep down. And in a few days (celebrity deaths allowing) unless we knew any of the recently departed genuinely, we'll all be back to normal - moving on to the next news story.
Which is as it should be - we can't spend our lives dwelling on death, otherwise what's the point? Millions of years stretch on either side of our tiny existence, why waste the moments we have when they can be so few?
The more time I spend with my children, the more I realise with each tiny change that time is passing too quickly. And that sometimes I'm wasting time on things that don't really matter.
My eldest, Lily, asked me about death the other night. And, after trying to answer as honestly as I could within the limits of my knowledge - and without scaring the sh*t out of her - I simply said: "just remember, right now, we are together - and we mustn't worry too much about things like that." I held her and stroked her hair until she fell asleep.
And although I found it hard to believe the words I'd just spoken, I knew that I was right.
So tonight, mourn briefly - if you will - for someone you never knew. But hold those you love close to your heart and make the most of this precious gift we've all been given.