Celebrity deaths. Where we mourn people we never actually met, and reflect over their lives as if they were long lost cousins. I would argue that very few celebrities have had as monumental an impact on our society as Hugh Hefner. Much like the meteor that killed the dinosaurs, Hefner left a mark on our world that won’t be easily erased.
I have to ask myself, if not for him, would porn have ever bruised my life? Would our society revolve so much around sex and death if not for him? Death meaning anything that treats human life as a commodity, to be used and tossed out on a whim. Abortion, Euthanasia, the death penalty… what was his legacy, if not death? Because pornography is the death of the soul. It kills the love and goodness that is in each and every human being, and transforms us into violent beasts. I was not surprised to learn, in the wake of Hefner’s death, that he had a hand in pushing through Roe VS Wade. Think of how convenient that was for him! He could now do whatever he wanted to any woman with no consequence. Oh, she’s pregnant? Easy fix. Kill the child, reduce the mother to a plaything, a toy, a shell of her former self, to be more easily used and manipulated. That’s hardly love. Hefner separated sex from love, and in so doing separated the soul of our society from the body. In an article I came across (Full text found here), this quote in particular caught my attention, ““It’s the key to my life,” said Hefner in a 2010 interview, “the need to feel loved … I think I’ve been searching to fill that hole that was left there in early childhood,” he confessed. He lamented that, despite countless “lovers,” he had “never known a fulfillment of love.””
I think that’s honestly one of the saddest things I’ve ever read. It’s the story of every person addicted to pornography. We lose sight of what love is. Love is not only the physical. Love is in the daily, tiny little things we do to give of ourselves. Love is telling your sweetheart, “I’m proud of you” even if you don’t understand a word of what the accomplishment entails. Love is touching someone on the arm when the last thing you feel like doing is touching other people. It’s a favorite candy bar at the end of the day for no reason. Or telling someone what they’ve done right instead of wrong, even if you’re in the worst mood and all you want is to unleash rage. It’s listening when you feel like talking, it’s putting a smile on the other’s face when you don’t want to smile yourself, it’s doing the dishes even if it’s not your turn, and you didn’t eat from those. Love is a choice we make in every moment. If we reduce love to merely the physical, as Hefner did, we lose the most fundamental part of ourselves: the ability to give one another the gift of self. I wonder how many of the people surrounding Hefner’s deathbed did any of those little, seemingly insignificant things for him. How many truly, deeply loved him. I wonder if in his last thoughts, he considered his aborted children? The lives of women ruined? I wonder if he was ever truly happy in his life. I wonder, because I have no wealth, no fame, no legions of adoring fans, and yet I am so incredibly, unbelievably happy. My emptiness is filled with the love I can give to a man who deserves every ounce I can give. And you know what? I hope Hefner repented, at the end. I hope he gets to Heaven. Because if he does, then that scared, sad little boy will experience the most incredible love, beyond imagination. I want him to experience the happiness I have, though mine is barely a teardrop in such a vast ocean as I hope he swims in now. That would be a happy ending to such a sad life as he had. Pray for him, and for healing from his legacy.