I would be a bad Beatlefan indeed if I let the fifth anniversary of George's death pass without notice. I've been listening to his music this evening, though I didn't get to listen to as much of it as I wanted.
It's probably obvious to those who know me that John is my favorite Beatle. George is my second favorite, however. I like his dry humor and respect his love for nature and spirituality, even if I don't share his philosophy. I listen to his solo music the most of any of the Beatles'. John's music is so emotionally intense that it can be painful to listen to at times, but George's music is more soothing.
I started reading a biography about George on the morning of the day he died, thinking I'd want to read it while he was still alive. I didn't find out about his death until early the next morning. I had a hard time getting out of bed to exercise that morning, but I forced myself to anyway. As I turned on the TV, I heard a familiar song. Since I wasn't fully awake yet, my thoughts went something like this: "Hey, that's Beatles music! 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps....' George.... Oh no!" Then the news anchor confirmed what I'd just guessed.
George's death in some ways is easier to deal with than John's. While George also died too young, the cancer made it seem inevitable. Even someone who writes alternate history like I do would be hard-pressed to create a scenaro in which he wouldn't have taken up smoking; it was just too "cool" at the time. George's death was more peaceful than John's--though the attack he suffered at his home at the end of 2000 couldn't have been good for his health. But George seemed to accept death gracefully, and "Brainwashed" and The Concert for George provide uplifting music for those of us who still miss him. Even so, the world is poorer without his presence.