Before I ever accepted that I was going to be a music journalist, I was and am a music lover. That fact sometimes gets in the way of me being a Karen Civil type. A decade later, I still go geek when I hear a song I like or when an artist teases, for the third year in a row, that that album really is coming “by Dezemba.”

Every now and then, I get reminded that the music doesn’t exist without the musicians. Obvious, I know. But as fans, we can act entitled to the musician and seldom allow them to go through the human experience – with its range of emotions and prompts to make personal decisions – that often plants the seed of the music that shoots up from their soul.

Quick aside: a few weeks ago, I went to interview an artist who rarely speaks to writers. He was apprehensive and told me a story about his favourite journalist – one of my mentors in my head – who was set to interview him while he had hot songs on the charts but his personal life was a hot mess. She, according to him, closed her notepad and said they’d have to talk music another time because in that moment, he clearly just needed someone to let him be.

I tell you that story to make this point: sometimes we have to accept that musicians are people, too. This morning, I took to Facebook to ask about what practical ways we can help a legend who is in hospital. Yes, I know about the option to donate money. But was that it? Is all we can do as music journalists and lovers of music dig into our pockets?

Can SAMRO and RISA and the government and musicians in general not guide us as to what can be done for this legend and others? I don’t have the answers to these questions.

But in that Facebook post, a friend responded with a picture of an article about this beloved musician. In it, he reportedly asked for us to respect his privacy and allow him his space. I felt so bad for even talking about him as though he couldn’t talk for himself.

It was just a reminder that the musicians we love are human too and they deserve the respect they ask for. I know it’s strange to be writing about this, given the request, but I needed a reminder and I got it if you needed one too.