Jane Marczewski, the singer known as Nightbirde who received the golden buzzer from Simon Cowell in Season 16 of America’s Got Talent in 2021, died on Sunday, Feb. 20 following a battle with cancer. She was 31.
Her family has since released a video by Marczewski, in which she addressed the camera directly to give her final message to her fans, friends, and family.
The two-minute video, put up on Feb. 23, was viewed more than 500,000 times within two hours.Looking slightly emaciated and in a beanie ski cap, Marczewski's message of gratitude delivered in person will help in providing closure to many around the world who followed her journey fighting her illness after her AGT audition.
Her passing was announced suddenly.
At the time of her audition, she said she had a 2 per cent chance of survival.
But here's the thing, you don't... just because you're sad or grieving doesn't mean that you're not grateful, and it doesn't mean you're not hopeful.
It doesn't mean that you still aren't fighting for your life, that you still don't have it in you to keep going.
But sadness and grief and mourning, and lamenting, and crying and screaming and being angry: These are ways that we honour what was lost.
These are ways that we communicate it to the world.
I heard a quote that says sadness is the soul's way of saying, "This mattered."
And I think grieving and feeling through all the emotions that you feel, the sadness and the grief and the injustice and the anger and the loss and the bargaining -- I think it's holy work.
And it's scary to go down those dark roads, but you know what, like, those feelings don't leave you.
You got to get to feel it.
You can't fake the rest of your life like nothing bad happened to just sing and whistle a happy tune all day.
It's not what it is to be human.
So everybody who might be getting a dose of this whole toxic positivity -- just be happy, be happy, be happy -- don't do that.
You don't have to do that.
And you don't have to feel guilty for being sad.
It's something I've struggled with a lot.
Because I used to believe that if I was sad, it meant that I wasn't fighting hard enough or I was not grateful enough and that's not true.
Be sad and be grateful. And look at the twinkly lights and feel your feelings and it's all real -- the joy and the pain -- is all real, and you don't have to pick one or the other like, "It's beautiful, or, life is garbage."
It's kind of both sometimes.
Love you guys. Thanks for listening to my Ted Talk from Bed Talk.
Final Instagram post
Before this video, Marczewski wrote in her final Instagram post on Jan. 12: “Honestly, things have been pretty brutal. But this is a photo of myself from last week where I felt pretty, and alive, and awake, and human, and real. I needed that. We’re all a little lost and it’s alright.”
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