One of the most tragic aspects of the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman is, to me, the loneliness of his death, the desolation he must have felt. Many of his friends expressed surprise that he had resumed his heroin habit; Hoffman kept that secret.
Everyone has secrets. Some people like to keep a bit of themselves to themselves. Others enjoy the drama of secret knowledge. But shameful secrets are different. Shameful secrets are hard to live with; they isolate us from our loved ones. On some level, we believe that others won’t love us if they know what we are really like. For an actor who portrayed human emotions so brilliantly and subtly, the enormity of the distance between his real life and the idealized version thousands of his admirers assumed much have been very painful. If only he had known how much he was valued, whatever his flaws.