I don't know Patty Duke. I've never heard about her. I haven't read about her until today. Because she passed away, her name rang in cyberspace. In her dying time, she didn't top Twitter's trend. It seems everyone was waiting for her to die before singing her praise.

How many talked about her sepsis before she died? How many began to praise her as she struggled on earth? How many people sent her praises? How many mentions did she get on social media? How many people carried her name in their mouths? Perhaps, we are too fascinated with praising those who leave but cannot praise them while they are still with us.

It is indeed a shame how we treat these iconic figures.

Our so-called heroes/superstars gainour attention during their bright years, but when that light deems – after they lose their energetic presence through sickness, age or drugs – we quickly move on to the next one. It's a message about our society: whatever is reigning draws our attention, and everything else falls to oblivion.

History reveals that we've been an unkind and hypocritical bunch to our stars. Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Robin Williams, David Bowie, just to mention those few, have suffered from our collective neglect. We pay much attention to their works and criticise their personal lives. We are too holy to proffer solutions.

However, our fascination about their lives when they finally leave earth is worrying. If we cannot worship and adore them even in their trying times, then we should quit writing/posting beautiful epitaphs on social media. It abuses them.

Yes, we could argue that it's fair to respect the dead; but what about respecting the living before they die?

People, they say, don't usually get the flowers when they can still smell them. Once in a while, it's good to praise the ones who have gone away from the spotlight. Let's make them trend on social media.

Wherever Patty Duke is, I hope she rests in perfect peace and may she serve as a lesson to our collective disservice to those we claim to love.