Losing a celebrity you admire

LeafTerry Pratchett: Facing Extinction


I saw this on iplayer this week and I began thinking about how the death of celebrities can affect us.  I’m not ready to watch a programme with Terry on it; too raw yet that this is a man from my past not future.


You may have your own ‘Terry’. Perhaps Lou Reed or Robin Williams.  Someone who was part of your life through their work.  Someone who you associate with sharp memories of laughter of astonishment.  Sometimes we just miss the people and what they had to offer the world.  Sometimes it’s the way they die that fills us with regret for the life lost.


For myself,  I can’t remember a year when I didn’t read a Terry Pratchett book.  He was certainly a prolific author but that has all come to an end now.  It will no longer be on my Christmas wish list. No more easy selection for my partner. The tiny changes in my life that his death brings I can’t know yet.


But the memories won’t fade, especially the earliest one.  I remember my brother’s book shelf and the colourful array of disc world novels that he guarded preciously.  I way too young to appreciate the contents,  I just wanted the dust covers to wonder at.  I wanted to draw like that and invent that world.  My brother stills wants to write that fantasy book;  I think most of us harboured that ambition after reading Terry.


Whatever our sense of loss there is always their legacy, their work, a little bit of them made everlasting in the memories of others. I’ll never pick up a Pratchett book now without a tinge of sadness but I know it will be quickly followed by a smile at the sheer audacity and brilliance of the man that even a cruel illness like Alzheimer’s will never tarnish.