A hole in the Discworld….

Rest in Peace, Terry Pratchett

Rest in Peace, Terry Pratchett

It’s been a bad couple of weeks for geeks. The passing of Leonard Nimoy a couple of weeks ago was sudden and threw most of us into a very sudden stop. After all, Spock was supposed to live forever. Right?

Still reeling from that one, but slowly recovering….

Then I saw the news just a few moments ago.

Terry Pratchett has passed away.

And suddenly I can’t brain.

I probably discovered Terry Pratchett later in life than most people. It was the summer of 1998 and my family was taking a road trip across country. To prepare for the trip, my mom turned my brother and I loose in the bookstore and told us to pick out a couple of books for the trip (which I knew would last me all of a few hours at most, but I was never one to turn down an offer of books). I wandered and ran across a book by Terry Pratchett called “Maskerade”. The title caught me as I’m a huge Phantom of the Opera fan. At that time, there were very few Phantom-related books in print and I knew the titles of all of them. Maskerade was on that list though I’d never had the chance to read it. This was the perfect opportunity.

I finished that book in record time. Cracked up while reading it. And fell in love with Terry Pratchett’s writing style and humor. In one book, he captured me for life. Upon our return, I immediately went back to the bookstore and bought the only other two Pratchett books on the shelf, Small Gods and Soul Music. And I loved them just as much.

That summer, even while we packed up to move across country, I haunted local used book stores, trying to lay my hands on as many of his books as I could find. Reaper Man was the next one, followed quickly by Colour of Magic, Wyrd Sisters, and Mort. Over the years I’ve collected many of his novels, including the entire Discworld series, and one of my prized items: a first edition hardback of Good Omens. That book has been signed by both men. It was when Terry Pratchett signed it that he took a photo with me and told me that if he was only 10 years younger, he’d be flirting with me nonstop. I laughed and told him he was still welcome to do so. I’ve kept that picture in the book, as a wonderful and precious memory.

Meeting Terry Pratchett

Meeting Terry Pratchett

I’ve done my best over the years to introduce more people to his works. I loaned my current supervisor a copy of Good Omens, which she ended up loving. I loaned movies and books to coworkers. I bought every Pratchett book I saw at thrift stores and gave them away as gifts. I’ve even been planning to commission someone to help me make an Angua costume, though I admit to looking forward to cosplaying Granny Weatherwax when I get older.

And today I realize that the light that brightened my life, even just through one meeting and through dozens of books and stories, is now gone from this world. His books meant so much to this one crazy Elf. They made me laugh, cry, and question my own beliefs and thoughts. What more could I ask for? His books have always reminded me that we are here, and this is now. And that it’s better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness. And that the Reaper Man does care for the harvest.

I’d like to think that Death met him and spoke to him in Christopher Lee’s voice, and ushered him to whatever afterlife he believed in, like he often wrote about the afterlife in his novels.

And I know he’ll never truly be gone. His works and fans will speak for him and continue to help his memory live on.

But right here, right now, I’m crying for the world’s loss. For my loss.

Thank you for everything you gave to us, Terry Pratchett. You were my flamethrower in the darkness. I will continue to wear the lilac for you.

“see the little angels rise up high…”

 

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~ by rumielf on March 12, 2015.

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