Today I heard that one of my favourite authors, Sir Terry Pratchett, had died (at the relatively young age of 66). And I cried. In his Discworld novels he created a world full of the most amazing characters, and while their voices – and through them his – will continue to speak to us, their adventures are done. I almost want to ask if anyone's checked for the sign that Granny Weatherwax used when she went 'travelling': I ate'nt dead.
Pratchett's books provided a compassionate, witty, literate & at times downright hilarious commentary on our own world: war, politics, racism, greed, kindness, cruelty, love, science, academia (his take on my own profession rang very true at times), and Death – who always spoke IN CAPITALS.
In recent years Pratchett, who was living with (& I suspect enormously frustrated by) the effects of early-onset Alzheimers, had become an advocate for euthanasia. He wrote passionately & with great compassion on the subject. And he would probably have agreed with Death's opinion: that in his (to us untimely) death he was simply leaving early to beat the rush.
As he said himself (in Reaper Man):
No-one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away…
Rest in peace, Sir Terry, and may the ripples of your words continue to spread outwards for many years to come.