It’s hard for me to say what I’m feeling after seeing the news about Sir Terry Pratchett’s death. I’m shocked by my own tears. We all knew it was coming; he’d become almost as famous for his assisted-death advocacy as for his Discworld novels. And I don’t often get sad when people die, much less celebrities.
But this feels different. Personal.
I came to his writing late, introduced by a college boyfriend, but quickly immersed myself in Pratchett’s hilarious, profound, and gorgeous world, populated with characters that followed me long after I’d finished their book. Vimes, Carrot, Granny Weatherwax, Tiffany, and Death taught me more about myself and what I believe than I ever learned in therapy or philosophy class. That brave and vulnerable are not opposites, that the world is a magical place, that all people matter, that I’m not alone. They taught me about being human.
Then, when I started doing writing of my own, his work unfolded before me again, revealing the secrets of storytelling as I re-read the familiar lines. He taught me balance, message, character, magic, comedic timing without speaking a word to me. Through his novels, I understood the bigness and smallness of a story, the importance and power of writing with humor and heart. He’s my literary father, peeking out between my sentences.
His writing is a part of me.
I wish I had something more poetical to say. Something deep and inspiring. Or at least a breathtaking quote from his work that’d make you burst into tears, too. But all I have is a heavy heart. And this:
Thank you, Sir Terry. For everything.