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Sunday, March 15, 2015

#GNU Terry Pratchett

The last few days have been... interesting.. Thursday morning I awoke to learn the news that a beloved author had passed unexpectedly. Terry Pratchett has been one of the world's best authors. I don't think anyone can actually argue against that if they take a look at what he has accomplished in his 66 years.  He was the author of over 70 books in that time, and there are several in line to still be released in the coming months. His books and stories were.. inspirational. He used humor and satire to sneak all sorts of philosophy, social and political commentary, historical and literary references and all sorts of obscure knowledge into the minds and hearts of his millions of readers around the world.
In 2007 he was diagnosed with a rare, early onset form of Alzheimers. He knew that his time would be limited, but that this particular form of the disease, known as posterior cortical atrophy, was likely to take his physical abilities before it took his mind, and he started making plans. When he could no longer write or type, he set up a method for dictating his stories, he got in assistance for day to day tasks and he kept up as best he could. And he got angry and fought hard and made sure that people knew so that attention could be called to this disease as it's one that doesn't always get the research it should. He also campaigned hard to save Orangutans and for the right of people to die with dignity. He had plans to end things before his mind went, but, as Fate would have it, he passed suddenly and unexpectedly from other complications with his mind still intact.
There are lots of articles on the web right now about him and the impact he has had on people. I am one of them and I have to say, it has been a wonderful experience. Not his death, but the outpouring of love and support that has been shown by his fans.  The past 3 days on facebook have been.. amazing. It has been referred to as having been like a 3 day wake as everyone shares there stories.. how they came to know of his writings, if they ever got to meet the man, the fun of the conventions, their tatoos and other artwork that has been shared. There have been plans made for get togethers and meet ups, over $37,000 dollars have been raised thus far for Alzheimer's research in his name is one of the sites for this..  and they've started up collections for the orangutans as well.
His loss has been a heavy blow for his fans, and we are certain it has been even more so for his family and close friends. Our thoughts and hearts go out to them. He will live on forever through his works and in our hearts.