death of a hero

At 5:15 this morning, in a moment of idle sleeplessness, I rolled over and checked my phone. That’s when I found out that Terry Pratchett is dead.

I didn’t have many heroes, growing up—true heroes, that I could learn from. Well, I did, but Terry Pratchett wrote them all, so in essence they were all him. My tattoo of Vimes’ badge, Badge no. 177, is a testament to how highly I valued his moral character…and how badly I needed it. It is rare to find something that tempers your inner self, betters it, and centres you in a way that makes you feel more than whole.

It would be convenient to have a quote from one of his books at hand, something poignant and amusing about the passing of heroes. But there is nothing convenient about this. I am very heartened, however, that he led a rich and full life. He gave much to the world, and he was recognised for it. And now, in the wake of his passing, I recognise what he meant to me. And I’m just a reader…I can only imagine the sorrow his family must feel.

It’s time to do some re-reading, I think. Guards, Guards should be a good start.