The Ripples They Cause

Word of the Week certainly fits the mold of a regular feature.

Last week’s word was discovery. This week’s word is . . .

LOSS


Late last week, my sister posted to my Facebook:

Days Bakery ClosingTruly the end of an era, people are wondering who will supply their dinner rolls and cookies with frosted faces and donuts and cakes and – most importantly – lebkuchen.

However, all is not lost. There are rumors the bakery will be bought – property, machines, expertise – and the tradition continue. In addition, I received a parcel:

Parcel PostThree Lebkuchen! Thanks, Mom!

I’m not as desperate financially able as the woman who cleared out her freezer and ordered fifty dozen lebkuchen.

FIFTY DOZEN

At ten dollars per dozen, that’s quite a bit of dough.

Pun intended.


Then there’s the loss the world is talking about:

Sir Terry Pratchett

Sir Terry Pratchett

I doubt there’s anything I can say here that hasn’t been said elsewhere.

I have no story of how I met him or saw him or received an autographed book as a gift. Nevertheless, he influenced my life in ways few authors have. In those terms, he’s part of my Triad:

Dante

Tolkien

Pratchett

His books have been out since the early eighties, but I only discovered the Disc in 2008 or so with the Hogfather DVD American release. Having loved the film, I tracked down the book; looking back, it may not be the best introduction to Discworld, but I was hooked. Soon most extra money went to purchasing more of Pratchett’s works, and I found myself emotionally invested in Rincewind and Granny Weatherwax and Gythia Ogg and Havelock Vetinari and Sam Vines and Moist von Lipwig and DEATH.

As Iain Sutherland wrote on the change.org petition that DEATH return Sir Terry:

Terry Pratchett turned Death from a figure of hate into a much loved and sometimes welcomed character. No-one else cared about you Death.

You owe him!

I’ve never cried about the death of a celebrity or other public figure . . . until now.

And the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was crying not as much for Sir Terry, but for the end of the Disc.

Does that make me selfish?

I’ll never understand why I’m such a selfish man.

Sir Terry’s death also makes me angry.

Angry for the loss of literary wonder.

Angry at the Alzheimer’s that took him far too early.

Angry at the unfairness of it all.

Another petitioner on change.org wrote

It is like when you lose that relative who you didn’t know very well, but they helped you get through some really tough time and you always meant to call or write, and now it’s too late.

It’s times like these that make us wonder what makes it all worthwhile. Sir Terry had the answer:

“I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there 
in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"

Death thought about it.

CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.”

When it comes down to it, I just don’t know what to say. So I’ll read instead, savoring every line and turn of phrase and share the ones that speak to me. Because although Sir Terry is gone,

No one is actually dead until the ripples 
they cause in the world die away.

May Sir Terry’s ripples go on forever.

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