Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.
The world of Terry Pratchett was wondrous and wide. It ranged from radio to television to stage to articles to books. It encompassed his beloved novel with Neil Gaiman, Good Omens, his YA fiction, his amazing standalones like Nation, and of course, Discworld, the flat world on the backs of several giant elephants standing on the back of the giant turtle swimming through space that Pratchett visited in numerous books, films, etc. Through Discworld, Pratchett lovingly satirized everything, with such deft, warm strokes that he could get you to laugh and cry at the same time and then go hug your dog. He was a national treasure of Britain, which knighted him, and one of the top twenty bestselling fiction authors in the world.
When Pratchett announced that he had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2007, it was a deep blow to all in SFFH fandom. In the years that followed, Pratchett stumped bravely for more investment in research of the disease, led conversations about it and end of life issues, and wrote more novels as much as he could in the ways that he could. It lulled us into thinking that there would be more time. But there wasn’t. We have to let him go.
But Discworld, we never have to let that go. It lives on in hearts and minds; its many wonderful characters are ours, his gift to us. It’s like the color of magic, always with us — we can just sort of see it if we don’t look directly at it, sort of greenish-purple. So thank you for that, Sir Terry. Thank you for the words.
*And yes, Leonard Nimoy left us as well after a long bout of ill health. I don’t even know how to do that one, so I thought this combination was appropriate and beautiful.
**Some people feel that letting go is too soon. There is a petition to Death to give Terry Pratchett back. It has over 10,000 signatures so far, so you can check it out if you like.