I woke up this morning to the news that one of my favourite authors has passed away, and I didn’t know why a sorrowful sigh escaped my lips. This isn’t the first time a writer I loved passed away, though to be fair most of my favourite authors were in the grave for quite some time before I even found one of their books. Perhaps that’s the reason why I feel the passing of Terry Pratchett so keenly.
His DiscWorld series saw me through some of the darkest days I have had so far in my short life. On days when all I could feel was a lump in my throat and a haze engulfing my brain, his books were the only things that could make me chuckle. I still remember reading Wyrd Sisters the night before my mother was scheduled for her surgery and how it made me feel that even if everything was spinning out of control I would still be okay, or at least an approximation of okay. Pratchett’s Death is one of my favourite characters and is second only to Granny. The way he wrote Death was beautiful in the sense that Death wasn’t scary or monstrous. Death was simply natural and reminded me of the way J.K. Rowling penned the story of The Three Brothers and the Cloak of Invisibility. I understand we are never truly ready for death or Death, but instead of being fearful of this natural ending to our stories both these writers, especially Pratchett, weaved us a rich tale of endings that felt like riding on Charon’s boat (only with better lighting and less gold exchanging hands).
On the other hand, I read Good Omens when times were better and to this day I still say that it was one of the most incredible philosophical and spiritual journey I went on (without the trekking a mountain and facing the cold mind you).It was my first foray into the world of Pratchett and Gaiman and what an absolute delight it was and it still is! I remember finishing the book and thinking “There has to be more.” So I looked up all their books and read my way through a forest albeit an electronic version. (Hold your horses paper-people, I just got my copies of Good Omens and American Gods delivered because the smell of books is something that makes me feel at home, even if home is three countries away.)
Good times and bad, his stories have always made me laugh, pause and be amazed by this beautiful world placed on top of elephants that are riding on a turtle. So thank you, Terry Pratchett for the stories, the philosophy lessons and the laughter. Thank you.