For the second time this week, I’ve woken up to news of a passing that has broken my heart.
Monday it was David Bowie, an artist I was never obsessed with, but always admired. His creativity was genius. And “Under Pressure”, his duet with Queen, is still my favorite sing-in-the-shower jam.
This morning’s news hit the part of my heart where a cranky, dry-humored, quote-reciting little girl still lives.
Alan Rickman, the classically-trained British actor—best known this generation for playing Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter franchise—passed away at 69 from cancer.
His career spanned more than three decades and left us with some of cinema’s greatest villains, including Die Hard’s Hans Gruber and Judge Turpin in 2007’s Sweeney Todd.
But to me, Rickman will always be the crabby, vindictive, unintentionally-humorous Sheriff of Nottingham in 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. His dramatic accent, staccato moves and quippy one liners stole my eight-year-old heart. To this day, my sisters and I can and will recite his lines in more situations than is socially appropriate.
Don’t mention the word spoon around us or you’ll be hit with this gem:
“Why a spoon cousin?”
“Because it’s dull you twit. It’ll hurt more!”
*Cue hysterical laughter and a longing for simpler days.*
I texted them both immediately, needing the comfort of those who could understand how this genuine sadness pulled me back to the happiest of childhood memories. Mourning is a strange process—the idea that such great pain can ultimately make you more grateful for the people and times you’ve shared. The idea that to gain something, you must lose something.
And mourning a stranger, a celebrity, is even more incredible. It is proof that just by doing what we love, we can impact and inspire the lives of others—even those we have never and will never meet.
In a week like this, where the world collectively mourns two much-loved talents, this quote from Twitter user @ElusiveJ puts this type of loss into perspective:
“Thinking about how we mourn artists we’ve never met. We don’t cry because we knew them, we cry because they helped us know ourselves.”
Try not to laugh:
And try not to cry:
Author: Nicole Cameron