Yesterday, Terry Pratchett died, only 68 years old. All of 68 years old. I’m guttered.
Once Pratchett told us about his Alzheimer, my intellect told me we would only have a few years more of him. Now that the moment has arrived, those years seem too short for a person who became a dear friend.
I never met Mr. (Sir) Pratchett. Or maybe I did. His books, his documentary and his speeches have all made my days brighter. All revealed a side I, the public, could partake of.
When Snuff and She Wears Midnight came out, and I had completed the books, I remember just sitting there needing to digest the stories. They felt like a first goodbye from Terry. Then came the public appearances when people had to read his speeches out loud for him. Writing them weren’t the problem, as long as someone else could type his dictation. As long as another person could read out loud what he had dictated. Alzheimer had taken the ability to recognize physical objects.
I miss him. Already! Hopefully, the love of the world will bring some small comfort to his near and dear ones.
“Sometimes I get nice letters from people who know they’re due to meet him (Death) soon, and hope I’ve got him right.
Those are the kind of letters that cause me to stare at the wall for some time.”
― Terry Pratchett, The Art of Discworld
For me Terry Pratchett is the man. Discworld was my first meeting with him. Since then I have gotten to know him better through his cooperative work with other authors. This way he has spread my knowledge of other authors and interest in other types of science fiction and fantasy.
On his website I eventually discovered that Pratchett has developed Alzheimer’s disease. My parents now have friends who have had Alzheimer for quite a while and I have gotten to see some of the effect of that disease. They have also shared with me how these individuals show the symptoms of Alzheimer and how the person they knew disappears slowly but surely.
Due to the nature of the disease Terry Pratchett has quite naturally had many thoughts about how it is going to affect him. When will the moment come when his ability to make choices for himself disappear?
BBC’s documentary Choosing to Die with Terry Pratchett is bound to make an impression on the viewer. I was touched by it and remained thoughtful a long time after viewing it.
Alzheimer’s is very definitely not the only disease that has a terrible progression. In Choosing to Die we get to meet two people who are choosing to die before their body gives in on its own to MS and ALS. My own thoughts on the matter are that I would very much like to choose to die rather than have to endure an awful ending.
The film seems to have disappeared from the net.
2011 winner for Best Single Documentary at the British Academy Scottish Awards
2011 winner for Best Single Documentary at the Royal Television Society awards