My earliest memory of Pratchett’s books involve being snuggled up in bed with my mum, begging for just one more chapter of The Carpet People, the very first book he ever wrote. It was my first introduction to the fantasy genre and the beginning of an exciting love affair with Pratchett’s style of humour. Terry Pratchett was one of my mum’s favourite authors and now he is one of mine.
After being estranged from my mother for almost 10 years, she gave me my very own copy of The Colour of Magic for my birthday last year. I devoured this first book in the Discworld series faster than my morning bowl of Cocoa Pops, proving that Pratchett’s inherent silliness and astonishing imagination can stand the test of time and span all generations.
To me, Pratchett’s books conjure up fond memories of a time when my biggest worry in life was which colour crayon to use. And his incredible attitude towards life in general, especially how he handled his illness, has personally helped me put things in perspective during the times when I’ve felt like I’ve lost my sparkle and I’m not the prettiest or the smartest or seem to have to slog my guts out for everything I’ve got.
When Pratchett announced he’d been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s back in 2007, he never used his illness as a crutch or let it stop him from doing what he loved.
In his lifetime, Pratchett sold over 85 million books across the globe and is still the second most widely read author in the U.K. He was knighted in 2009 for his contribution to the literary world and, in 2010, he was awarded the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement.
As the world is mourning his death and taking to social media and blogs to commemorate his life, Pratchett is most likely debating his untimely demise with Death. A little part of my heart broke upon hearing the news; Pratchett wanted us to celebrate his premature departure and the fact he finally made it to the front of the queue.
My mother and I are no longer close, but we will always have our love for Terry Pratchett books in common. His death is our loss, but the man himself did say, “Did you not know that a man is not dead while his name is still spoken?”
RIP, Sir Terry Pratchett.