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Remembering Terry Pratchett
Last uploaded : Thursday 12th Mar 2015 at 17:35
Contributed by : Carol Gould



If you are a fan of the British author and flamboyant personality Sir Terry Pritchett -- and eighty million in book sales indicate there are a lot of you out there -- you will be saddened but at the same time gratified that he has at last met the character about whom he wrote so much in his Discworld series : Death.

Over the past eight years he had been suffering from advancing Alzheimer’s disease and his deterioration was coupled with his affinity for the concept of assisted suicide. In fact his death today was reported to have been ‘of natural causes’ and his family stressed he did not commit suicide. He had a great sense of humour right to the very end calling his illness ‘an embuggerence.’ On behalf of #dementiafriends he would be seen in public carrying a poster that said ‘It’s possible to live well with dementia and write bestsellers “LIKE WOT I DO.” What so many found inspiring about his life story is that he write seventy books and was still writing in his final days.

For those like me who want to live a long life and who eschew suicide because we have survived cancer surgery and treatment, the recent trend of the gravely ill to seek assisted suicide is a troubling one. I remember getting into a heated argument four years ago, just when I had finished radiotherapy, with a woman who was a fierce proponent of assisted suicide. To me the idea of wanting to hasten death, when I as a two-time breast cancer survivor only wanted to live, live and live, got to me. But I have come to understand Pratchett’s campaign for the right to assisted suicide; though he was able to write until the end the quality of his life had deteriorated. Assisted suicide, I have come to realise from witnessing Pratchett’s brave stand, is also a release from unbearable pain.

Terry Pratchett was only sixty-six when he died; nowadays that is ‘no age,’ as the saying goes. I know how difficult it is to finish writing one book let alone seventy! His was a prodigious talent and he managed to attract a following of diverse backgrounds and beliefs. Over thirty-one years he wrote forty Discworld books set in a flat planet resting on four elephant legs which in turn rest on a big turtle, Great A’Tuin. His ability to parody events of the day was masterful. His fantasy world included wizards and wise women -- not bad witches but those who administer herbs and healing. He generated a seemingly endless stream of characters and alternative universes. It has been reported that he had hoped his daughter Rhianna would write future books in his tradition.

A lovable man known for his flamboyant hats the last tweet on his Twitter page was from Death ‘AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.’

Rest in peace.

If you would like to donate to a charity set up in his memory that helps people with Alzheimer’s go to JustGiving.com/Terry Pratchett


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