Sadly, as one gets older, people who have been there forever die. Nothing prepares one for this. It just starts happening. Then it speeds up becoming more and more frequent.
People one has heard of but have no emotional investment in are in the news because they are now dead. Relatives and friends die causing emotional devastation and extensive pain. And people from the public eye who influenced one from afar die, leaving a surprise and a feeling of emptiness.
The latter is happening to me more and more.
When Sir Patrick Moore died I felt very sad.
There will be many fine writings out there doing his life complete justice, so I won’t try to compete with those. Instead, I’ll comment on how he touched my life.
Firstly, I really loved his eccentricity. He was an old school eccentric. For people like me, this made him cooler than cool. He was an individual not a clone. Respect!
Secondly, many many years ago I used to watch The Sky At Night. I was never a sky watcher myself, but I was fascinated by the overview of it all. The mystery of all of the ‘stuff’ that was part of and then beyond our solar system made sense the way Patrick Moore explained and enthused about it.
I went beyond wanting to star gaze and got lost in trying to understand how, well, life, the universe and everything worked. This is something I pursued as a hobby and as knowledge. But, without the Sky At Night, or more specifically Patrick Moore‘s infectious enthusiasm, showing me that this was my direction of interest, I’d never have known.
It’s in that context that hearing of his death moved me. This strange, harmless yet infectiously exciting chap had died, and so too had some of the roots of what makes me me.
Sir Patrick Moore never knew me personally, but I thank him for having been there.