One of the things about getting older is not just dealing with the concept of your own mortality, but that of your heroes as well.
I’ve seen a lot of celebrities pass on over the years, some after long and happy lives, some all too suddenly and too soon. But none were what I would describe as personally devastating. I recognized their greatness, felt a moment of sadness, and ultimately moved on.
Seeing the news about Leonard Nimoy yesterday, though, felt different. He’s 83 years old, and by all accounts has had a full life. And yet I’m not ready for him to go. Not only because it would be sad if Mr. Spock was no longer among us, but because, inevitably, he would not be the last.
None of the famous people I grew up with are getting any younger. And eventually those members of my own hall of fame won’t be around anymore. There might be people of more historical or artistic significance leaving us. But figures like Nimoy and Shatner and Spielberg and Murray are part of my personal pantheon. They inspired me, shaped me, kept me company. They still do. And I’m not ready to face the prospect of saying goodbye.
But sooner or later I’ll have to. I just hope it’s later.
Live longer, Mr. Nimoy. Live longer.