Newsflash: human beings die.
Indeed, Lourd De Veyra is correct. that's what happens to all of us in the end, and even someone who always seemed larger than life as Alan Rickman did could not possibly be immune from this reality.
I suppose it's just comforting to know that there is more to life than just eventually dying, or else I have nothing else to write after agreeing with Lourd on that point.
You see, it always seems like such an easy idea to attack people who sympathize with the loss of someone famous because we generally don't feel this way about other deaths. After all, there were people who lost their lives in Jakarta on the same day, after all, right? The thing is, though, this is not a contest, nor is there a shortage of sympathy and mourning to go around. Commemorating the life and times of Alan Rickman is not mutually exclusive from denouncing the needless loss of life in Jakarta at the same time. Because indeed, human beings do die, and that's why we need to cherish the human beings who somehow made a difference in our lives.
Alan Rickman was one such man to me.
No matter where in life I may find myself, I will always look to Severus Snape as the distillation of one's indefatigable capacity for love. Among all the characters in the Potterverse, it was Snape who resonated with me the most. Misunderstood as he was, nothing was truer about him than his love for Lily Potter, as unrequited as it may have been.
I know the pain of unrequited love. I know it all too well. I know how it straddles the fine line between a hopeless romantic and a creepy loser, and ultimately, I realize that there is nothing easy about carrying a torch for someone you love for as long as Severus did for Lily. The kind of love that transcended everything and extended to his implicit concern and affection for Harry Potter himself.
Indeed, it's easy to look at all that and to dismiss it as disturbing or pathetic. Yet at the same time, one cannot help but respect, if not admire that kind of devotion, because it goes far beyond reason, yet never once dips into something sinister or harmful. For all of Snape's fault, it was because of his love and not in spite of it that he managed to be the way that he was, working against years upon years of indoctrination, of biases, and predilections just so he could continue holding his torch of love.
It is in this fine line of sweetness and hopelessness that I see solace with Severus Snape, and it was Alan Rickman's masterful rendition of this character that has allowed me to truly find what it is about him that resonates within me. As changed as it may be, as different as the circumstances may be, when one would ask me, "after all this time?"
Without a doubt, the response remains to be, "always."
Magic is a lot of different things to different people. To me, magic is about going beyond the possibilities, and making something more of yourself than anyone ever expected of you. In that regard, everything Severus Snape did was truly magic.
So yes, human beings do die, but newsflash; it is the lives that these human beings have touched before they have died that choose to cherish and remember their legacy.
Alan Rickman has indeed touched many lives, and one of those will indelibly be mine, and that is why I will choose to remember his passing.
Whether he was a villain as sinister as Hans Gruber, or a schemer as ruthless as Judge Turpin, whether he was a man who would take your heart as Colonel Brandon, or one who would cut it out with a spoon as the Sheriff of Nottingham, Alan Rickman has managed to touch lives in a way that only he could. Is it truly a disservice to acknowledge that difference he has made? Was it not he who precisely told us that being an actor makes one "an agent of change," and in being such an agent, he has indeed changed the world?
Every single time I watched "Love, Actually" in the last couple of years, I never failed to relish how Alan Rickman's Harry became the polar opposite of his Severus Snape: a man who was so drowned in the mundane that he has lost the meaning of love and tried to seek it elsewhere than his own wife. It was something that resonated with me not because I went through the exact same thing, but realized that the love never went away, so much as it was forgotten.
So I will refuse to forget.
I will refuse to forget what it means to love, even if it will not always be given back in kind.
I will refuse to forget what it means to seek to change the world, no matter how seemingly insignificant it is that we do. There is no opportunity too small to make a difference.
Ultimately, I will refuse to forget the fact that though human beings die, but they can also live forever, thanks to love and magic.
I mourn the passing of Alan Rickman not so much as it is because he is a celebrity that I know of. I mourn his passing because thanks to him, I got to know myself just a little bit better, and there is no greater boon a performer can bestow upon us than leading us down the path of self-discovery.
Thank you, Alan Rickman. When I think of one word that could best describe what you have inspired and enabled in me, I do believe that word would be "Love," Actually.