Death is simply a part of life. It is inevitable. In my 36 years of life, I have experienced loss: the loss of a loved one, the loss of a friend, the loss of a pet, but I have never been affected by the loss of a celebrity . . . until now.
Yes, I am surprised when a celebrity dies. I feel sad in that moment, wishing that person a peaceful rest, their family my condolences. But, that’s usually where it ends. Not today, though. Today is different.
Today, I mourn the loss of a great actor. One that I have loved in every movie I have seen him in, especially Harry Potter. I am, of course, talking about Alan Rickman, the one and only Professor Severus Snape.
As with many Harry Potter readers, I had a certain image in my head of Snape, what he looked like, how he talked. I remember watching the first movie and thinking how well they casted him. Rickman embodied this character and took him to a level I would have never imaged for Snape. I never really felt sorry for Snape in the books, but Rickman gave him complexities beyond that of the written page. For the first time, I sympathized with Snape all because this wonderful actor was that good.
I don’t know why Alan’s death is hitting me harder than most. Maybe it’s because I am passionate about the fandom of Harry Potter and there is no HP fandom without Alan Rickman’s Snape. That’s the thing about us Potterheads, we feel for every character of the stories and for the actors who played them in the movies.
From this point on, when I watch the movies (over and over), I will be saddened knowing that Alan is no longer making movies and inspiring us through his characters. I will be saddened knowing that he won’t get to be 80, sitting in his rocking chair, reading Harry Potter . . . again and always.
But, I will take joy in knowing that future generations will be able to enjoy his work as much as I have. They will be able to enjoy and understand why his Severus Snape is such an iconic character.
So with my wand raised, I honor an actor who touched my heart and a character I will always love to hate and hate to love. And when my kids someday ask me why I still mourn Professor Snape after all this time, my response will be . . .
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