Frak everything, Leonard Nimoy is dead.
Okay, he’s an actor, not a family member, not a friend. Still he manages somehow to be important. Terribly important. Even for casual fans and non-fans, he embodied the character he was best known for: logical, peaceable, thoughtful. He was old, he was sick, and now he’s gone, and it’s not ok.
I think a lot about death. Losing my mother at 19 gave me a morbid streak. Now, at 40, I spend too much time wondering how many years I have left with my father, my siblings, my husband. Whether I have years or only months to see my grandmother again. (She is 8 years older than Nimoy.) And yes, I think about the deaths of actors I admire.
Many have died young, and too many still do. Back in the day we had John Belushi and Janis Joplin. More lately we had Heath Ledger and Cory Montieth. Youth is no guarantee of safety. And our idols age alongside us. I’ve caught myself wondering how, hopefully in some long-distant future, I will cope with the death of David Tennant. Olivia Colman. Billie Piper and Benedict Cumberbatch and Hayley Atwell. Leonard Nimoy was young once; even if we survive the perils of youth, time comes for us all in the end. How much time does Peter Capaldi have? Ian McKellan and Patrick Stuart? Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith and Judi Dench?
It is illogical to protest the inevitable. Yet once again, Doctor Who has the perfect response, in the words of River Song:
Everybody knows that everybody dies, and nobody knows it like the Doctor. But I do think that all of the skies of all the worlds might just turn dark if he ever, for one moment, accepts it.
Live Long and Prosper.