We all deal with loss differently. The universal truth behind it, though, is that once you lose something you know it’s never coming back. With celebrities like Alan Rickman, otherwise known as Professor Snape, you can rewatch movies, plays, TV shows, interviews, what have you over and over and over again. It feels like they’re still there. That is, until another tabloid pops up in the check-out isle of the grocery store months later promising “the real truth” behind his death.
Death is a funny thing with celebrities. We’re allowed to feel so close to them because of social networking and the media, but in fact we’re very, very far away from their world. When Alan died it reminded me of how I handled Snape’s death. I didn’t like what was happening in the book so I reread previous chapters when he was alive, replaying everything up until his mortality caught up with him. You can do that with actors because they’re preserved on the big screen with movies and television, and now on Netflix and Youtube. It’s a horcrux of sorts, if you will. As long as you keep replaying the movies you get to keep watching them live.
Because we, the in-famous folk, aren’t living in a world where we interact with celebrities on a day to day basis, accepting the finality of death isn’t as hard. We don’t have to stare it in the face and watch it take the professor we love. Instead, we have the opportunity to reread all the other chapters in the story until we’re ready to greet Death as an old friend and accept finality. Not finality for us, of course, but the understanding that Alan won’t be making or playing in any new movies, or going to premiers, or being a part in a ten year Harry Potter reunion.
‘Besides,’ said Sirius, ‘the ones that love us never really leave us. You can always find them…[puts hand over Harry’s heart] in here.’
What are your favorite roles Alan Rickman played over the course of his life?