I have personally felt saddened and gladdened by three deaths this week.
Saddened because the world has lost three people who, through their living, in very different ways, gave so much to us.
Oliver Posgate died after 83 years marching to his own drum. A beat which saw him sometimes villified for his beliefs but which was strong enough to keep him marching.
I heard him speaking (in that quintessentially English voice so familiar from his television films) against nuclear arms, many years ago. But I am sure that his greatest legacy will be the stories of “Bagpuss,” “Noggin the Nog,” “Pogles Wood” and the other children’s tv shows he made with Peter Firminn. Perhaps a resurgence of the wonderful Bagpuss is due?
Sad, too, to hear that Kerryn McCann, an athlete whose Olympic success inspired so many “ordinary mums” to push their boundaries, had lost her fight against cancer. At 41, far too young to leave her life.
photo from The Age (web image)
While still reflecting on this came the news that Australian poet, Dorothy Porter, had also been taken out of Life’s game by the same formidable foe. Breast cancer.
I never met this woman, but have read and enjoyed her writing and was looking forward to her Tim Finn collaboration on a musical work. And at 54 she was far from a “spent force.”
So why am I glad? Perhaps that is a poor choice of adjective. What I am feeling is a tremendous gratitude that these people have packed so much into their lives and have shared it with the rest of the world.
Does this mean that I live vicariously? Perhaps. But I also live joyously. Because of such shining examples, whether of moral fortitude, great literature, personal endeavour or plain old grit.