I don't do this. I don't memorialize celebrities. If there's one thing I refuse to do, it's to hold up a celebrity as a hero.
That said, I cried today when I found out that Leonard Nimoy had died. In many ways, Leonard Nimoy has been part of my life longer than many other people I know. I was a Star Trek fan almost from birth, and I loved Spock.
As an outcast kid and teenager, too geeky, too smart, too young, it was so easy to empathize with Spock. No one really understood me, I often felt. And there were many times when I wished I could shut off all of my emotions and be as coldly logical as our favorite Vulcan.
As I got older, I started to recognize other things about the character of Spock--in some ways, as I matured, so did Spock (and my understanding of Spock). My Spock is not the Spock of the television show, but the Spock of the movies, the one who had come to embrace both his human and Vulcan sides, to combine the best of two worlds, into neither of which he truly fit. He had a dry sense of humor that only those close to him understood, was self-sacrificing and who looked for the good of the many, rather than the good of the one.
I realize that I'm seemingly memorializing a character, rather than the actor who played him, but for Leonard Nimoy's protestations to the contrary, he was Spock. And as a friend of mine said earlier today: You can say this about his life; he made many people very happy. I was one of those people.
There are few celebrities whose deaths really affected me. The only other celebrity death I've ever cried for was Mr. Rogers. Fred Rogers' death was also like the death of an old and dear friend. They were people I grew up with, and in spite of never having met them, felt close to. My heart hurts today because Leonard Nimoy is gone, and Planet Earth will never be quite the same.