Last night I was out with friends, it was a night filled with great conversations and good laughs. But late into the night, I had a quick look at Twitter and there it was, a flood of tweets saying RIP Roger Ebert.
I was shocked, since it was only a day earlier Roger Ebert said he would slow down due to the return of cancer in his very moving blogpost, "A Leave of Presence". Needless to say, my mood changed and went home shortly after finding out the sad news.
I always knew the day we lose Roger Ebert would be a very sad day for me. I normally don't dwell too much when it comes to celebrity deaths, but not when it comes to Roger Ebert. I am really saddened by the news of his death. I admired his writing a lot and was always in awe of him, especially over the past few years. He's battled cancer, became disfigured after losing his jaw, he lost his voice and ability to eat and drink - and despite all that, he carried on doing what he loves to do, write. Writing about movies, life and anything else that took his fancy, with passion, elegance and integrity.
One of my all time favourite writings by Roger Ebert isn't even about a movie, it's about his inability to eat and converse with people over a meal, Nil by Mouth.
So that's what's sad about not eating. The loss of dining, not the loss of food. It may be personal, but for, unless I'm alone, it doesn't involve dinner if it doesn't involve talking. The food and drink I can do without easily. The jokes, gossip, laughs, arguments and shared memories I miss. Sentences beginning with the words, "Remember that time?" I ran in crowds where anyone was likely to break out in a poetry recitation at any time. Me too. But not me anymore. So yes, it's sad. Maybe that's why I enjoy this blog. You don't realize it, but we're at dinner right now.
We will no longer look forward to new words by Roger Ebert, but his memory will live on through everything he's written and published. I leave you with the following quote, that I can't stop thinking about.
‘Kindness’ covers all of my political beliefs,” he wrote, at the end of his memoirs. “No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do.
To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out. (via suntimes.com)
RIP Roger Ebert, 1942-2013.
[image via The Criterion Collection]