During my daily phone call with my oldest daughter yesterday, she told me she was sad because Michael Crichton had died of cancer. That was the first I’d heard of it, and it made me sad, too.
Michael Crichton was a storyteller. Critics would not call his books “liter-a-chure,” perhaps — but they were great stories. Rampant viruses. Dinosaurs on the loose. Time travel. Nanotechnology gone awry. A long-running television medical show that launched several stellar acting careers. What an imagination he had. And how much entertainment he provided for so many. His death came only days after the loss of Tony Hillerman, another writer who entranced millions.
When popular writers pass away, we’re sad, not because we knew the authors personally, in most cases, but because those authors touched our lives and sparked our imaginations. We mourn the creativity silenced and the stories that will never be told, because we’re sure there were so many more to share. The storytellers made us smile, sometimes laugh out loud. They made us think. They made us sure we heard a velociraptor lurking in the shadows of our kitchen at midnight. They made our lives a little more fun.
I never met Michael Crichton, but I’ll miss the stories he never had the chance to tell.