“I miss you like the sun misses the flower, like the sun misses the flower in the depths of winter” (A Knight’s Tale 2001). Every year on this day I think of this quote from my favorite Heath Ledger film.
This year marks 10 years since Heath Ledger’s death at the age of 28.
9 years ago Entertainment Weekly Magazine ran a cover story for the first anniversary of his passing and while I couldn’t bring myself to read the article I still wrote a letter to the editor. In the following issues that letter was edited and published. That was the day I started calling myself a writer.
10 years later and I still can’t bring myself to read that, or any, article about Heath Ledger. Not written in the original e-mail that I sent to EW was how for days right after his death I felt as if I had been kicked in the stomach. I know that grieving over the death of a man I never got the chance to meet sounds stupid but from the first moment I saw him on screen in The Patriot in 2000 I was hooked and became an instant fan. Heath Ledger was talented and beautiful. He was a reason to go to the movies, in fact I am sure there are a couple of movies he was in that I would not have seen if he wasn’t a part of them.
10 years and I still miss going to a film to see him. He was so good, I’ll even go so far as to say he was one of the best actors of his generation.
10 years later and I still think of Heath Ledger. I think of ALL the movies he could have made. Every movie I go to the theater to see I think of him and of what could have been.
10 years later and since watching his final film (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus 2009) I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch more than 10 minutes of any movie, including the ones I have memorized, he is in when I come across one on TV. There is three or four that I have yet to see because I never got around to doing so when he was alive and now may never watch them.
10 years later and I still remember how it felt as I watched my local news and not wanting to believe it when the anchor had to report that Heath Ledger was dead.
10 years later means that Health Ledger has been gone more years then I knew he existed.
I woke up that particular morning early and happy to watch the Oscar nominations live on TV and went to sleep heartbroken.
It doesn’t feel like 10 years have gone by since Heath Ledger passed away but life does still go on. I still have dreams to make come true. Dreams that include the stories I write being published. A life where I am a Hollywood director and making good films with ALL of the actors of whom I care about, love and admire.
I don’t ever again want to feel the way I did on January 22, 2008.
For an actor who is irreplaceable I will always love, never forget and will keep my promise to Heath Andrew Ledger.