“I have nothing now but praise for my life. I’m not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can’t stop them. They leave me and I love them more. … What I dread is the isolation. … There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready.”
Maurice Sendak on Fresh Air in 2011
It’s rather hard to put into words what I feel about Maurice Sendak’s passing. Though he may have been ready for his death, as expressed in his interview with Terry Gross last year, I’m not sure I was.
Nobody, I think, influenced me more than him. More than anyone else he showed that children’s books, behind the nursery rhymes and the grotesque monsters, had meaning. He dealt with it seriously, he grappled with his childhood emotions seriously, he wasn’t afraid to make scary, weird things. And if his work showed anything was that whatever you do, being completely honest about it, about yourself is the only way to do it.
He taught me so much, and every time I open one of his books I still learn from them and will continue to do so for a long time.
Right now I’m fucking sad and will be for a while, but we still have all the books he gave us and they will survive and continue to give us joy.
So, good bye Maurice.