For those who do not know, Wil Wheaton became famous in the Sci-Fi world as an actor by playing the part of Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He and I were born the same year, so he was 15 when the show was first aired. Almost all of the actors on Star Trek (be it the original series or beyond), end up with a cult following of sorts. Things were a little different with Wheaton because Wesley Crusher was not particularly well liked (especially earlier in the series) thanks to some questionable writing: from his lines to the "let's let the kid solve the crisis" syndrome. This led to a small but vocal group of Trek fans who were particularly nasty towards Wesley (and not so indirectly, Wil Wheaton).
Wheaton has continuing acting after Star Trek, but has expanded to other areas as well. He became a proficient blogger, which led to three acclaimed books and numerous awards for his blog, including most recently being named by Forbes as the "14th most influential web celebrity," and now suddenly has over a million followers on Twitter.
Truth be told, I looked into him again thanks to learning that he would be guest starring on The Guild as the leader of a rival gaming party (see my post from last week).
So I checked out his blog, thinking I'd find something gaming or sci-fi related. Instead, I found this:
This was not words of thanks for fame, or fortune, or even compliments on his blog or writing, but thanks for the outpouring of emotion towards his sadness over the death of his dog. In very moving terms, Wheaton described the horrible "kicked by a mule wearing 1930s baseball spikes" feelings of grief over the loss of the faithful wagging of the tail and greeting of joy that dog owners come to know.
Our pets teach us so much about the joy and value of life: with their too short, yet so-full life-spans.
The series of blog posts by Wheaton says so much (in order of posting):
As I sit here at my computer, with a cat on my keyboard and the dog and another cat sleeping near by, I am thankful that so many others have, through their animals, learned of the preciousness of life. And I'm thankful that there are people willing to publicly share their grief, undaunted by what others might say. I think this creates more connection to other people who are hurting, as well as beginning the healing process. We never forget those we love, and we never "get over it," but instead we learn to live with the warmth of their lingering presence in our lives, even in the midst of the sadness of their physical absence. (Once again, two things that seem to contradict are both true.)
I'll be reading Wil Wheaton's blog regularly now, and I can't wait to get my hands on his books.