Real Life/Tear Jerker/Prominent Deaths

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  • The death of Jesus Christ... We all knew it was coming when we watched the movies and read the New Testament. The man taught others to love and forgive. He was beaten and then crucified, but he still forgave his oppressors. He truly was (and if you are a Christian, still is) a man to respect for his loving nature.
  • Muhammad's death. After returning from his farewell pilgrimage Muhammad fell ill. When he finally died, many Muslims were in disbelief that the prophet could have died. However they were all silenced by Abu Bakr, the prophet's best friend and first Caliph, said this. "O ye men, whoever amongst you worshipped Muhammad, let him know that Muhammad is dead, and whoever amongst you worshipped Allah, let him know that Allah is Living, there is no death for Him."
  • Mahatma Gandhi's death. His resistance to tyranny and bloodshed through peace and nonviolence won him recognition and influence from across the world, but it did not stop him from getting killed by a Hindu nationalist. This was made all the more tragic since one of his main goals was to create peace between the warring Hindus and Muslims in India, which is still going on today. Like any human, he had his flaws, but his dedication to make the world a better place made him too good for this sinful earth.
    • He wasn't called "Great Spirit Gandhi" for nothing. And at least it's less bad with most of the Muslims that stayed and most of the ones that moved to America.
    • Nehru addressed the nation through radio after Gandhi died, starting with these words: "Friends and Comrades, the light has gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere. I do not know what to tell you and how to say it. Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the Father of the Nation, is no more. Perhaps I am wrong to say that. Nevertheless, we will never see him again as we have seen him for these many years. We will not run to him for advice and seek solace from him, and that is a terrible blow, not to me only, but to millions and millions in this country."
  • The last words of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Habsburg throne, having been shot in Sarajevo along with his wife by Bosnian anarchist Gavrilo Princip, were „Sopherl! Sopherl! Sterbe nicht! Bleib' am Leben für unsere Kinder! Es ist gar nichts… es ist gar nichts…‟, which reads as "Sophie! Sophie! Don't die! Live for our children! It is nothing. It is nothing..." in English. (The name "Sopherl" is an affectionate German diminutive of "Sophie", and was the Archduke's nickname for his wife.) Unfortunately, Sophie was mortally wounded - the bullet that struck her severed major blood vessels in her abdomen - and died within moments. While historians are critical of Franz Ferdinand, they universally agree that he loved his wife. Because she was a commoner (technically speaking; she was an aristocrat, a countess, in her own right as a member of a very old, blue-blooded Bohemian family when she first met the Archduke), Sophie was not allowed to attend ceremonial events with her husband in his capacity as Archduke and heir to the throne. This was the reason why Franz Ferdinand had attended the military parade where he was shot in the first place as, since as it was a military affair, his wife would be allowed to accompany him; since 1909, when she had been elevated to the rank of Duchess, she had been allowed to accompany her husband to official events in his capacity as Inspector General of the Austro-Hungarian Armed Forces. To make matters even worse, the assassination of Franz Ferdinand was the "spark that lit the fire" of the First World War.
    • Also consider the situation of the three children of what was, by all accounts, a particularly close-knit family (Franz Ferdinand reserved all his warmth for his immediate family and his small circle of trusted friends). They had been preparing for their parents' return from Bosnia, and had to have the dreadful news broken to them by their aunt Henriette, their mother's favorite sister (and the only member of his wife's family that Franz Ferdinand addressed by the familiar German "du").
    • The most tragic part of Franz Ferdinand's death is that he favoured a more careful approach to Serbia, as well as greater autonomy for Austria-Hungary's ethnic minorities in a "United States of Greater Austria". If the Archduke had survived, we might have avoid World War One and the Hapsburg Empire might still exist.
      • Oh, it gets worse. A lot of the causes of WWII, at least in Germany's case, are rooted in the fact that they alone were made to shoulder the blame of WWI by the winning side's Treaty of Versailles. They weren't even one of the two original aggressors, they were an ally, just like Britain and France on the other side. The Nazis came to power with a promise to fix the catastrophic damage this wrought on Germany and to restore their nation's honor and pride - to answer legitimate grievances. Maybe we wouldn't have had either World War, or the Holocaust.
  • Charles Schultz' death was incredibly touching. There were some really sweet memorial spreads in magazines for him, some of which made this troper bawl.
    • Here you can find a list of all the comic strip authors who paid tribute to him after his death by drawing a special strip dedicated to him, with a Peanuts theme. The sheer number and variety of strips, the recognizable authors, and most of all, the content of the tribute strips made this troper tear up.
    • The saddest part is that when I read the Zits and FoxTrot ones I thought they were simple jabs at Peanuts, not realizing their significance.
    • When this troper learned that Charles Schulz had died, she had to ask her teacher to be excused from class. She locked herself in the girl's bathrooms and cried herself silly.
    • Speaking of which, Charles Schulz himself had a dog named Andy. In his later life, the dog lost a lot of hearing and seeing. Schulz put a sign around his driveway that told drivers to caution and that the dog could not see or hear well. When Andy died, Schulz took the sign and angrily chopped it up.
  • The death of Shiloh Jade Pepin. For little background information, she was only one of three people who was living with sirenomelia (a birth defect where the legs are fused together like a mermaid's tail, hence the alternate name "mermaid syndrome") and the only one not to undergo surgery to separate her legs. Hence she was the only living mermaid. Her spirit was the most beautiful I've ever seen. She died at the age of ten, from pneumonia.
    • "I'm not even quite the same as all the other, but some people just like the way I am"
  • Ofra Haza, she was so beautiful and had such a nice voice. It was a shame she died so young.
  • People always talk about the greatness of Martin Luther King. But to really feel the acuteness of his death, YouTube some footage of newscasts following his death. Seeing old footage of people screaming and crying as if their own son had been killed... it's a bit much for this troper who was born over 10 years later.
  • John F. Kennedy. This troper had a history teacher who told the story of a hardened drill sergeant who started bawling upon hearing the news.
    • This troper's father was 11 when Kennedy died. He told me that his mother burst into tears when she heard.
    • JFK's funeral is almost mind-numbingly tragic in all respects, but for this troper, the saddest thing of it all was Bobby Kennedy's expression during the funeral procession. Never in my life have I seen anyone look so utterly shattered.
    • Jackie Kennedy clambering onto the the back of the limousine after her husband's brains get blown all over her. Apparently, she was trying to get a chunk of his skull that had fallen onto the trunk. However, even sadder than that was the video of Clint Hill, the secret service agent who jumped into the car as it sped away. If you watch the Zapruder film, he is running full speed, and reaches the back of the car just in time for the bullet to his the president in the head. The fact that Hill, being an agent, was trying to ensure that the bullet hit him instead, and his greatest failure was that he lived, makes it painfully tragic.
    • This troper's mother still remembers the day Kennedy died, for all that she wasn't even five years old yet... because my grandma, who rarely (if ever) cried, was inconsolable.
    • And who can forget Jackie standing in her bloody pink suit, next to Lyndon Johnson, as he takes the oath of office?
  • Bobby Kennedy's death was also quite tragic.
    • This Troper remembers, back at the age of 15 (possibly) finding his mother's high school diary. One page of 1968 was of particular concern: "Diary, yesterday they killed Bobby", followed by sentences of hatred, rage, compassion, and a deep sorrow. It's important to notice that this woman wasn't even American nor did she ever live there, but Bobby was such a symbol of hope for young teenagers (among many other people, of course) that his departure touched far away form the place. At the time, as I felt that same grief reading my mother's words.
  • Three words: Princess Diana's Funeral.
    • Coming home when her death was announced to see this troper's mother--whom she had previously believed could not cry--bawling. Monkey see, monkey confused, monkey do.
      • This troper has a distinct memory of that day, sitting on the sofa early morning with her mother - who abruptly dropped the news paper and shot to the television.
      • This Troper was in a birthday sleep-over that day. Feeling sick, she went to have a nap on the birthday girl's bed few after hearing about the accident, whispering to herself: "Hope Di pulls through". Few later, she woke up to the other girls sobbing their hearts out because of Diana and Dodi's deaths.
      • This Troper was getting a little angry at the Narm when they showed a shot of her coffin and saw a small wreath that had a card that just said Mummy, and realized that at the bottom of it all that two kids had just lost their mother.
      • This Troper had watched early news reports of the accident, and had dozed off in his recliner chair with the TV still on, confident that Diana would recover from her injuries (and, he must admit, sardonically expecting an embarrassing scandal for the Royal Family). When he woke up and saw that CNN was reporting her death, it was literally a stunning experience.
  • The funeral of Pope John Paul II also deserves mention, especially when you see even hated enemies (i.e. the leaders of Israel and Iran) sitting side by side out of respect of the late Pope.
    • It was amazing to see the number of Catholics who felt it like a personal tragedy.
    • He really left his mark on the world... he was such a beautiful man.
    • This video captures Pope John Paul II's last "hello" to the world. Have tissues ready when you realize he was doing this while suffering Parkinson's and lacking a voice.
  • This Troper cried when he heard the really, really depressing story of Emmett Till. It ruined his whole day. Here goes: Emmit Till, a black, 14-year-old boy from Chicago in 1955, left his mother's house to hop on a train to Mississippi, where he would work with his relatives on a plantation. Knowing the Deep South, his mother warned him to behave, but with his life experiences (he was 14, an had lived in Chicago his whole life), he just laughed it off. See the Wikipedia article for what happened and why it damages my faith in humanity. On a positive note, it helped start the Civil Rights Movement.
    • Eyes on the Prize leads off with this story. Emmett's great-uncle, Rev. Moses Wright, was asked to identify the man who took Emmett away. Wright actually stood up, pointed and said "Dar he" (there he is), risking his own life to do so. Some reporter took a picture. At the very end of the series, narrator Julian Bond says They had the courage to stand up and point out the road all of us must travel. Brothers, sisters, children, all the colors of the earth, standing up. Still standing up. Amen. They again show the photo of the old man whose courage started the whole thing.
    • Phil Ochs' song Too Many Martyrs, about the deaths of both Medgar Evers and Emmett Till, is a real Tear Jerker.

"Too many martyrs and too many dead
Too many lies too many empty words were said
Too many times for too many angry men
Oh let it never be again

And they laid him in his grave while the bugle sounded clear
laid him in his grave when the victory was near
While we waited for the future, for freedom through the land
The country gained a killer and the country lost a man"

  • Isaac Hayes and Bernie Mac both died within a single weekend. It was a very depressing week. As it turns out, the two of them were making a movie with Samuel L. Jackson called Soul Men. This troper will be going to see that.
    • At Bernie Mac's funeral, the rest of the Kings Of Comedy came to give their words. Steve Harvey's was moving as hell. This troper couldn't even get to the others...
  • Two words: "Uh oh."
    • Two and a half more: "Roger, uh, b-"
      • This troper has always been a fan of NASA, and the space program. His twelfth birthday was February 1, 2003
      • This troper had a dance troop competition that day, and there was the traditional "moment of silence" done before competition started, with the names of the astronauts read out. Seeing the first group to compete go out on the floor, with the classic confident expressions expected at these things, but with tears running down their faces made a hell of an impression.
      • This troper has a sister. Her first thought when she read that they recovered pages from the Israeli astronaut's diary that had survived the explosion and the 37-mile fall to earth: In the beginning, there was the word...
      • This Troper had just gotten home from an academic competition due to sickness to find out about Columbia. Not even the Sprite helped what came up watching the news.
    • Get us out of here!
    • Oh gosh, now you've made me remember and I'm tearing up...
    • This troper was at his grandparents' house in West Virginia that day, and remembers being glued to NBC News, hoping against hope that someone, anyone had survived. It didn't work. :(
    • This troper was only a little more disturbed by a small amount of Kick the Dog in the whole event: Any remains of the dead astronauts were most likely destroyed/vaporized.
    • And President Reagan's address to the nation: "We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them -- this morning, as they prepared for their journey, and waved good-bye, and slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God."
      • Just hearing or reading this still makes me cry. (see three entries below) The Bloom County strip dedicated to Challenger that also uses this quote does too.
    • Seeing Challenger blow up live is the first clear memory I have of growing up. I was just coming up to two at the time. Other slightly later memories are of the Pan-Am bombing over Lockerbie (especially the front of the plane in the field), and the Clapham Junction and Purley train crashes (all late 88 or 89), although I don't have any real recollection of the Kegworth Air Crash from the same year, despite it happening less than 10miles away (although my parents remember hearing the plane passing over our house, registering it sounded odd, then hearing the sirens, which carried on through the night). I also have deeper and much less clear (probably due to less reminders since) memories of a few IRA terrorist attacks in the period. I can't say I'm any worse for all of this though.
      • This Troper lives around 200 metres from the site of the Kegworth Air Crash, but moved here in 1997, 8 years after the fact. I never heard much about it until the death of the elderly man who lived across the road and used to give me chocolates when I was little. It turned out he'd spent his life as a coroner, and when the plane went down rushed to the scene to help - not once did I ever hear of him, but now I know he might have been responsible for some of those 79 survivors. Funny how one never hears of these things until after those people are gone.
    • In Jay Barbree's memoir Live From Cape Canaveral, there's a photo of a member of the NBC team interviewing the Challenger crew before they entered the shuttle. It's tearjerking enough how happy they look talking to the reporter, but a little bit after the explosion, Barbree recounts that very reporter from the picture turning to him and tearfully shouting "The faces! I'll never forget those faces!"
    • This Troper -- a space fan all his life -- lives in Florida and was watching, from his backyard, the liftoff of Challenger mission STS-51 while in high school. All the video and pictures you may have seen are nothing like the way it looked in real life. It was a perfectly clear, blue sky, and the flame and smoke trail slowly and silently rose to the sky, and then just ... expanded ... and expanded ... and stopped going up, and then pieces starting coming back down. The smoke cloud stayed there for a long time. Many years later, I was at home watching live NASA-TV coverage, waiting to hear the double sonic boom as the Columbia glided overhead on the way to landing from STS-107 and... well, everyone knows what happened. All the memories of Challenger came rushing back on top of everything and it was some time before I could even speak to explain to my wife what had happened and why I was crying so hard.
    • The 1996 Super Bowl fell on the 10th anniversary of the Challenger disaster. During the National Anthem, a group of fighter jets flew over the stadium in the Missing Man Formation. The lead pilot? The shuttle commander's son. In an interview before the event, he said (paraphrased) "I always try to fly on the anniversary, because I feel close to my dad when I'm in the air."
  • After finding out that Judith Barsi, a prominent late-80s voice actress (she played Ducky in the original Land Before Time movie and Anne-Marie in All Dogs Go to Heaven), was only 10 years old at the peak of her career, this troper went on IMDB, wondering whatever became of her and why she hadn't done any movies since then. This troper can never watch another thing with her in it without breaking down in tears.
    • Ducky was her favorite role. Her gravestone reads: "In memory of the lovely Judith Eva Barsi 1978-1988 'Our Concrete Angel' Yep! Yep! Yep!"
    • This troper comes from a family of 10 children, many of whom are too young to understand death yet. So, there we were, the whole family, watching Don Bluth's masterpiece All Dogs Go to Heaven, and it comes to the part where Anne-Marie begins to sing a lonely song about wanting a family. I began to cry, thinking it all over, how Judith Barsi had left this earth not really knowing a family's love. My younger siblings all asked why I had begun to cry, and my only response was to grab them all in a huge group hug, sobbing like a baby and simultaneously appreciating the loving family God blessed me with. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go give my youngest brother a hug.
  • This troper's heart was crushed when he learned about the tragic fate of Peter Pan star Bobby Driscoll: Not only was he a fallen Disney child star who fell into the Manhattan drug scene and dying alone and penniless as a result, but his body wasn't identified until a year after his death. And that is only part of his sad story.
  • When this troper found out Arthur C. Clarke had died, he had to hold down the crying. All he could say was, "See you past Jupiter, sir."
  • This troper didn't hold back when Douglas Adams passed. So long and thanks for all the fish.
  • Rui Torres (The Art Attack guy for/from Latin America). He was such a sweet guy who entertained and taught creativity to children. I was painful to my inner child to know of his death.
    • It gets worse: He was 27, and he committed suicide because his 2 year old daughter had died.
  • When she found out Dudley Moore had died in 2003, this troper was close to tears, in part because she had just recently read an authorized biography that revealed the suffering he was going through then - his arrest for assault in 1994, which made him the butt of jokes, was actually the act of a Love Martyr; his then-wife was abusing him. (The book's author was actually assaulted by the wife at one point too!) He was also afflicted with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, but it wasn't diagnosed for several years, and the early symptoms were interpreted by casual viewers as signs of alcoholism. Once it was diagnosed, he got the support and care he needed, but he faced the heartache of not being able to play the piano (his first love)...and this was on top of the melancholy that had afflicted him for years. A real-life Woobie if ever there was one, and knowing his pain was over was probably what kept this troper from crying.
    • And Milton Berle on the same day.
  • This troper felt the same way when she heard the same types of stories about Woody Guthrie's Huntington's disease, right down to being mistaken for alcohol abuse.
  • Bobby Darin's death in 1973. This troper was very young, in one of her first jobs, and was sent to the stationery room in the insurance company where she worked, and saw the newspaper the stationery guy read, open to a report about Bobby Darin's death on the operating table. Her parents were Bobby Darin fans (and her father died just a short time later.) She was so made up to find a Bobby Darin CD just a few years ago, many years later - when he's a legend, but few people seem to care!
  • Just try to watch Mister Rogers' Neighborhood without thinking of his death after a battle with cancer. Hearing him sing that "It's such a good feeling, to know that you're alive..."
    • This Troper didn't know about it until a week or so after when I read it in Time for Kids. I cried right there in class.
    • This Troper was a freshman in college, going through a very difficult sorority pledging process. We were tired, cranky with each other, and some of us hadn't showered that day. One of the active members came into the library where we were doing homework and asked if we'd heard Mr. Rogers died. I started bawling like a 4-year-old right then and there, and the other six girls in my pledge class weren't far behind me. The actives gave us the next 3 days off.
    • I'm placing this right where it needs to be on the list (and am shocked it was as far down the list as it was). The kindly Mr. Rogers was everyone's favorite television patriarch and the best thing to ever happen to children's television. I theorize that there's more rudeness amongst the children of today because they've never been exposed to Mr. Rogers but rather to the hypercommercialized Disney and Nickeloden children's programs of today. We need a Mr. Rogers now more than ever and to think that he's gone from this world is... heartbreaking.
  • This troper was eight when Phil Hartman died. Didn't cry, just sat there in stunned chills. The fact that I heard about it from overhearing my mother telling my aunt that she didn't want me to know about it yet because it would hurt me too much just made it worse.
    • I wholeheartedly agree with the Phil Hartman example. It still makes me so sad, because I loved him on Newsradio, The Simpsons, and SNL. To this day, watching the Newsradio episode "Bill Moves On" makes me cry.
    • I was nine when it happened and I'd only seen News Radio a few times, but I knew it was sad because my parents could not stop talking about him for two or three days.
    • On The Simpsons, they honored him by discontinuing the characters of Lionel Hutz and Troy McClure (who Hartman voiced) rather than replace their voice actor, even though they were two of the most popular characters on the show, to show just how much we had lost. And on Futurama Phillip Fry was named in his honor.
    • This troper just got done watching Kiki's Delivery Service on DVD, and it is STILL heartbreaking to hear his voice. Worse yet, there was a behind-the-scenes extra in which he was interviewed...this troper was crying, no joke.
    • This troper was 13 when Hartman died...it was the only time the news of a celebrity death that truly knocked her on her ass and left her stunned. Hearing about the details only made it worse. It was just so unfathomable that someone with so much talent as him was long longer alive. It still bothers her.
  • Halliwell + Orton, two young gay British actor/playwrights. They were a homosexual couple until the early Sixties, when Orton's playwriting success coupled with Halliwell's depression began to take a toll on Halliwell, who had initially being something of a tutor to Orton, helping to mold Orton's writing style. August 9, 1967, when Halliwell bludgeoned 34-year-old Orton to death with nine hammer blows to the head, and then committed suicide with an overdose of 22 Nembutal tablets washed down with the juice from canned grapefruit. Investigators determined that Halliwell died first, because Orton's body was still warm.
  • This trope STILL mourns the death of River Phoenix. That man's career would've rivalled Brando's, I'm sure of it.
    • Watching Stand by Me, I always think, "What a shame...", as does my mother. It was truly tragic because he was so talented, similar to the deaths of James Dean and Heath Ledger.
    • Listening to his brother Joaquin's desperate call to 911 for help as he was dying is just heartbreaking.
  • The death of Steve Irwin. An entire nation mourned the passing of a legend.
    • Even more tear-jerking was the speech made by his seven year-old daughter, Bindi, at the memorial service. There is just something touching about seeing a little kid who is not afraid to tell the world she loved her dad.
    • This troper broke down after reading about it on National Geographic.com. Growing up with his show, she almost thought of Irwin as invincible.
      • Two nations really. We often don't realise what we lose until we've lost it. Steve was probably far more loved and known by Americans than we Australians. And also, the way he went- it was the worst case of bad luck ever. ANYWHERE ELSE that stinger could have hit, it might not have been lethal.
      • Make that three nations.
      • Let's just say every nation and simplify things.
      • What sucked even more is that even the people who watched the show to see what animal would finally get pissed and take out Irwin had a small breakdown due to the fact that of all animals it was an F'ING STINGRAY! I mean he may have pissed off alot of animals and done some things that people felt was stupid beyond compare, But, a stingray does not have the right to take out Steve Irwin!
      • In light of that, this troper cried a bit when she saw exactly what some stupid people were doing to the stingrays afterwards. It would've broken his heart to see them treated like that.
      • This troper was only kind of annoyed that it wasn't a crocodilian of any kind. The honor should have gone to them, dammit!

Chris Berman (of ESPN): What you saw was what he was. Now if you excuse, I'm going go be sad for a while.

    • What This Troper found saddest was not the death of Steve Irwin, but the fact that Australian author Colin Thiele's death went unnoticed... because he died on exactly the same day.
    • Around the time of Steve Irwin's death, a few of this troper's friends liked a song about him written by a local band. What was particularly poignant was that we figured out that they were likely to have been singing it at the moment that he died.
    • Steve Irwin would have forgiven that stingray...
    • Yes he would.
    • What made me tear up was those utter idiots who went on to "avenge" his death by cutting the tails off stingrays. Jerks.
    • Upon hearing the news, This Troper immediately remembered an ad Steve did for Fed Ex where he was waiting for an anti-venom to be delivered and laughed. Then, she felt very bad. Then, she realized Steve Irwin probably would want everyone to remember the times he made them laugh.
    • That interview Terri did, where she talked about how Steve taught her it was okay to play in the rain, or if the kids got dirty, and how to have fun. She looked so broken.
    • This is for everyone who [dead link] loved Steve Irwin, a [dead link] tribute to his [dead link] awesomeness. R.I.P. Steve Irwin
      • Warning, the last two pictures contain spoilers for Harry Potter and Fullmetal Alchemist. Sorry about that!
        • And this turns it into a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, At least to This troper. To think - Every type of artist, from fans of Harry Potter to Fullmetal Alchemist, and even a Furry artist or two, all drew Steve, in one form or another - In heaven, Forgiving the stingray, in the Pokemon universe... That's how much he ment to all of them. And he got that fame because he wanted to save animals... Kind of makes you hopeful for the world, don't it?
        • "Forgiving"? Steve wouldn't have been angry in the first place. It would be how he wanted to go.
    • His memorial service. Namely, 'True Blue', and the flowers that spelled out 'Crikey'.
    • The worst thing about Steve Irwin's death... PETA celebrated his death. Because, by their standards, he was an animal abuser.
      • Which is unfortunate, as he lived in a country where most things he dealt with (and indeed saved countless numbers of) could have killed him in an instant... and he did it because he had always had a sincere love of animals.
  • This trooper had just got back from some field maneuvers when he saw a copy of either Time or Newsweek with news of Jim Henson's death on the cover. If that news wasn't sad enough, there was a picture inside of him sitting in a window framed by the sunlight, 'talking' to Burt.
    • The editorial cartoonist Steve Sack did a cartoon to honor Henson's death two days later, and it broke my heart. All it showed was a darkened street corner, labelled Sesame Street. On the curb sat Kermit the Frog with his head bowed, obviously crying.
    • A Boy And His Frog might belong in the Music section, but this is the song that made the dam break. In my campus computer lab, no less. And I couldn't even worry about that, since I was too busy scrabbling for tissues.
      • Hell, even the Sad Kermit shorts have a brief moment of this. (Said shorts being a much Darker and Edgier creation with K Ermit struggling with failure and drug addiction and such after Henson's death). In one part when Kermit sings Hurt, one lyric goes Everyone I know goes away in the end while Kermit looks at a photo of Henson.
    • "The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson", especially the scene where the Muppets read letters, written by real people, about Jim's death and "Just One Person" makes This Troper cry.
    • This statue.
    • This photo.
    • Big Bird singin "It's Not Easy Being Green" at his funeral. You can just hear Caroll Spinney trying desperately not to burst into tears as his voice and sadness creeps into Big Bird's.
      • Several people who performed some of the core Muppets performed a medley of songs from Muppet productions at the memorial as well. This culminated in a performance of Just One Person during which everyone in attendance who had regularly voiced a muppet joined in, ending with a stage crowded with people and puppets. It was a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming that left this troper crying.
  • Similarly to Jim Henson, there was his Spritual Predecessor, Walt Disney. Both of them made it big by making it so that a medium considered kitschy fun could be taken seriously as an art form (Western Animation and Puppet Shows, respectively); both of them had a signature creation they voiced (Mickey Mouse and Kermit the Frog); both of them made fantasy films without their central characters (The Disney Animated Canon and films such as The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth); and Walt never got to see his biggest dream, Walt Disney World, become a reality - even then, the Disney World of today is far from the futuristic and progressive Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow Walt had originally envisioned. Walt may have had his flaws, such as his hatred of unions and falling prey to the McCarthyist tendencies of his day, but both Walt and Jim were dreamers, and both died far too young.
    • This picture will make both Henson and Disney fans cry.
    • It Gets Worse when you see how Walt's company started dying when he did, and when Roy the first passed away, it looked like the Disney company itself would fall until it was saved by Roy Jr. and Michael Eisner. And THEN Michael Eisner devolved into a soulless hack and almost killed traditional animation, as well as putting out hundreds of sequels. Walt hated sequels.
  • Gilda Radner. This 23-year-old troper has only become a fan of hers over the last two or three years and was so impressed with what a wonderful, funny, sweet, talented, loving human being she was, and so moved by the tragic circumstances of her death that I wrote a poem about her death, one of two serious poems I've ever written in my life.
    • Barbara Walter's response to her death got me. She was initially hurt by Radner's portrayal of her on SNL, Baba Wawa, which mocked her speech impediment. She later came to accept the character for what it was and find humor in it. Upon Gilda Radner's death she sent her husband, Gene Wilder, a simple note that read "She made me laugh. I will miss her. Baba Wawa."
  • Heath Ledger's untimely death. This troper literally sat stunned, and then adamantly was in denial until she'd exhausted her attempts at internet-searching for a clue that it was a hoax. And then, when finally convinced it wasn't a lie, couldn't stop crying for several days.
    • I opened up my laptop, logged on to the Internet, and saw the headline, "Heath Ledger Dead At 28." I didn't cry, but I stared at the screen for a few minutes trying to comprehend what it said. Then my stomach felt like someone dropped a stone in it. It really freaked me out because I had seen the first trailer for The Dark Knight some four days before and I'd been talking about how good it looked with a friend, who said, "He's such a good actor!" And barely a work week later, we were talking about his death. It was eerie and heartbreaking. My mother refused to listen to our copy of the Brokeback Mountain soundtrack after that.
    • I really started crying when I saw a news report the day after his death that talked about him and his daughter and showed pictures and video footage. Having lost my own father at a young age, I cried. When he won his Oscar for The Dark Knight and his family made the acceptance speech for him, I was bawling.
    • Hearing that John Gibson made fun of his death just added to the sadness. Honestly, John is a horrible, sick man.
      • Unsurprising, given that John Gibson also made fun of Jon Stewart for crying on TV. It was the first Daily Show after 9/11, and Jon lived so close to the Twin Towers that he could see them from his apartment window.
    • It's hard for this troper to determine what is most tragic about Heath's death:
      • The fact that his accidental overdose was due to a combination of pneumonia medication and sleep medication, prescribed because Heath was having insomnia. It sparked speculation that his performance as The Joker had disturbed him that much.
      • The fact that his housekeeper found him, and wasted precious time calling people in his cellphone address book rather than the authorities.
      • He left behind a two-year-old daughter. That's enough for this troper to get teary.
        • The fact that his now-three-year-old daughter Matilda looks so much like him adds to the sadness for me. My sister and I were looking at a collage of pictures of celebrities' kids in a magazine recently, and when we saw her, we just stared for a moment.
      • Brings about tears of heartwarming when you find out that Jude Law, Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp all stepped in to finish his role in "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus"and donated everything they earnt to Matilda.
    • He died on my birthday. I couldn't bring myself to read any of the details. Just knowing it had happened was enough to make this troper teary.
  • The death of Anthony Ainley, the fourth actor to play The Master on Doctor Who. First of all, it wasn't reported (heck, not even really a report, the obituary just suddenly showed up) until a whole week after he died, which made it shocking and confusing. Second, this troper was friends with him through fan letters. She had sent him a Valentine in February, and optimistically thought she was getting no response simply because he was getting so many other Valentines. And then, on the morning of May 10th, 2004, she got an e-mail from a friend with the obituary attached... she couldn't make it through the school day. She cried in the nurse's office all day.
  • This troper cried when they saw the front page of Mitch Hedberg's website, declaring his death.
    • The saddest part about it? His death was reported on freakin' April Fool's Day. So the majority of fans who heard the news didn't even take it seriously.
      • You want heartbreaking? Read the blog entries written by his widow, Lynn Shawcroft, in the months following his death:

I stumble upon a photo. It's Mitch and I...It is our wedding photo...taken by the Justice of the Peace who read us our vows...For some reason, I flip this one over. I see Mitch's familiar writing. My heart tightens. I read it. "Standing very near Lynn. I love Lynn."...I look back at the photo and his words--so happy that day. I'm once again reminded how fucking impossible life is going to be.

  • Tim Russert's televised memorial, especially the lovely eulogy his son gave.
  • On October 27, 2004, The West Wing showed an episode where President Bartlet's chief of staff and best friend Leo Mc Garry had a massive heart attack. A bit over a year later, John Spencer, the actor who played Leo, checked himself into a Los Angeles hospital for what he thought was stomach trouble. A few hours later he was dead. He had had a massive heart attack. Spencer was one of the genuinely kindest, nicest people in show business, an FDR liberal who fought for human rights, including gay rights in the days when such things were barely mentioned. His name remained in the credits for The West Wing, the episodes he had completed were shown, and the story of Matt Santos' election was rewritten to include running-mate Mc Garry's death.
  • Snooker player Paul Hunter's death from cancer aged only 27 was terribly sad, especially since he'd kept playing while ill, sometimes playing with a totally shaven head, and had also been allowed to keep his ranking in the anticipation that he would eventually recover and return.
  • Similarly rally driver Richard Burns' death from a brain tumour aged 34, which came on the same day as George Best died. So naturally nobody in the UK paid the slightest attention to it. Then Colin McRae, the other British rally champion died, in a helicopter crash two years later.
  • When radio DJ John Peel died. "What are we going to listen to now?"
    • Seconding the John Peel mention. He truly cared about music, in a way that was admirable and a bit breathtaking. For a long time I was wondering if anyone would be able to fill his formidable shoes; looks like his son Tom Ravenscroft just might fit the bill (though for 6Music, not for BBC Radio 1 like his dad).
    • This troper is reminded of two things relating to John Peel. First, when I read about his death on a message board, my first post in the thread was something like "Fuck. I don't know what else to say. Fuck". Later on, during Radio1's tribute show to him, the presenter read an email out saying "If God truly is a DJ he's just lost his job". That made me well up slightly, and I'm not even vaguely religious.
  • Kurt is in Heaven now. God bless you Mr. Vonnegut. So it goes...
    • Subversion? In that this troper specifically didn't cry for him because of that book. Bad stuff happens, so look at the good stuff instead. He's still alive, just not at the moment we're looking at.
    • This troper was in English class when she heard the news of Mr. Vonnegut's death, quietly reading 'Mother Night'. There was an exchange that went something like this:

Teacher: Not that any of you will care but a great author died yesterday.
Troper: Uh huh, who's that?
Teacher: Kurt Vonnegut.
Troper: You're making that up.
Teacher: It says so right here.
Troper: So it goes.

      • This troper read Inferno and had a funny aneurysm moment when he heard of the death. An entire chapter is written about the main character (an expy of Robert Heinlein) whose darkest point in Hell is confronting Vonnegut's tomb.
    • This troper found out that he'd died the night before on her eighteenth birthday, shortly after dinner. Cue Heroic BSOD, and a persisting inability to explain to her family why she just dropped the newspaper and headed upstairs with tears in her eyes muttering "so it goes".
    • The epitaph at the end of "Breakfast Of Champions" will ruin your day. After reading the book for the first time, this troper thought of Vonnegut and just wept. For those who don't know, the epitaph is only two words:

He tried.

  • Robert Jordan's death. In a blurb of his life in one of the Wheel of Time books, it says that he intended to keep writing until they nailed down his coffin. Then he dies before A Memory of Light is released.
  • Sergei Prokofiev died on 5 March 1953 and was completely unmourned. Why? Because the Soviet people were too busy mourning Stalin to mourn possibly the greatest of all Russian composers.
    • Stalin did a lot more to the USSR than Prokofiev did.
      • Whether that is something that should make him worth mourning is debatable (and probably not here). Relatedly, this troper heard this morning that Aldous Huxley and C.S. Lewis both died on November 22nd, 1963. Same day as J.F.K.
      • Soviets were forced to mourn Stalin, they didn't really had a choice.
      • Without doubt, many of the things that Stalin did for Russia qualify for this trope themselves, though they may be not in this section. This includes the act of brainwashing a large part of the country into believing in Stalin as an infallible hero, in spite of many of his deeds.
  • Obama's grandmother dying just one day before he was elected president. Even Obama's opponent, Senator McCain, paid his respects to her in his concession speech.
  • Star Trek fans are always sad to see cast members pass away, but for some reason the death of James Doohan aka Montgomery Scott hits hard. Probably because he went out of his way to be friendly to Trek fans. So long to the "Miracle Worker".
    • This troper just watched Relics on DVD, and choked up with the scene featuring Scotty on the bridge of the Enterprise. They hid it well for the rest of his work, but you can see his missing finger in one shot, the one he lost at the Battle of Normandy.
    • This troper locked herself in her room and cried for a whole day after reading DeForest Kelley's biography.
      • This troper is a major Trekkie, and on the night of his passing went to a party at the Star Trek Experience in full Starfleet uniform with one small addition - a black strip of tape across the communicator pin.
      • I sobbed myself sick over his loss every night for a week. I still cry every time I hear his last line: "She's a new ship, but she's got the right name, y'hear? You treat her like a lady, and she'll always bring you home." Cue waterworks.
    • Majel Barrett-Roddenberry passed away, reportedly just after she had finished work on the new Star Trek film as the voice of the computer. Many Trek cast and crew members have paid tribute to her here, but the one that is an absolutely guaranteed Tear Jerker is this photo.
      • It wasn't the news itself that started this troper crying, but seeing Majel referred to in one news headline as "Trek creator's wife". That's Number One/Nurse Chapel/Lwaxana Troi/M'Ress/the ships' computer voice you're talking about, bitch!
  • Last year this troper decided to look up whatever happened to the original yellow ranger, Thuy Thang. When she was 6 her family fled Vietnam, smuggled into a cargo ship in which Thuy nearly died. Her father managed to get his family political asylum and the moved to America after a year in a Hong Kong detention camp. She had planned to be an engineer but was approached by a talent scout and became an actress instead. On September 3, 2001 she and two friends were driving back from planning a friend's wedding (in which Thuy would have been a bridesmaid) when the car lost control. The two others in the car survived.
  • Michael Crichton... just Michael Crichton.
    • Sadly overshadowed by Election Day 2008.
    • First time this troper ever cried in public. (Sitting in a coffeeshop, looking over the BBC News website, and - ...oh god. That's... that obituary's real. The author of the first "grown-up books" I ever read is dead. I never got to meet him. No, dammit, no...)
  • Robert Asprin will be sorely myth-ed. (If you're an Asprin fan, that's not meant to be a jab.)
    • Asprin fans may feel comforted knowing Jody Lynn Nye will keep the myths alive.
  • All this troper has to say is the death of Selena.
  • Wilfred Owen, writer of Anthem For Doomed Youth, died in WWI.
    • The worst part of it was that he died on November 7th, 1918, at the Battle of the Sambre-Oise Canal, one week (almost to the hour) before the Armistice. As the bells in Shrewsbury began to ring to celebrate the peace on November 11th, his mother received the telegram informing her that her son would not be returning home.

What passing-bells for those who die like cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells,
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,-
The shrill demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

  • Christopher Reeve. The first thing this troper saw after hearing about it was the famous quote from The Death Of Superman.
    • This Troper spent the day in utter shock when I heard he was gone, he was slowly but surely beginning to feel and move again, and then he was gone. But perhaps his life should be classed as both a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming and Awesome. Because even paralysis from the neck down could not stop Superman from living, and fighting his own battles inside and out. His is an inspiration to everyone.
    • If the death itself didn't draw tears from this troper, tributes along these lines did.
    • Now listen to this while imagining him entering heaven: The Christopher Reeve March.
    • What got me afterward was my dad. All he said was "I always thought that he would walk again."
    • My mother went to High School with Chris. She was utterly heartbroken from his loss as they had re-established contact after his accident.
  • This troper had gotten into an argument on March 4, 2008 on a Internet RPG forum with another poster, and had mentioned about how Gary Gygax was one of the "grand old men" of fantasy roleplaying games. The next thread he read, almost immediately after finishing that post, was an announcement of Gygax's death that very morning. The rest of the day was hard to get through.
    • This editor recently found an archive of "Q&A with Gary Gygax" threads from the ENWorld forums, where Gary would answer questions from the members. As much as I want to see what he had to say about things, I can't bear myself to read them because they make me think too much of Gary.
    • See also Order of the Stick's tribute. Beautifully done, guys.
      • Dork Tower has a really good one as well. (sorry couldn't find the original)
  • The death of Aaliyah. This troper remembers the first time her death was mentioned, a line of text that played during a music video at 3 am, "R&B singer Aaliyah has been killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas..." and this troper thought, "Aaliyah?" It all came out of left field. And to think of her sweet voice, soft beauty, and how she died not by violence or drugs like so many of her peers in the music industry, but a random engine failure just as she started to truly grow as an artist (her self-titled third album, released a month before her death, had already been considered her best).
  • The passing of Mother Teresa of Calcutta seemed a truly dark day for me. She was a true spirit of kindness and charity and an exemplar to us all. I did not share her faith, but I hope one day to share her humanity.
    • What makes her story sadder was the fact that, after her death, we find out just how much she suffered from dark nights of the soul... this troper could understand the pain and loneliness she must have felt for she too has wondered if God was still there. :'(
        • Unfortunately overshadowed by the death of Lady Diana Spencer the same week.
  • The death of Cliff Burton of Metallica. Made even sadder by the fact that later into the night he died, bandmate James Hetfield (drunk at the time) was wandering around on the street screaming, "Cliff, Cliff, where are you?"
    • The fact that Cliff had taken up playing bass to honor his brother who died when he was a child only adds to the tearjerker factor of his death, seeing as how in a way he died doing something he started to honor his deceased brother. One can't help but feel awful for his parents, having lost both their sons before the age of 25.
  • This troper cried when she heard that Janet Kagen had died. Such a wonderful author. * sniffs*
  • Natasha Richardson passing away at age 45 after hitting her head on a beginner's ski slope during a lesson. Just such a sudden and random way to die, plus it makes Liam Neeson's character's storyline in Love Actually into a gutwrenching Funny Aneurysm Moment.
    • And it puts an even sadder spin on Ra's al-Ghul's lines in Batman Begins:

Ra's Al-Ghul: I once had a wife... my great love. She, too, was... taken from me...

    • What got this troper was Liam Neeson. Hearing about him in the random news stories and how broken he looked in bars in Toronto after her death. I didn't even have to be there. I could just imagine it clearly. It broke my heart. And still, he acted like a gentleman to cameramen and smiled softly to fans. That finally got this troper sobbing.
    • To this troper, and as a fan of Cabaret, this is the sweetest tribute to Ms. Richardson ever done.
  • This troper broke down sobbing when she first heard the news that special effects artist Stan Winston had passed away. No one will be able to look at Jurassic Park, the Terminator trilogy, or Aliens the same way ever again.
  • May you rest in peace, George Carlin. Your humor will be missed.
    • I bet right now he's down there, screaming up at us...
      • The line above made this troper, a hardcore Carlin fan, start laughing his ass off. I bet George would have loved it.
      • Somehow, if there is a hell and he has gone down there, he would be appreciating the irony and laughing it up with the Red Guy. That is unless, god is forgiving and granted him a suite in the other place. Wether or not George Carlin would accept the place, is another thing entirely.
      • No, he wouldn't. In his life, he expected he'll "be going to a public toilet in Honduras. And by the way, should you be interested, [he] can tell you on good authority that when Monty Hall dies, he will be spending a lot of time behind door number 3."
  • After enjoying what This Troper considers the best comedy series ever, Monty Python's Flying Circus, for years and pretty much memorizing the films, This Troper decided to look up what the Pythons, especially Graham Chapman, who was This Troper's personal favourite, have been up to, only to find out that he had died the same year This Troper was born. Even thinking about this would make getting out of bed impossible for at least several days if not for the fact that mr. Chapman got the best memorial service ever.
  • Remember Rod Roddy? Announcer for The Price Is Right? Well it turns out he died of cancer and they put up some sort of a memorial website where fans could write letters then post them...this troper was only able to read half the letters before bawling himself silly.
  • This Troper remembers hugging a friend of hers and crying when, right before junior high class, they learnt that Kurt Cubain of Nirvana had killed himself.
  • Luther Vandross. This troper knew he'd been sick, but thought he was getting better. I'd never shed tears for anyone I wasn't related to, before then.
  • Gerald Levert (Son of Eddie Levert of the O'Jays and an R&B icon in his own right). His passing was made all the more painful, in this troper's mind, due to word spreading of his death and many people reacting with "The dad from My Super Sweet 16 died?" (Gerald's daughter was the subject of an episode a few months previous to his death).
  • This Troper is surprised that no one has mentioned Ricardo Montalban (though I don't know why I am...).
  • For St. Louis Cardinals fans, 2002 had a double-whammy: legendary baseball broadcaster Jack Buck's death after a long battle with lung cancer, and then pitcher Darryl Kile's sudden death from a heart attack (due to a genetic disorder) in a Chicago hotel room one week after Buck's death. What's really chilling is that there's a picture of Darryl Kile playing with his very young children on the dugout before a game, and there's a memorial picture of Jack Buck on the Jumbotron behind him.
  • This troper mourned the passing of several of the names listed above, but did not cry. However, I welled up when I heard Wayne Allwine, third official voice of Mickey Mouse and the voice of my childhood, had died. This memorial using a scene from Mickey's Christmas Carol had me in tears.
    • Seconded. This troper still gets sad when she hears anything with Mickey's voice between Christmas Carol and Kingdom Hearts 2, but she refuses to tear up because Mickey embodies the soul of joy and childhood, and Mr. Allwine wouldn't want anything to mar that. Made even worse because this troper was working at WDW when he died and heard Mickey's voice just about every day.
    • Also, he was married to the voice actress for Minnie Mouse. Think about that...now Minnie is left without her rightful Mickey, no matter how good Bret Iwan (the new voice) turns out to be.
    • His final performance was in Kingdom Hearts 358 Days Over 2, the English version of which is dedicated to him. During the credits, after the list of voice actors scrolls is

"In loving memory of Wayne Allwine"

  • This troper was saddened by the death of David Carradine since he was the voice of Clockwork in Danny Phantom, not to mention hosted one of my favorite shows on the History Channel (I never really saw Kill Bill. Not to mention the manner of his death, and for a short time, I was worried that it really was a suicide attempt, but even when it turned out to be supposedly accidental didn't help much either... It's hard now, watching (Or listening to) him on TV; you know what they say about a 'dead man walking'? That might not be the right term for it, but I still think it fits.
    • And while I'm here (still the same person as above), I was really hit hard by the death of Dave Matthews Band saxaphonist LeRoi Moore, especially because they're my dad's favorite band (and one of mine as well). Hell, my first concert was of the Dave Matthews Band, and the fact that it's so personal for me kinda hurts...
  • Michael freaking Jackson. This troper's work here is done.
    • How about when his daughter Paris Jackson spoke at his memorial? The emotion and sadness in her voice is so heartbreaking.
      • I was in shock when I found out, and didn't even cry when I came out of that shock. Then, I heard his daughter's little speech and bawled like a baby.
      • Understatement. Being the stoic troper that I am, I never cried through any of the performances. But man, Paris drew the tears right out of me.
    • And add to that Farrah Fawcett (the guy writing this never heard of her 'till her death, but still), who also died on the same day.
      • And Ed McMahon two days before.
      • At this tropers high school, there's an annual event called "Arts Alive". In 2009 at Arts Alive, one group did "Thriller" by Michael Jackson. The very next day, we found out that he'd died that exact night. At first I was just saying, "You're kidding, right?", but eventually I realised it was actually true. And before that happened, I'd never really liked MJ that much, but afterwards...
    • Not even a week before MJ's death, this troper was talking to his brother about him and said "I don't care how odd he is, he's still one of the greatest artists ever." And when his death was announced by TMZ I refused to believe it.
    • This Troper's birthday is the same day Michael Jackson died. The power was out for most of the day. The first thing I learned when the power came on was Michael Jackson was dead. I didn't even like the man or his music and I still felt sad.
  • BILLY MAYS!
    • I saw an ad for Mays' endorsed Life Insurance about a week after his death. The irony was overwhelmingly depressing.
    • This Troper laughed AND cried as all Billy's friends turned out at his funeral in his signature blue shirt and shouted his Catch Phrase, "Hi, BILLY MAYES here!"
    • This troper saw an Oxi-clean commercial, but it had a different person (forgot the name) and he was talking in a normal volume voice. This troper remembered shouting out "WHERE THE FUCK IS BILLY MAYS!?" then she realized that Billy Mays was dead.
  • STEVE MCNAIR!
  • This Troper's uncle told me about the death of James Dean. We both cried.
  • Can we just sum it up as every beloved celebrity ever, and make the whole section much shorter. Mmm-kay?
    • No. No, we fucking can't. These are tributes.
    • 2009. Just... 2009. How many celebrities died, again ? Michael Jackson, Billy Mays, Patrick Swayze... Quite a lot of inspirations died that year.
  • The normally contained and thoroughly professional Walter Cronkite fighting tears as he announces the death of JFK is an iconic tear jerker.
    • This troper was inspired to go into broadcasting by, among other things, Cronkite. I was driving home from routine errands and flipped the radio on. Cue All Things Considered theme, then Cronkite's voice talking about what being a reporter meant to him, and I let out a "No! NO!" they probably heard in Washington. It was too soon after Jackson's death. Which I'd also heard on NPR in the car. Again, I'd literally turned on the radio and cued the first official announcement.
  • Not as famous as Cronkite's JFK moment, but over on NBC that tragic day, the official news was being relayed by Robert MacNeil over the phone to Frank McGee. When MacNeil hits the word "died," there is a very brief, almost split-second, but obvious expression of agony on McGee's face -- a tortured grimace that hits you in the gut even viewing the footage at normal speed. And NBC's Bill Ryan, who anchored the live coverage, was a solid rock of control all day, but is said by his son to have cried like a baby for half an hour when he finally returned home early the next morning.
  • This huge Pink Floyd fan sat stunned when she heard Syd Barrett had died, and sobbed uncontrollably when the news finally sunk in. She can no longer listen to 'Wish You were Here' without tearing up. The same thing with Rick Wright when he died.
  • The unfortunate and untimely deaths of the singer, bassist and drummer for the punk rock band the Exploding Hearts in a stupid and completely avoidable van crash in 2003, shortly after the release of their critically acclaimed debut album Guitar Romantic essentially ruined this troper's summer that year.
  • The passing of Harry Patch. Not that his death was in any way untimely, the man was 111 years old, but - for this troper, not having known him personally - what it represents. There is now no one left in the world who knows first-hand what it was to fight in the trenches of World War I. Inevitable, true, but no less sad for that.
    • In the same vein, on the 65th Anniversary of Normandy one of the TV networks gave this simple poignant tribute to the veterans of the campaign:

Someday, sooner than we think, there will come a time when there will no one left who was there on the 6th of June, 1944. And that's why, more than ever, we should take the time to say "Thank you".

  • Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's. I grew up with no memories of one grandfather and just a few hazy memories of the other. Growing up watching too much television, I thought Mr. Thomas came across as funny and kind in his commercials, and would have made an awesome grampa.
  • "The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."
    • That comes from Edward Kennedy, this troper's home state senator, so his loss hit her especially hard, and though she'd never met him herself her father and several people close to her had met the senator several times. The bit that really hit her was when she saw a picture of him standing with Jack and Bobby at Jack's inauguration, and realizing that the brothers were all together again. * sniff* I'll miss you Teddy.
      • This comic that portrays an elderly Ted, being helped onto a boat by (young) Bobby, Jack, and John Jr. Waterworks.
  • This troper was, at the age of around 10 when it first aired, a huge fan of the TV series The Odyssey. Many years later, he got the idea of looking it up on Wikipedia, being naturally curious to know more about it. Then he clicked on the link to the page on the main actress, Ashley Rogers, expecting that she would by now have grown into a beautiful young woman. She had died a few days before.
  • Richard Jordan, brilliant actor, who was great friends with author Michael Shaara, and got to play General Lewis "Lo" Armistead in "Gettysburg" the film adaptation of Shaara's book The Killer Angels. Jordan had brain cancer, and died shortly after the film's release. What makes it even sadder is that in the film, his character tells Longstreet, with tears in his eyes, about the last time he was with his best friend, Union General Winfield Scott Hancock, "I went over to Hancock. I took him by the shoulder. I said, 'Winn, so help me, if I ever raise my hand against you, may God strike me dead.'" Both Armistead and Hancock are shot and wounded on the final day of the battle of Gettysburg. One of Jordan's last lines of the film was also the last scene he shot, where he's informed that Hancock has been shot, and says

"No! Not... both of us... Not... all of us...! Please! God!"

  • While not reported much nationally or internationally, the death of Judo Sensei Yoshio Senda, the first and only 9th degree black belt in Canada, hit the Canadian Judo community HARD. He had coached a number of national and international Judo teams, including three Olympic teams (one of which was Moscow), had his own Judo Club, and had been awarded the Order of Canada. Add to that the fact that, prior to his death, he had been on a broken leg for two weeks. To Canadian Judoka, he will be missed.
  • The death of Patrick Swayze, which makes his leading role in the film Ghost even sadder now...
    • He died on my birthday. I was sobbing like a little girl.
      • This one was even brought back to the fore-front of many people's minds when Jennifer Grey was recently on Dancing with the Stars. Her first dance was a Viennese Waltz to These Arms of Mine. In the rehearsal footage, she was happy and then it just shifted and she was suddenly crying. She explained to Derek, her partner, about her shock. She told him that Patrick was charming and handsome like Derek, and then suddenly he's gone. It had this troper and his mother in tears all the way through her dance.
  • Finding out that David Eddings died was hard. He gave me my first real appreciation of fantasy stories, and I'll never forget his characters or the worlds they lived in. He was best known for writing The Belgariad and The Malloreon, as well as The Elenium, The Tamuli, and several other novels. He was witty, snarky, and had a way with words that I've never seen the like of since.

"And so, my children, the time has come to close the book. There will be other days and other stories, but this tale is finished."

    • This troper vowed to become a writer because of Eddings and his work. He ran into a dedication to Eddings while browsing The Spoony Experiment and felt his heart sink. And nobody noticed because David Carradine died around the same time...
    • This troper finished re-reading Seeress of Kell and became determined to become a fantasy author, hoping that I might be able to meet David Eddings before he died. The next day I found out about his death. I cried then more than I ever had in my life.
  • This troper remembers watching footage of Dale Earnhardt Jr. running toward his father's car after the Intimidator crashed on literally the final lap of the Daytona 500. My first thoughts were "My sister's going to cry".
    • This troper still has a videotape of the race, complete with the final lap crash and the gutwrenching aftermath as everyone began to realize that a racing legend -- the Intimidator -- was dead. This troper also always chokes up upon hearing Garth Brook's "The Dance" because of its association with all the Dale Earnhardt tributes.
    • This Troper's brother has cried twice after the death of two of his favorite idols. One was Earnhardt's death, the other was Charles Schulz, the man who inspired him to draw.
  • This troper remembers hearing of Kirby Puckett's stroke in March, 2005. She can't believe it was almost five years ago already. A man so big he could be lost three times in one lifetime: Once when his hall of fame career was cut short by the destruction of his right eye by disease; a second time when his difficulty in dealing with a life without baseball led to his downfall... and the third time, most terrible of all. And the heavens wept, amen.
  • Stephen Gately, aged only 33. Especially listening to the recording from his funeral of Ronan Keating's eulogy, where he breaks down and has to stop at least twice... The man was loved.
  • "Our beloved Q. You will be missed." Desmond Llewelyn RIP.
    • It wasn't so much the death of Desmond Llewelyn that got me, but the tribute to him, with footage of his classic moments in all of the Bond movies, with Nobody Does It Better playing in the background brought me to tears the first time I saw it. His final scene in The World Is Not Enough didn't help either.
  • John Updike.
  • Brittany Murphy. Just Brittany Murphy. This Troper always considered her to be one of the sexiest and most talented women in the world. When I found she was dead at 32, I cried like a bitch.
    • That is how this troper felt about Adrienne Shelley.
    • This troper learned about her untimely demise just after watching Uptown Girls and cried out of sadness and complete disbelief. Her acting, her beauty... and now all of that were gone all of a sudden?
      • What makes it even more sad is that Murphy's husband died only a few months later, and then it was revealed that the main cause of their deaths was toxic mold growing in their house, so they're deaths could've been prevented had the previous owners of the house not neglected to fix the problem.
  • Corey Haim. He was one of the most charming and likeable actors of the 80s, and despite his drug issues in the late 90s, he eventually managed to recover. It looked like he was finally starting to get his career back, and then all of he sudden he was found dead, his death didn't shock me as much as Brittany Murphy's did, but it's still depressing nonetheless.
  • The Milk-Moscone assassinations of 1978. Over 30,000 people marched in honor of the San Franciscan mayor and city supervisor.
  • Luciano Pavarotti.
  • Marcel Marceleau
  • Anna Nicole Smith
  • Gerald Ford
    • This troper saw President Ford's body lying in state in at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Grand Rapids. Even though I was born years after he left the White House, I couldn't hold back the tears for this great man and humanitarian.
    • This troper was watching the funeral on television when his stepfather's radio was on. The song playing was "Tears In Heaven." It always struck me as an appropriate song.
    • For This Troper, what really sealed it was Time magazine's epitaph. Ford was a president whose most notable feature while in office was his almost total lack of notable features--except one. That one, the one feature that makes Ford different to other presidents, was what Time chose to honour about him. You know what it was? (emphasis mine):

Farewell to a decent human being.

  • This troper's father was crying at the death of Robert B. Parker, his favorite novelist. It also just makes this troper sad to see her daddy sad. :'(
    • Speaking of Robert B. Parker, he died at his writing desk, doing what he loved.
  • Norton Gethers, just reading about how many accolades he got after his death, including a moment of silence on the radio, just tears this troper up.
  • For This Troper, merely reading about the brutal suffering and death of Junko Furuta nearly made him cry, partly because of the graphic nature of the article, and partly because he could practically "feel" what she underwent for all those forty plus days. He's sure some others who read said article actually cried for her.
    • This Troper agrees completely, sad and terrifying at the same time.
  • The deaths of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G.. This troper has always been a loyal fan of both - dispite their eventual rivalry - and was completely shocked at the news that first Tupac and then Biggie had been murdered. He still can't watch the endings of Tupac Resurrection and Notorious, or listen to the introduction of Biggie's final studio album Life After Death (which was released after he died, mind you), without tearing up. And while we're at it, Eazy-E. There's a video on YouTube about his funeral service that is absolutely wrenching, especially when DJ Yella touches Eazy's casket as a final farewell to his friend.
  • Alexander McQueen. He was an awesome fashion designer, and This troper was stunned at the news of his suicide. And it happened the night before his beloved mother's funeral, which makes it even more heartbreaking.
    • He wasn't just awesome, he was a genius and a hero to many, many design students- partly for his brilliance and partly for his sheer bollocks (he learned how to cut clothes on Savile Row- and while employed there, stitched the words "I Am A Cunt" into the lining of a suit meant for the Prince of Wales). This Troper teared up on seeing this.
  • Alexander Koenig, and afterwards Walter Koenig's press conference where he announced that his son had committed suicide, then emotionally urged others who are thinking about doing the same thing to consider that there probably are people who care about them, as well as warning others who suspect someone is considering killing themselves to extend their help.
  • This may only have been prominent for Mormons, but when Marjorie Hinckley, wife of then-president of the LDS Church Gordon B. Hinckley, died, he gave a touching memorial of her at the next major Church meeting.

My children and I were at her bedside as she slipped peacefully into eternity. As I held her hand and saw mortal life drain from her fingers, I confess I was overcome. Before I married her, she had been the girl of my dreams, to use the words of a song then popular. She was my dear companion for more than two-thirds of a century, my equal before the Lord, really my superior. And now in my old age, she has again become the girl of my dreams.

  • Randy Pausch, who wrote "The Last Lecture". This troper watched it on youtube for a college course. It was bittersweet and inspiring throughout (given that he had terminal cancer, but didn't let it get him down at all)--the kicker though, was the second headfake at the end. "I'm not making this for you. It's for my kids."
  • René Lévesque's funeral. René Lévesque was Quebec's prime minister from 1976 to 1985 and a political figure since 1960, much of Quebec's modern institutions and its nationalist movement are indebted to him. He is widely considered the most popular Quebec politician of modern times. This troper teared up when seeing archive video of his coffin leaving the church and the crowd (supposedly 100 000 strong) spontaneously applauding him to thank him for all he did for them during his life, with a clearly audible "Merci René" from someone in the crowd.
  • I can't believe no one's mentioned RFK's assasination. IMHO, he was one of the most genuine, compassionate men in politics. It breaks my heart when I think about what happened to him.
  • Also, the death of Peter Steele at the age of 48. From heart failure. He'd been sober for a long, long period and was due to write new music and lyrics for an upcoming Type O Negative album. The band wasn't kidding this time.
  • The death of Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas early in the 2009 MLB season. Kalas, who this troper was more familiar with as a regular narrator for various NFL Films productions, had died from heart failure shortly before a game he was assigned to call. That, plus the fact that he was unable to call the 1980 World Series on radio due to a rule that stated that a local radio station could not make their own calls of a live event (which was changed in 1984), made his getting to call the Phillies' 2008 World Series championship that gave the city its first championship in a quarter-century all the more poignant.
    • Continuing the baseball theme, this Tigers fan has been rocked to the core over the death longtime radio broadcaster Ernie Harwell. We knew this was coming, but nobody knew when. He spent 42 years behind the mic for the Tigers (including the first 15 years of this troper's life) and was the voice of summer for baseball fans in Michigan, northwestern Ohio, northern Indiana, and southwestern Ontario. There was a reason Ernie was the first active broadcaster to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was that damn good! The baseball world misses you, Ernie.
    • On that note, Harry Caray. Take me out to the ball game...
      • Alright! Lemme hear ya! Good and loud! A-one! A-two! A-three!...
    • Dave Niehaus's death on November 10, 2010. As a Mariners fan, we don't have much to celebrate. Dave's death moved many of us to tears.
  • Virginia Woolf's suicide note is very heartbreaking. FYI, she wrote the note to her husband; by the time he read it, she would have already drowned at the bottom of a lake.

"I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can't concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don't think two people could have been happier 'til this terrible disease came. I can't fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can't even write this properly. I can't read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that -- everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can't go on spoiling your life any longer. I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been. V."

  • Sylvia Plath. She was a precocious poet in the 1950s and 1960s before she killed herself at the age of 30 in 1962. It isn't terribly tragic until you read her journals and see how much of a great person she was, how hard she worked to find her place in the world, and how greatly she struggled to confront her personal demons. Her father's death at eight years old lead to severe daddy issues for the rest of her life. She sought desperately her mother's love and affection and used her writing as a substitute for herself. After years of depression, mental, and emotional issues, she finally lost the will to live when her husband, Ted Hughes, the man who meant the world to her, left her for another woman. On February 11th, 1962, she stuck her head in her gas oven, and then (most likely), lost consciousness then suffocated. Despite the fact that she lost the will to live, she still cared about her children; on that same day, she set out breakfast for them, opened their window, and sealed the cracks in their door to the kitchen.
  • Gene Siskel had worked on the show through his cancer. You could see how worn out he was; he even phoned in some episodes. And when he did die, Roger Ebert had the most heartbreaking tribute to him.
  • This troper should have never read further up on what happened to George O'Hanlon (best known to animation buffs as the voice of George Jetson. To quote:

George O'Hanlon, the original George Jetson voice actor, came back in the late '80's to once again voice George Jetson for "Jetsons: The Movie" By this time he was 77 years old and very ill, wheelchair bound and blind, yet, he was still in perfect voice as George Jetson. Unable to read his scripts, he had the casting director in the booth read his lines for him and explain the acting of the scene, and George would parrot the line back to him for the take, in that perfect George Jetson voice. On his last day on this Earth, Mr. O'Hanlon was in the recording booth repeating back lines as Jetson when he had a massive stroke. Seeing this happen in front of his very eyes, the casting director (who had been feeding him lines, remember?) shouted into the mic, "George! George!! Are you okay?!?" To which O'Hanlon, in perfect George Jetson voice responded, "George! George!! Are you okay!?!" and promptly slumped over, stone cold dead..

  • God bless you, Ronnie James Dio. Thank you so much for everything you did for metal. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go sob my eyes out for a while.
    • May 16, 2010 truly was a Black Sabbath. Rock in peace, Ronnie.
    • Remember, he is one with the metal now. Plus dreamers never die, no?
  • Not a "prominent" death as Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico, nut he sure was in the throne because of Napoleon. Liberals caught him and he was executed in Querétaro. Keep in mind he was Austrian was betrayed by his followers and was about to be executed... last words?

Mexicans! I die in a just cause... the independence and liberty of Mexico. May my blood be the last to flow for the good of my new country. Viva México!

    • Agreed about this one. You can argue that Maximillian was Too Dumb to Live for believing that Mexicans would jump at the opportunity to be ruled by an Austrian Duke backed by a largely French army, but the picture that comes out is of a decent, well-meaning man who, amidst a failing war and all kinds of intrigue, tried really hard to be a good Emperor; in fact, the whole reason he ended up being executed was that, when the rest of the Franco-Austrian higher-ups were fleeing the country, he refused to abandon his few Mexican supporters. Of course, the long life of Maximillian's brother Franz Josef, emperor of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was a Tear Jerker in his own right as he lost his only son and heir to the throne to suicide and his wife-who he loved dearly but who never really returned his love and didn't get on with his family-was murdered by an Italian anarchist. He hated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, his nephew who was heir to the throne after the death of his son, and was actually pleased when Franz was murdered by Serbian Nationalists...except that this then dragged his Empire into World War I, which would lead to the complete breakup of the Empire that Franz Josef, who died of old age in 1916, had ruled for 68 years.
      • Nothing 'dragged' the Habsburg Empire into the First World War. The Habsburg monarchy exploited the death of Archduke Ferdinand to send an ultimatum to their archenemy, Serbia, who had been destabilising the empire's Slavic territories with nationalist sentiment. The ultimatum had been deliberately designed to be impossible to accept - conditions included putting the Serbian Armed Forces under the control of Austrian officers. Even still, the Serbian Government was able to accept all but two of the conditions. This was not enough for the Austrians, who declared war on Serbia, triggering the events that ignited the First World War. Hundreds of thousands died so that Emperor Franz Josef could maintain his domination over the Balkans.
    • This troper made an essay about Maximilian for his History class. It's a historic tragedy. He was deceived to come to Mexico because he was told that The People of Mexico (i.e. no one) wanted an European noble to rule over them. With the Italian unification risking his life, he fled to Mexico (it should be noted that he didn't meet Napoleon III until his interview with him about ruling Mexico and he described him as "a disgusting man that looked nothing like a ruler worthy of governing a country"). He then came to Mexico. In the port of Veracruz it started to rain and the carriage in which he was being taken broke down. He and his wife (both soaked) were taken to a much smaller carriage (that once belonged to Benito Juárez). They were crowned in Mexico City, with the backing of the French Army. However, the Liberals didn't want a foreign ruler and made a war against him. He however, didn't think like the ass-backard Mexicans. The reason Mexico got its independence was not because of "freedom", it was because it didn't want the Cádiz Constitution. Then, earlier in that time, Juárez separated the Church and the State, which angered a few. When Maximilian arrived, many hoped he would establish a conservative government, but what they got in its place was a liberal King (what else could you expect anything from an European?). The conservatives betrayed him and the liberals did not like him, so he was basically hated by everyone. Still, in his final hours, he was shown to have died greatly like the man he was. Unfortunately, he is still considered a villian in Mexican history.
  • This troper was saddened by the death of Dom De Luise, but he didn't shed any tears...until he watched this tribute video. The voice of Tiger, Itchy, Jeremy, Fagin is dead. When it sunk in, I bawled.
  • Slipknot bassist Paul Gray was found dead in a hotel room for no apparent reason on May 24th, 2010. The following evening, the remaining eight members of the band, Gray's brother, and Gray's widow all held a live press conference online via Ustream and broadcast by TMZ.com. The death itself was too sudden for comfort, but the press conference is even harder to watch. Listening to Wilson, Taylor, Crahan and Jordison choke back tears as they spoke of Gray was difficult... but the saddest part is when Wilson passes Thomson the microphone. Thomson just stares at the table in utter silence before the mic is finally passed down to Fehn.
  • Rue McClanahan. My mother and I used to watch re-runs of The Golden Girls all the time when I was a kid. Now, I doubt I could watch an episode without crying, as Betty White is now the only one left. All the legends are dying! * cries*
    • This troper totally agrees with you, but would also like to add her Golden Girls costars Estelle Getty and Bea Arthur. I can't watch the show anymore without getting a little misty.
      • This troper tears up when he sees the scene when Rose, Blanche, and Dorothy are talking about always being together. What kills me is when Rose stops, and with all seriousness asks, "What happens when there's only one of us left?"
      • The day Betty White passes, the entire world will cry.
  • John Hughes, teen filmmaker extraordinaire. Even though he was in his forties when he made such films as The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles, he understood the teenaged minset like no other filmmaker before him or, arguably, after him. His demise after suffering a heart attack was unexpected and very sad, and his special tribute at the 2009 Oscars ceremony was a supremely tearjerking affair. One Oscars liveblog even opined that it could possibly have been the emotional highlight of the telecast.
    • This Troper lives in an area with a large LED billboard that is usually updated with tributes to famous people who have passed on. After John Hughes' death, the billboard simply showed his face with the epitaph "Don't You Forget About Me"...This troper nearly cried while driving, it was moving to me.
  • This troper is not ashamed to admit that he wept upon hearing of the passing of his childhood sports hero, Chicago Bears star Walter Payton. I knew he'd been ill, but 45 is still way too young of an age to check out.
  • Rachel Nickell. She was stabbed multiple times, after she was sexually assaulted. That's not the sad part. The sad part is that she was stabbed and killed right in the presence of her own 2-year-old son. Afterwards, her son took a band-aid and stuck it to her forehead, and he clinged on to her, repeating the words "Wake up, Mummy" until a passer-by found them.
  • This troper, to this day, gets emotional listening to some of John Lennon's solo work. You see Paul getting awards and credits, all the terrible war going on in the world, and have to think about what could've happened if John was still here. All the recognition he would have gotten, all the battles he would have fought. And then of course when George died, it was too much. It's hard for this troper to even watch A Hard Day's Night or Help!!
    • An honorable mention: the bathroom scene in Help. Paul and Ringo get sucked on by a vaccuum in the hairdryer in the wall. John and George arrive and laugh. I still wonder what they'd say had they been reuinted and watch that clip again.
    • What about Linda McCartney? Paul and Linda clearly adored each other and lived for their family. Seriously, their marriage was one long Crowning Moment of Heartwarming. I just felt so awful for Paul and their kids when Linda died.
  • Satoshi Kon. His work was amazing, beautiful and thought-provoking, something so rare in the world of Anime. Not only that, he died so goddamn young, to cancer, in the middle of a new project. I want to say something profound and intellegent, but this has been such a blow, I can barely type. This picture sums it up so much better than I can.
    • Anime News Network was kind enough to post one of his last messages from his website: "With feelings of gratitude for all that is good in this world, I put down my pen. Well, I'll be leaving now. - Satoshi Kon" This troper has tears running down his eyes. Thank you for all the beautiful and unique work you provided us with, your creativity and talent will always be remembered.
    • Kon's last words can be found translated into English here.
  • Scatman John. A stutterer as a child, he managed to turn his greatest obstacle into his greatest asset, writing some truly outstanding, uplifting and inspiring songs. Even as he was dying of lung cancer, he maintained a positive attitude, saying that he had "tasted beauty" and was ready for whatever awaited him. Even This Troper's usually cold, sardonic and spiteful brother will freely admit how much respect he has for the man and how tragic his death was. I cry Manly Tears for you, Scatman John.
  • Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan. One of the most promising and creative musicians in one of the most promising and creative bands of the last decade, cut short so soon. And his last song, is a giant Funny Aneurysm Moment titled "Fiction" after a nickname he gave himself. At first, you'd listen to it and thing it sounds unfinished, until you realize that it was. He died before he could finish recording the song he regarded as his "masterpiece". Oh, and did I mention that it's absolutely haunting?
  • Ok, this one is going to sound a little weird,but when I was a kid, my mum used to read Oscar Wilde's stories to me. I really admired him - he was the one who inspired me to become an author, even if my dad was horrified that she was reading Doran Grey to a six-year-old. Finding out what happened to him just broke me, even though it was over a century ago.
  • Try making it through the Wikipedia entry for Terry FOX - the Canadian man who lost a leg to cancer and attempted (but failed) to run across Canada in 1980, becoming a national hero in the process - without tearing up.
    • Heck, just the mere utterance of the name "Terry Fox" will make any Canadian's eyes swell
  • This troper was incredibly saddened when she learned of George Harrison's death. It was one of those instances that took quite a while to sink in, but when it did, it hit her hard. Of all of the members of the Beatles, I related to him the most--I very well understand what it's like to be an introvert, and I can identify with just trying to figure out what the purpose of life is and how my impact is supposed to fit into all of this--His death became much more sadder after the death of one of this troper's aunts: she had died about a week after George, and, too, had been battling terminal cancer. One evening, out of the blue, this troper's mother had said something to the effect of, "Well, I guess Aunt Debbie will be joining George Harrison in Heaven." That remark was oddly touching, but so depressing...
    • His last words? "Love one another".
  • Carl Sagan for this troper, and I was too young to know him. He's been one of my inspirations for years now but even looking at a picture of him (always, always, genuinely smiling) makes me sad that he can't see the vast amount of newly-dicovered things in space...
  • For film score fans, 2004 was a tragic year because of the loss of not one but three giants of film music world: Jerry Goldsmith, David Raksin, and Elmer Bernstein. It's kind of heartaching to know that we will never hear another new score from either one of them. I'm sure that if and when John Williams passes away, many will shed manly tears.
  • Why hasn't anyone mentioned Leslie Nielsen yet? He had died from complications from pneumonia at a hospital near his home at 5:34 p.m. It saddens me to say the least.
  • The death of Major Richard 'Dick' Winters on the 2nd of Janury 2011. This troper cried when she read Richard Speight Jr's Twitter with the message/note "His heroism shall be forever remembered. If you don't know him, look him up."
  • "Grandpa, were you a hero during the war? Grandpa said no. But I served with a company of heroes." All of them
  • Lady Jane Grey's execution. She was brought down to a dungeon to be beheaded. She wanted to keep her dignity and remain stoic, but by the time they put the blindfold over her, she was sobbing hysterically because she couldn't find the block to rest her head on. She was only 15 years old.
  • Lester William Polsfuss, better known as the guitar hero/legend/innovator/inventor/master/god Les Paul. Having written an entire report about him a few months prior, when I heard that he died, I shook. I literally shook. Me and my dad were planning to sometime go up to New York just to catch one of his shows. That will never, ever happen. Rest in peace, Les, I hope you, Chet, and Django record some nice stuff up there.
  • The death of the family and those related to them.... just... wow. While this troper can understand to a degree the logic behind murdering Nicholas and Alexandra... why the kids? Why Elizabeth? Why Sergei? Fuck, why Alexander the II? When you look at it, the Romanovs are kind of like the Russian Kennedys, except much much worse.
    • For Alexei it's because not only was he hemophiliac, which caused him excruciating unimaginable pain (keep in mind this was before modern medicine) all throughout his life, but like his sisters he basically couldn't have a real childhood. Yet somehow maintained a sunny disposition throughout most of his life, while also being aware of his own mortality. The worst part, however, is his death: (from That Other Wiki "He was two weeks shy of his fourteenth birthday when he was murdered on 17 July 1918 in the cellar room of the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg. The assassination was carried out by forces of the Bolshevik secret police under Yakov Yurovsky. According to one account of the murder, the family was told to get up and get dressed in the middle of the night because they were going to be moved. Nicholas II carried Alexei to the cellar room. His mother asked for chairs to be brought so that she and Alexei could sit down. When the family and their servants were settled, Yurovsky announced that they were to be executed. The firing squad first killed Nicholas, the Tsarina, and the two male servants. Alexei remained sitting in the chair, "terrified," before the assassins turned on him and shot at him repeatedly. The boy remained alive and the killers tried to stab him multiple times with bayonets. "Nothing seemed to work," wrote Yurovsky later. "Though injured, he continued to live." Unbeknownst to the killing squad, the Tsarevich's torso was protected by a shirt wrapped in precious gems that he wore beneath his tunic. Finally Yurovsky fired two shots into the boy's head, and he fell silent." To top it all off, when they were finished, along with the rest of his family he was thrown into a mine shaft, brought back up the next day out fear that the White Army would discover the corpses, then had his face bashed in so as to be unrecognizable, and had his body doused with acid and thrown onto a burning pyre.
    • "While this troper can understand to a degree the logic behind murdering Nicholas and Alexandra... why the kids?" For fear that they might reclaim the Russian Throne.
    • But for Elizabeth, It Got Worse. Elizabeth was the sister of Alexandra, and the wife of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich of Russia, fifth son of Emperor Alexander II of Russia and Princess Marie of Hesse and the Rhine. It is widely believed that Sergei was either Homosexual or Bisexual (with many arguing for Homosexual due to the fact that the two never had children, and it is not believed they ever even consummated their marriage), yet despite her fervent Russian Orthodox beliefs, she accepted him for who he was. Naturally, on 18 February 1905, Sergei was assassinated in the Kremlin by a Socialist-Revolutionary named Ivan Kaylayev. I don't want to take up too much room here, so I'll link to That Other Wiki the story of how it went down (it's pretty disturbing) and her reaction to it. What went down, How she reacted (it's the paragraph that begins "On 18 February 1905..."). Amazingly, this is what she did in her later life: "After Sergei’s death, Elizabeth wore mourning clothes and became a vegetarian. In 1909, she sold off her magnificent collection of jewels and sold her other luxurious possessions; even her wedding ring was not spared. With the proceeds she opened the Convent of Sts. Martha and Mary and became its abbess. She soon opened a hospital, a chapel, a pharmacy and an orphanage on its grounds. Elizabeth and her nuns worked tirelessly among the poor and the sick of Moscow. She often visited Moscow’s worst slums and did all she could to help alleviate the suffering of the poor. For many years, Elizabeth's institution helped the poor and the orphans in Moscow by fostering the prayer and charity of devout women. Here, there arose a vision of a renewed diaconate for women, one that combined intercession and action in the heart of a disordered world. Although the Orthodox Church rejected her idea of a female diaconate, it did bless and encourage Elizabeth's many charitable efforts." Eventually she was arrested and jailed at the behest of Lenin, along with other family members. But Now to the most Tear Jerker part of all, her death: (to again quote TOW) "At noon on 17 July, Cheka Officer Petr Startsev and a few Bolshevik workers came to the school. They took from the prisoners whatever money they had left and announced that they would be transferred that night to the Upper Siniachikhensky factory compound. The Red Army guards were told to leave and Cheka men replaced them. That night the prisoners were awakened and driven in carts on a road leading to the village of Siniachikha, some 18 kilometres from Alapaevsk where there was an abandoned iron mine with a pit, twenty metres deep. Here they halted. The Cheka beat all the prisoners before throwing their victims into this pit, Elizabeth being the first. According to the personal account of Vassili Ryabov, one of their killers, Elizabeth and the others survived the initial fall into the mine, prompting Ryabov to toss in a grenade after them. Following the explosion, which killed only one, he claimed to have heard Elizabeth and the others singing an Orthodox hymn from the bottom of the shaft. Unnerved, Ryabov threw down a second grenade, but the singing continued. Finally a large quantity of brushwood was shoved into the opening and set alight, upon which Ryabov posted a guard over the site and departed. On 8 October 1918, White soldiers discovered the remains of Elizabeth and her companions, still within the shaft where they had been murdered. Elizabeth had died of wounds sustained in her fall into the mine, but before her death had still found strength to bandage the head of the dying Prince Ioann." Btw, these were the corpses they found. NSFW. Perhaps, though, one of the saddest things about this is that there's a good chance you hadn't heard of her until now. And even if you aren't a christian or faithful (which this troper really isn't) you've got to respect this woman's resiliance.
      • God. I... There are no words.
      • In the same vein, the death of Maria Feodorovna, the wife of Alexander III and mother of Nicholas II, the last Tsar. Following the Revolution, she went into exile in her native Denmark, refusing to believe that her son and his family were dead. She finally died in 1928, never knowing their fate, and was buried in her father's burial chapel. Her last wish was to be reburied with her husband and family when Russia was once again free. 78 years later, she was finally reunited with her family in the Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia.
      • Anastasia died on July 17, 1918 cold and alone screaming for her mother to save her. There was no magical adventure, no mysterious conspiracy. There was never any hope of her survival.
  • This troper remembers the series finale of Stargate Atlantis, where Samantha Carter and John Sheppard discuss the newest battleship being named for the recently deceased General Hammond. Not being very much into Internet fandom at the time, it wasn't until an awards show several months later, when they did a video montage of all the celebrities who had died during the year, that I found out that the General Hammond was so named to honor the passing of the actor, Don S. Davis. I literally just sat there stunned for a few minutes, without any clue how to react. It just didn't compute.
  • At the time of writing this, Sir Nicholas Courtney, known also as the Brigadier from the classic Doctor Who, has been dead only forty eight hours. He was one of those men who was never bitter about typecasting, a fantastic actor, always good natured to fans, and said by so many people to be "a true gentleman", to everyone. In short, he was a splendid chap. At some point in the future it will stop hurting. Probably not anytime soon, but it will.
    • A salute to The Brig, and a splendid chap he was indeed. Now if you'll excuse me, I've some crying to do. Godspeed, Brig, and a fond farewell.
  • Bill Hicks, one of the most brilliant and caustic voices in comedy, died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 32. According to the book American Scream, his last live performance was cut short due to the pain he was in. He wasn't even halfway through a set before he stopped and called out to his fiance, who helped him offstage and took him home. He spent his last days alive with his family, stopped speaking completely and was at peace with his fate.
  • This troper broke down completely at work when she read about the death of Patrick McGoohan. There was a part of her that never grew out of her 12-year-old self's fantasy of marrying him someday (in spite of a severe age gap and the fact that he was already married), and to find out that a man who seemed indestructable, whom she admired and loved as much as a fangirl could, was suddenly gone after "a brief illness" shattered part of her. One of my goals in life was to meet him; I will never, ever get to check that off my list.
  • It's hard to believe that Mike Starr is gone.
  • While hearing that one of my favorite comedians Greg Giraldo had died of a drug overdose was definitely sad, and seeing Jon Stewart's Moment of Zen later that night dedicated to him was heartbreaking, This Troper didn't turn on the waterworks until he saw Give It Up for Greg Giraldo, a one hour special dedicated to Greg's fellow comedians reminiscing about him. Seeing normally overly happy never serious comedian Nick Swardson begin to cry when talking about his friend's sudden death made me have to pause the TV for five minutes.
  • Two words: Freddie Mercury.
    • Brian May and Roger Taylor did an interview one week after his death. They both looked absolutely heartbroken. Why did they agree to such a thing so soon? Because they were tired of the media destroying Freddie's reputation through rumors and lies, and wanted to speak up, tell the truth about Freddie, and spread awareness about the disease that killed him. Friends will be friends, indeed.
  • Farrah Fawcett, she was so beautiful, and graceful. Cancer took her from this world, but she's a true angel now.
    • Add to that John Forsythe, he's now with her in heaven.
  • Elizabeth Taylor. Her death just came after the death of another Hollywood legend, Jane Russell a month ago. 2011 is not a good year for celebrities so far...
  • Jane Russell, she was one of the only women whom Marilyn Monroe considered her closest friend.
  • Elisabeth Sladen, loyal Doctor Who companion and star of The Sarah Jane Adventures, died on 19 April 2011 at the age of 63 after a struggle against cancer. She will be missed by her family, her friends, her fellow actors, and the millions of fans worldwide. "Goodbye, my Sarah Jane...."
    • Made even more poignant by the relatively recent passing of Sir Nicholas Courtney. Just as most of us finally stopped randomly sobbing over one, we really start bawling at another. "Don't forget me... my Doctor..." We won't, Sarah Jane. We won't.
    • I still can't quite believe this, even one year on. I've remained confused about this ever since.
    • My Sarah Jane: A Tribute to Elisabeth Sladen, a 15-minute retrospective on the actress and the iconic character in both Doctor Who and her titular show, aired just after the Doctor Who Series 6 premiere. Besides interviews with actors and staff, a segment has two actors reading statements left on a memorial website by children mourning the loss of Lis Sladen.
    • This troper was too stunned to cry when I first found out via my LiveJournal friends list, but seeing it here for some reason made the tears well up. I don't know if I'll be able to watch The Sarah Jane Adventures anytime soon...
      • Especially series 4's finale, the last episode to air before her death, which is ironically titled Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith...
  • This troper was hit hard by the death of Redwall author Brian Jacques, as the novels were a big part of her childhood. I haven't read the books as often in recent years... but I'm certainly going to get back into reading them again...
  • Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space. He died when the plane he was piloting crashed near Moscow. He could have ejected from the aircraft, but instead kept on flying because if he had ejected the plane would've landed on a village, and would have killed everyone there.
  • This troper grew up listening to Jim Croce and developed a deep fondness for him and his music. He died in a plane crash sixteen years before I was born, and I'll never hear new music from him or see him live. Jim left the world well before his time, at the still young age of 30, and just when his career was really picking up speed.
  • The Spirit Rover, seven years into what should have been a 90-day lifespan, is officially dead. Rest in peace, little robot that could.
  • The death of Ian Curtis. The singer of Joy Division who died by suicide.
  • The Mexicans mourned the death of one of the greatest children's composers of the century: Cri-Cri.
  • YMMV, but to me, Amy Winehouse's death is a tragedy. Another member of the 27 club (musicians who have died at the age of 27, such as Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix), the cause of death, as of this writing, is not confirmed. However, the real tragedy is how people seem to remember her. Not as a musician, who wrote a great, 6X platinum (in the UK) album titled "Back to Black", but as a druggie who lived longer than she should have, and not deserving of media coverage due to the Oslo terrorist attacks just the day before.
    • Only a few self righteous morons who are completely and utterly ignorant of how dangerous addiction actually is took that attitude that she didn't deserve any coverage or that she deserved to die. Thousands of people came from all over the world to lay tributes for her outside her house there were tributes to her at the MOBO awards, (As well as the Ivor Novello awards and the upcoming Grammy awards)
      • Also it is debatable as to whether she is best remembered for being a "druggie" or a talented musician. Whilst she did have controversy in her life time so did all the other members of the 27 club (I am sure people would have said the same thing about Jim Morrison back in the seventies) but its her music that will last.
  • The death of Jack Layton, Canada's Leader of the Official Opposition, and leader of the NDP. The clincher? I'm American, and this still made me tear up.
    • This Canadian troper wholeheartedly agrees. It says something about how deeply a man connected with his country's people when an entire nation, people from every part of the political spectrum, gathers to mourn his death, and a state funeral - an honour accorded to only 31 other Canadians - is ordered for him by his biggest political rival. We lost a great man and a rarity in the world nowadays - a honest politician.
    • The conclusion of his final letter to all Canadians, written when he realized he was dying and released after his death:

"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world."

    • This American troper agrees with you. I never followed Canadian politics closely, but you better believe for that election, I was following it and rooting for Jack Layton to become PM.
  • Phoebe Prince, a young Irish teen who committed suicide when she was only 15. Why? Because she was being ruthlessly bullied by her classmates, and no one at school would help her. But here's the worst part-- said classmates bragged about her death later. And I can't help but tear up when I think of Phoebe's poor little sister, who found her hanging. With the scarf she'd given Phoebe for Christmas. Poor thing.
  • The year 2011 has been absolutely wretched for the NHL:
    • On January 6, the San Jose Sharks' Tom Cavanagh (not to be confused with the actor from Ed) commited suicide. As Cavanagh wasn't a househould name, this was mostly overlooked, and wasn't really brought up again until September.
    • On May 13, Derek Boogaard of the New York Rangers died from an accidental mix of alcohol and oxycodone. This came as a shock to the NHL system, but it wasn't extremely concerning at the time.
    • It started getting freaky on August 15, with the suicide of the Winnipeg Jets' Rick Rypien. Rypien had been dealing with mental issues for more than ten years, but what the media hyped was that Rypien and Boogaard were both enforcers, and heavy speculation ensued that fighting had to do with their deaths.
    • If it wasn't already freaky when Rypien died, it became downright creepy on August 31, when another enforcer, recently retired Wade Belak, died of... well, no one knows yet. It might be another suicide, but a lot of people think it was autoerotic asphyxiation. Seriously. Here's hoping there's no more.
    • Update: It's not over - and it's not just the NHL anymore. On September 7 in Russia, a plane carrying the Kontinental Hockey League team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl crashed shortly after takeoff, killing nearly the whole team, including several former NHLers and an Olympic gold medallist. Wow.
  • This troper could not hold back the tears watching Robert Enke's funeral. He didn't know that much about him other than that he was the German national football team goalkeeper and a prominent player in Europe; however learning about the situation and watching his funeral was too much. He lived with depression for a number of years and was broken when his daughter, Lara, died aged 2 years old from a heart birth defect in 2006. He never got over this tragedy, having loved her deeply and in September 2009 committed suicide by walking in front of a train. The tragedy of his funeral, at AWD-Arena of Hannover 96, was compounded by a 40,000 crowd of mourners, many in tears, by ex players and friends gathered to mourn his loss wearing shirts with number 1 (his squad number as goalkeeper) on the back, but most of all his wife, Teresa. The expression of loss on her face broke this troper entirely. A number of friends and players then carried his funeral off the pitch up the tunnel, where it was taken for burial - this final scene compounded the tragedy as it was his last journey, where he was taken to be laid to rest in Neustadt next to his daughter, who he loved so much.
  • The death of Clarence Clemmons, one of the most prominent members of the E Street Band. He's blowing his sax with Bruce Springsteen on one of the most iconic album covers ever. Goodbye, Big Man.
    • The last song he recorded for was the Lady Gaga song "Edge of Glory", which Gaga herself wrote over the death of her grandfather. When he was sick and in the hospital, Gaga posted on facebook that her team was all praying and hoping he'd get better, especially since she premiered the video for the song which Clarence also appeared in. It's heart-shattering, to say the least (not the video, but the circumstances).
  • Another author, Diana Wynne Jones. This troper worked in her school library, and was part of the sci-fi/ fantasy book club. Another club member came up to check out Howl's Moving Castle, and This troper asked if it was that month's book- No, he replied, I'm reading it because she died yesterday. cue this troper breaking down.
  • Steve Jobs. His death really saddens me, to say the least.
    • Not just you. The man's impact on technology and entertainment cannot be overstated, and to lose him so soon...
    • Me, too. I knew he hadn't been well, but I wasn't prepared to see that headline.
  • The final moments of the 2011 Indy Car season, to quote ABC commentator Marty Reid: "Many people ask me why I always sign off 'Till we meet again'. Because 'Goodbye' is always so final. Goodbye, Dan Wheldon."
  • Elvis Presley, king of rock.
  • Though maybe not as big as other people on this list (Literally), Myron Cope. The man did not have a voice for radio, but lo and behold he had to be one of the funniest, most colorful people ever in sports. Pittsburgh misses him dearly.
  • Terri Schiavo. Regardless of how you feel about the political fallout surrounding her death, there is something really tragic about this beautiful lady (inside and out) ending up in such a horrible, horrible state. Even worse when you consider that she may have had an eating disorder which led to her collapse.
  • Andy Warhol. He was a child of poor Rusyn immigrants and grew up in a very economically depressed neighborhood outside Pittsburgh. His father died when he was still quite young but he was encouraged by his mother to continue his dream of going to art school (he eventually went to Carnegie, his collegiate alma mater). He moved to New York in his twenties and worked his butt off as a commercial artist while he worked on his other artwork on the side. In his thirties (during the 1960s) he finally hit his stride and started up his Factory, where he went into other art media. In the late '60s he got shot by a crazy person named Valerie Solanas and almost died. He had to continue wearing bandages for the rest of his life because of that. He also took in his mother when she could no longer live alone and she stayed with him for all but the last couple of years of her life. Warhol also kept going to church every Sunday, even through the decadent 1970s. In 1987 he finally decided to see a doctor about some pains on his side and overcame his fear of hospitals to get his gallbladder taken out, but died in the hospital from complications due to the surgery. He was only 58 years old.
  • One for the Australian V8 Sup ercars fans: Holden driver Jason Richards lost his battle with cancer today. He was only 35. This troper didn't even know he had cancer until she heard the announcement on the radio. And to think just a few months or so back, she was wondering why she hadn't seen him in the final race of the year...
  • This Troper has recently become obsessed with A Chorus Line, gathering all pictures and factoids out there. It was a disappointment to learn of creator Michael Bennett's death from AIDS-related complications in 1987, but the real emotional kicker was reading that not only did the Broadway cast that night proceed with the performance, they dedicated the Finale to him, changing the lyric to "he's the one." Annnd cue tears. Also the 9/11 deaths of Frasier creator David Angell and Murder in Small Town X winner Angel Juarbe were hard-hitting.
  • Randy Savage, full stop. One of the greatest of all time, taken while he was driving with his wife. At least he's with Ms. Elizabeth somewhere.
  • Freddy Soto, who died only mere hours after doing a fantastic show at the Laugh Factory and looking so full of life.
  • Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit. Two of the greatest performers in wrestling history. I cried for several years whenever I heard "Thank you Eddie" chants start up. And, as Benoit was my favorite, his death caused me confusion at first, because of the story line with Vince McMahon's "death", and I thought it was connected. It wasn't, and my favorite wrestler was really gone. Then it got worse...
  • Chris Farley. It's so sad to see someone so talented, so funny, die so young.
  • Whitney Houston, even after hearing about her drug problems, I wasn't prepared to see that headline "Whitney Houston, dead at 48"
  • Gary Speed, manager of the Welsh national soccer team, committed suicide aged 42. This completely shocked everyone- he had done interviews in which he appeared to be happy and looking towards the future only the day before.
  • Mark Speight -- he was a children's presenter, known for the program S Mart, and committed suicide after the death of his fiancée.
  • Pat Tillman -- this troper doesn't follow sports, but was watching a show on VH-1 which mentioned him. He had a very promising football career. Then when the 9/11 attacks happened, he finished out the season and turned down a $3.6 million contract to enlist in the military as an Army Ranger. He was killed in April 22, 2004, in Afghanistan due to friendly fire. He was 27.
    • This even extends to his college sports career. Even though he was an Arizona State Sun Devil, you will be very hard pressed to find an Arizona Wildcat (the Sun Devils' bitter rivals) with anything bad to say about Tillman. It hit that entire state hard.
  • I cried when I found out Peter Postelthwaithe had passed away, having finally lost his battle with cancer. RIP Peter, an actor who didn't believe in "phoning it in" and gave the best damn performance he could in every single movie he was in.
    • His final role was in 2010's Inception as Fishcer Sr., father to Cilian Murphy's character. It's been said that Postelthwaithe, playing a dying/dead character, told Murphy of his impending death shortly before the filming of the of their scene in the safe together, and Murphy's tears were real as he held Pete's hand.
  • Dick Clark -- Especially sad when you watch his final New Year countdown which was the 40th one and has the ironic quote "They are going to remember tonight forever." [1]
  • Edd Gould. His influence in the internet and comedy withen the internet is respect enough. Having been a fan of eddsworld for years, this troper cried upon hearing the news: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkEvbOsr138
  • Junior Seau. The reaction from the sports world was one thing, since he was one of the most respected linebackers in the NFL, but his death essentially brought the city of San Diego and its surrounding county to a halt - doubly so for Oceanside, where Seau grew up and lived. He was a favorite son of Oceanside and San Diego and a cultural icon and he died far too young.
  • Adam Yausch aka MCA from The Beastie Boys. "No sleep till Brooklyn" anymore, he's sleeping now.
  • Donna Summer. Somewhere, she is now dancing under that big disco ball in the sky.
  • Robin Gibb. Now, Barry is the only member of The Bee Gees still left. What makes it even more bittersweet is that Robin is reunited with his twin, Maurice, who died in 2003.
  • On 25 December, 2008 this troper was making his theatrical debut, when, 20 minutes before the curtains, he received an IM saying that Eartha Kitt died. Those 20 minutes were spent bawling in the wings.
  • Eduard Khil, as of the 4th of June, 2012. May the internet bid a sad farewell to one of its heroes.
  • Thus far in 2012, a great many children's authors have passed: Maurice Sendak( where the wild things are) , Jean Craighead George( Julie, My side of the mountains), Jan Berenstain (Berenstain Bears)... these people are the childhoods of so many...
  • Ray Bradbury, June 5th. "Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, " And You, Mr. Bradbury, have left behind a legacy that shall never be forgotten.
  • Family Feud: Richard Dawson and earlier than that, Ray Combs. Survey says: they will never be forgotten.
  • On August 11, 2014, beloved comedian and actor Robin Williams passed away. This wonderful and absolutely hilarious man's death only serves as a grim reminder that depression is a real monster, and will tear apart even the happiest looking people from the inside. May he rest in peace, he made so many people laugh, smile, and cry, and there ain't never gonna be a friend like him...