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A little more than a year ago, Harold Ramis passed away. I thought about his death again this weekend after Leonard Nimoy passed. Both were the kinds of celebrity deaths that make you feel old and hit you hardest: icons from my and probably your childhood. When Ramis died, the internet reacted unkindly to Murray’s statement about the loss of his friend and colleague. I wrote something about it and as we see Shatner get some of the same heat, it seemed right to once again write something. Sort of…

Yesterday, Harold Ramis died Friday, Leonard Nimoy died. He was a brilliant comic mind, a gifted director, writer, and performer. Beyond his art, he was also a father, a husband, and a friend. Surely, this loss leaves a gaping hole in the lives of those most closely tied to him and his death makes many of us incredibly sad because we enjoyed so much of what he did.

There is an impulse to share that grief among like minded people. On Twitter, on Facebook, in articles like the one I wrote yesterday Friday. That’s how people express themselves, and while the outpouring might be a comfort from afar to those people in his life, viewed out of the corner of a tear filled eye, make no mistake, our grief does not match theirs and it has zero right to intrude upon or judge it.

Bill Murray William Shatner is someone who handles fame about as well as anyone I have ever read about. He met Harold Ramis Leonard Nimoy in, I want to say 1972 1964 while working in Chicago at Second City on the set of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. I may be off on my dates. Together, they combined to bring us the gift that is Stripes, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters 2, Groundhog Day, and Meatballs Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Star Trek: Wrath of Khan, Star Trek: The Search for Spock, and the films that followed. Amazing work, work that changed the way that we laugh and what we find funny think and the way that we view space and the undiscovered country. Behind the scenes, I imagine they had an interesting relatonship. Maybe one day, we’ll learn more about that, but we aren’t owed that.

Yesterday, Bill Murray William Shatner released the following statement about the death of his friend, Leonard Nimoy, a man he has known for more than 40 50 years.

Here is the full statement:

“Harold Ramis and I together did the National Lampoon Show off Broadway, Meatballs, Stripes, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day. He earned his keep on this planet. God bless him.”

Some people have read those words and they have felt a sense of disappointment. They’ve said so much on the internet and to their friends about the loss of Harold Ramis Leonard Nimoy. They feel these things and have this deep hurt and yet Murray Shatner — this man who was his friend and who actually knew him — releases only a couple of sentences to memorialize Ramis can’t make it back to California for Nimoy’s funeral. They are flummoxed, but they are also intruding.

Bill Murray William Shatner does not owe any of us an insight into his grief over this loss. We have no idea what transpired between these men, we don’t know how Bill Murray handles grief, and we have no right to that information. We also have no right to sit in judgement of the way that he expresses his pain, his anger, and his sense of loss.

There is a difference between what the people who knew this man are feeling and what you are feeling. Be grateful that you don’t have to know the pain of losing a friend and a family member, not scornful of the ones who are going through something that is quite close and uncomfortable.

Why bother writing a new “think piece” when the thoughts are the same and a small segment of fandom remains entitled and judgemental?

 

Category: Featured, Film, TV

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