(Believe me, I desperately tried to resist, but it is impossible. So I'm going to power through my grief in one final marathon stretch, and then I am going to scrape the knowledge of this fact out of my head and pretend this tragedy never happened)
I had a good steady freaking-the-fuck-out session from 4:30-5:15 PM, had to drop it in order to finish my French homework and go to class, and then resumed freaking the fuck out straight from 9 PM to almost 2 AM before I finally ran out of steam and exhausted myself. Not before I'd called my mother, explained the news to two clueless girls in the computer lab, flailed in CAPSLOCK OF ANGUISH on both my Xangas as well as part of a Facebook note (original wording each time), and written about twelve separate comments on your LJs, though.
Having done that, I think that for my own personal sanity and peace of mind, I need to explain why this has turned me into an emotional wreck. Aside from Jared Nathan in December 06, to the best of my recollection no famous people I like have ever died. Sure, there are celebrity deaths by accident or old age all the time, but none of them actually mean anything. I don't have a lot of experience with people I know dying either, so I'm still reeling from just trying to comprehend the idea that I'm never going to see a person again.
But the thing is, Heath Ledger is IMPORTANT in my little world of celebrity fandom. Despite my fascination with TV and Hollywood news shows and magazines and the like, I'm honestly not that enthused by the majority of the people featured in such things. Heath, however, is a Favorite Actor despite the fact that I've only seen him in two and a quarter movies. I fell in love over "A Knight's Tale," reaffirmed this opinion much more strongly when I finally saw "The Patriot," and have long held the dearest ambition of seeing more of "Ten Things I Hate About You" than the ten minutes I caught on TV once between classes. At one point, before Orlando came along, he was very easily at the top of my celebrity crush list, and I still have a tendency to get starry-eyed and swoon over pictures from that era.
The sad thing is that I haven't been all that impressed with anything he's done since then, especially as the nicest thing I can say about Brokeback Mountain is that it has pretty horses and gorgeous scenery, and thus haven't seen any of them. (*pause* IMDB informs me this is a lie, as I did want to see both Brothers Grimm and Ned Kelly. Not sure what happened there) I may also have had a few disapproving and/or disappointed words to say about his oh-so-clearly-accidental baby, and the scraggly close-cropped haircut.
Still. I never stopped listing him among my favorite actors and believing that he would, if not grow his hair back to proper lengths, then at least make another wonderful film. I eagerly anticipated his every new project, and continued to snip out all pertinent articles stumbled over in People for my celeb scrapbook. His charming smile, dimples and accent have deeply endeared him to me, and it absolutely galls that so many people are sad, but somehow manage to be sad from the perspective of "Oh, he was a pretty nice guy...that's too bad" and then, like, MOVE ON.
I know that's how I would react if this had happened to someone like Brad Pitt, since that's pretty much how I've reacted to the news of every notable death ever, BUT THIS IS DIFFERENT. He is this massive central icon. He's important, devastatingly so. It DOES NOT COMPUTE in my head that he's...dead. Gone. Blinked out of existence. It sort of produces this swell of dark horror in my brain whenever I try to think about it. I feel physically faint and more than a little nauseated, and wasn't able to eat dinner. You know what's worse hearing something at the Remus-and-Tonks level of horror? When that something didn't happen in a fictional context.
I don't want to talk about it anymore.