Alan Rickman passed away today.
I never met him and he certainly had no idea I even existed, but I am devastated by the news. You see, he created an unexpected pathway to my teenage daughter, Taylor. A cherished connection in the budding years of her life where I’m becoming irrelevant and aged to her. An place that she and I can share.
It was through his embodiment of Snape in the Harry Potter series that Taylor, my brilliant and precocious teenager, began a different mother/daughter connection. It was from the life that he breathed into that fateful character that we will always have this very special thing in common. Where what you love and what you realize love means become one and the same. The only kind of perfect and fleeting magic that we get to touch in our lifetimes.
He gave us the most tender of nuggets we share that had nothing to do with me being her mother and her being my daughter. It was more than our shared love of the books. Of the richly woven tales of magic and mystery, heroes and heroines. The stories that let us escape for a time to Hogwarts or the Leaky Cauldron. That allows us to imagine what it must be like to fly on brooms or on the back of a dragon across the London sky. To challenge a wizard for his wand or save your friend from the attack of a demon by conjuring a Patronus.
It is in these shared visions and dreams that she and I began our evolving connection. This shared place we can imagine that no one can fully describe – it just dances in the light of your eyes and is recognized by the excited pitch in your voice. And all of that beautiful magic exists most completely and most fully in the role that Snape was to play in tale. In the most selfless of acts. In the most beautiful of tributes. In the complete sacrifice made from the deepest, fragile caverns of his heart.
Those words Harry witnessed in a memory. Those words exchanged between a dying wizard and a grieving hero that hold so much purpose when put together in that moment of that story. The realization of what he felt finally said out loud. The place where my daughter’s and my heart could understood what it all means in the same moment and appreciate the profundity that is our love for one another. It is the promise we all make when our love of another is fully recognized. Maybe we just didn’t know what to say.
But we do now. Because of him. Because of the promise he made and we will cherish him for it. For he showed us the greatest magic of all. The magic that lives in and between us in love.
After all this time?