Shaddup Already!


I wasn't gonna do this. . .

. . .but I think I have to.

The last time a celebrity's death hit me as hard as Steve Irwin's was when Jim Henson passed away.

There aren't many people I consider to be heroes and typically they aren't the celebrity type. In fact, there are only two famous people who I consider to be heroes--Jim Henson and Albert Einstein.

So what does this have to do with Steve Irwin? Well, even though he wasn't what I would call a hero of mine, he was definitely someone I admired.

I may not have always agreed with his approach, but what he did for the world of animals cannot be measured.

Because of him, people began to learn more about "icky" animals. Knowledge leads to less fear and fear is what drives most people to destroy these animals.

I felt a kinship with Irwin because I have always spoken out loudly about alligators. They are native to my homestate--I love them. People don't understand that and speak with ignorance about these animals--they snatch dogs, they kill children, they're a menance. I always come back with "because people are stupid and made them that way."

So when I found someone who wanted to educate the public on the beauty of all animals, I could immediately relate.

As I was drawn into the show, I became attached to his family. I remember when Bindi was born and Suey died. I saw a man unashamed to cry at the funeral of a crocodile and a woman who was proud to be at his side.

As the world is moving on, I wonder and worry about Steve's family.

Tonight I will do something out of character for me--I'll be watching Barbara Walters. Even though I've never met them, I feel as though someone I care about is hurting deeply and I just want to make sure they're okay.

I myself, can't understand how I can be so distraught about a man I've never met or his family that I've never met. This whole time of watching his memorial, reading news articles and waiting to watch an interview with his widow reminds me so much of the feelings I had when Jim Henson died.

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