Terry Pratchett seems to have a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's.
Since I have been rereading all of his books as a way to cope with life in Novemeber and December of 2007, I'm not happy at having the prospect of somethign else to be philosophical about. And I can't imagine how I would take such a diagnosis; we were ruling out hang-gliding only this evening at lab.
The closest thing I had to a spiritual thought about Asterix's death was that he had no doubts about loving the world and therefore trying to do one's ecological best was something one could do for him. I think with luck and perhaps good drugs, I will have more Pratchett to use to help me cherish people with, but it would be nice to have some good news.