Did Heath Ledger really leave us a year ago ?

The New York Post asked me to write a tribute to Heath Ledger on the anniversary of his passing. It seems just yestrday.
Time, say philosophers, mystics and quantum scientists is an illusion. Before the Big Bang there was Eternity. Beginnings and Ends are just means to contextualize our lives within our limited perceptions of a world that surrounds us.
Every now and again a human being is born to remind us of Eternity. Heath Ledger was amongst those, who we quietly whisper prayers for in our quite moments, wish for in our dreams and in have a special place for our every day thoughts. God knows how many people in this world still carry the pain of the loss of him. Why did a man who lived amongst us for such a short time, and did such few films, leave such a huge imprint upon us when he left ? I have people writing letters on this blog who had never seen a Heath Ledger film, who were not fans, but felt the shock and impact of the loss of Heath Ledger. Everyday ordinary people that a year later are still coming to terms with his passing ?
Like he was an Angel.
Or the Dark Knight. In which Heath left indelible impressions of incredible humanity behind the garb of evil. So much that people went back again and again to the theatres to experience the presence of Heath Ledger. I remember a conversation with Robert Richardson the DP of Four Feathers ” Just make sure that the audience are able to look into Heath’s eyes. They tell a story of ancient wisdom and all of humanity”. Not an easy job for a DP when Heath would so easily break into an Australian crinkle and narrow his eyes, so that the point of light so carefully put by the DP would search desperately for their subject ! I used to tell Heath that he was an ancient soul in a youthful body and mind. That his struggle was between the ancient wisdom he carried in his soul and the coming to terms with youth.
That struggle showed and I was the ‘brother from another mother’ as he called me, that embraced him at those moments.
I wish I was there to embrace him when he passed away. I was so close. But then, it was not meant to be. In his passing he left behind his indelible footprint. As I write this peice I hear that Heath has bean nominated for the Oscars.
Wherever you are Heath, I can see you crinkling your eyes and laughing your deep laughter and saying ” Hey brother, what d you think of that ?” Nothing more, nothing less. Everything just was, is, and will be. In Eternity.

26 Responses to “Did Heath Ledger really leave us a year ago ?”

  1. austere says:

    Peace.
    But what a connect.

  2. suse says:

    For me, Heath never trully left-but simply, however sadly in some perceptions, shifted into a guise befitting his soul’s journey. His deepest currency is still from the invisible heart- and that beauty registered and remains in the hearts of those touched by his presence. Love beyond all loving comes to mind when I think of him- a field of total tenderness, absolute sincerity and true humour. Perhaps we are all angels, some with wider orbits than others. Blessings to his family-closest friends* x x x x x x

  3. thankfulone says:

    Thank you for putting into words that which my heart feels but cannot express. I am blessed by your words and blessed to have lived in Heath’s time.

  4. Kokil Jaidka says:

    Hello Sir, thanks for a great post. This is a topic I’ve found myself mulling over, over and over again and again in the past months. I’m still hoping for some kind of closure so that it can stop prickling my conscience.
    Heath Ledger reminds us that there are causes you can believe in and follow so passionately, that your life becomes insignificant in itself, only serves to glorify the path you chose and make others believe in it as well.
    In an age where the only permanence is change, it’s difficult to commit to a habit, let alone give your heart and soul to a singular project. I think that’s the simple reason why some of us are born and stay ordinary and some of us become legends. Heath Ledger is iconic for me because he won’t let me forget how important it is to believe in my dreams and chase them to their fruition, I hope someday I can be an inspirational icon too..

  5. hari says:

    Many Big bangs
    and crunches
    within Eternity
    doth the show make
    Time illusive
    yet effective
    as mans tool
    to comprehend eternity
    doth take
    Man imprisoned
    by his own mind
    needs history
    to himself define
    Along comes
    a superman
    to free man
    by changing history
    by using Time.

  6. hari says:

    May be its time
    to have more superhumans
    by doing away with history
    by doing away with time.

  7. Alexa says:

    Your words about Heath, so eloquently expressed, will always be a comfort to those who loved him.

  8. Mee says:

    How beautifully written. Heath Ledger the legend he created for me with the joker will be remembered for a long time. Bless his soul.

  9. Rosa says:

    Shekhar, I think that’s the most beautiful thing anyone’s ever said about Heath. Thank you! I still think about him often every day and I feel he’s enriched my soul in profound and lasting ways…

  10. Once I question you “What is Love”
    You said – Love is a mystery.
    Is it ?
    I dont think so.

  11. James Phelan says:

    Thanks again Shekhar.
    Not a day in the past year has gone by that I have not thought of Heath. My favourite actor, my favourite artist, and that gift he had of giving of himself was limitless. He is eternal, and humanity is better off with every touch of truth he’s portrayed to us.

  12. Laura says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    I am scared half to death to post this. Admitting this in a public forum is unfathomable to me. I have a gift that I don’t like people to know about. And up until now, I could deal with my gift and still keep a relatively low profile.
    I believe I get messages from people who’ve passed away, and I deliver them to the person they want. I can’t dial up and ask to get a message from someone specific. It’s like I get an assignment. The message comes in like a radio signal–a repetitive symbol with an association to a person, and a metaphorical message for the griever. The majority of the time, the message is from someone who has been ripped out of the world so quickly that he or she didn’t get to say their goodbyes.
    The latest signals have directed me to this site.
    Each assignment has gotten progressively more difficult. To give you an idea, my last assignment was to deliver a message to my boss. Picture walking into your boss’ office, and telling him or her that you have a message from their deceased mother. I thought for sure I’d be fired. I mean, seriously, umm…awkward! To my astonishment and relief, the message made sense to my boss. It was right on target in timing and meaning. I don’t know who was more amazed–me or my boss.
    After that, I thought, “What kind of message could be more difficult to deliver?” And I was feeling pretty confident that whoever was next would not be as hard as that.
    Wrong. So here I am, feeling very terrified, and I’m telling you that I’m holding a message. And it’s not a message for the public. And I don’t know what to do with it, or how to go about delivering it. I’m stuck.
    So I ask God, “Why me? Wouldn’t it be better coming from somebody else? Somebody who, oh say, the family knows and trusts?!” All I can tell you is that this “signal” keeps rambling on about learning to have faith that can move mountains. (-:
    So, whatever, I’m putting it out there. And I’m hoping there’s a Kangaroo out there who will hear their Who who wants very much to be heard.

  13. Laura says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    I am scared half to death to post this. Admitting this in a public forum is unfathomable to me. I have a gift that I don’t like people to know about. And up until now, I could deal with my gift and still keep a relatively low profile.
    I believe I get messages from people who’ve passed away, and I deliver them to the person they want. I can’t dial up and ask to get a message from someone specific. It’s like I get an assignment. The message comes in like a radio signal–a repetitive symbol with an association to a person, and a metaphorical message for the griever. The majority of the time, the message is from someone who has been ripped out of the world so quickly that he or she didn’t get to say their goodbyes.
    The latest signals have directed me to this site.
    Each assignment has gotten progressively more difficult. To give you an idea, my last assignment was to deliver a message to my boss. Picture walking into your boss’ office, and telling him or her that you have a message from their deceased mother. I thought for sure I’d be fired. I mean, seriously, umm…awkward! To my astonishment and relief, the message made sense to my boss. It was right on target in timing and meaning. I don’t know who was more amazed–me or my boss.
    After that, I thought, “What kind of message could be more difficult to deliver?” And I was feeling pretty confident that whoever was next would not be as hard as that.
    Wrong. So here I am, feeling very terrified, and I’m telling you that I’m holding a message. And it’s not a message for the public. And I don’t know what to do with it, or how to go about delivering it. I’m stuck.
    So I ask God, “Why me? Wouldn’t it be better coming from somebody else? Somebody who, oh say, the family knows and trusts?!” All I can tell you is that this “signal” keeps rambling on about learning to have faith that can move mountains. (-:
    So, whatever, I’m putting it out there. And I’m hoping there’s a Kangaroo out there who will hear their Who who wants very much to be heard.

  14. brent fidler says:

    Hello Shekar;
    Allow me to introduce myself. I am a professional actor from Los Angeles, who travels to India quite often to visit my guru Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi. I will be in Mumbai for March of this year and I thought I would let you know I am coming, in order to see if you might have a chance for me to audition for any projects. youare an amazing kindred spirit and man who seeks to enlighten cinema with spititual messages.
    I have many professional credits (search brent fidler at imdb.com) and recently I produced and starred in a feature film on Edgar Allan Poe’s life, which won best feature film at the cinema city film festival at universal studios (see photo attached) I can be reached by this email, if you might be interested in seeing me.
    Namaste;
    brent fidler

  15. Teodora says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us! There’s a lot of wisdom in your words.I’m one of those who never really knew Heath but still everytime when I see one of his movies, I feel the huge hole open inside of me…can’t even imagine how it hurts the ones who were part of his life! He left us an year ago in this life but we never know what comes next.Till then he will be truely missed.

  16. Chaitali says:

    When I saw Dark Knight, I thought Heath Ledger was simply outstanding. There were various aspects of ‘the joker’ which were beyond my capacity to understand. Just recently I learned that he was 20 days older to me. How did he understand and play such a character……..such a strong and unimgainable thing. And he did get the Oscar for his performance.
    A silent prayer for him from me too.

  17. Alexa says:

    “Time, say philosophers, mystics and quantum scientists is an illusion. Beginnings and Ends are just means to contextualize our lives within our limited perceptions of a world that surrounds us.”
    Such deep and comforting words…thank you. I send my love and congratulations to your friend and his family on his Oscar win. Wherever he is now, I hope he knows how much he was loved, and ever will be.

  18. Shikhar says:

    I’ve seen his movies 10 things I hate about you and the patriot..huumm what’s so great thing about him..(no offense) Maybe people just like joining the band wagon..

  19. Alexa says:

    In reference to the previous poster who asked “what’s so great about him?”
    By your own admission, you’ve seen only 2 of his movies. But there was a lot more that made Heath Ledger special, beyond him being an actor. His death has affected a lot of people in profound ways. Shekhar was Heath’s friend, and wrote about him several times on this blog. Perhaps if you read his posts you may understand why Heath was so beloved.

  20. Libra Rising says:

    Hello
    I am glad to have found a place where I am not alone in my feelings regarding Heath’s passing. I came to the conclusion that it was simply time for his soul and energy to move on. I did not know him and I did not know much about him. His passing has haunted me and still does.
    I reviewed pictures and interviews of him taken during the months prior to his death and it looked as though the light had been taken from his eyes. Something was missing.
    Thanks Shakur

  21. Ratan says:

    Sir,
    Heath Ledger was a perfect actor, as perfect as Gabbar Singh. Joker and Gabbar Singh can never be imitated or reproduced, they have been immortalized by Heath Ledger and Amjad Khan respectively.
    It would have been a treat to see you direct Heath Ledger.

    Peace,
    Ratan

  22. kralcn says:

    Hi Shekhar,
    Thank you so much for writing this. I have been a Heath Ledger fan since I saw him in 10 Things. As we approach the 2 year anniversary of his death I would have imagined the grieving process would have lessened. But it has not. I still miss him everyday and still mourn. The pain in fact has got worse. However, I feel closer to him now than ever before. Sometimes I swear I feel his presence near me. Sometimes I talk to him or imagine he is with me when I need him. Occasionally he visits me in my dreams. He certainly is an angel to me.
    I wanted to thank you for acknowledging the grief we feel for Heath and for the continued support and kind words of wisdom offered here. I would not admit this information on any other site but here I feel I can be understood and not judged.
    Much love and respect xx

  23. Two years ago this date we lost you to immortality. The hurt is no less today.

  24. Bianca-Germany says:

    Hello,

    thank you for writing about Heath. I first recognized him in “The Partriot” and thought “who’s this guy ?”. Living in Germany the movie beeing syncronized I wasn’t even the effect of Heath’s voice which I just recently experienced watching the OV of Brokeback Mountain. That was about 2 months ago and ever since I have been doing “research” on Heath – which he would not have appreciated at all I guess. I want to look futher than the clichee of a STAR created by the media. Who was this person, his intends in acting……and I discovered so much more. And just as so many other people I felt and still feel deeply touched by Heath, not only the acting – but that kind person he seemed to be. And weird enough I am missing him and feeling stupid since I didn’t know him in person. Thinking about him gone hurts – still hurts …..still do not understand why, since I have never met him and I am a pretty down to earth person in my mid thirties, mom of 2 children. He must have been even more special then we could imagine. Maybe an Angel came visit us. Best regards from Germany.

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