As you may know from comments I’ve made here or on Twitter, I’m a big fan of the show Mythbusters. My daughter and I got matching Savage Industries shirts. Since stumbling upon it, its been one of those shows I have watched and re-watched — it was smart and funny and entertaining, and it is one of my go to comforting background shows when I want to put something on but don’t necessary want to have to focus on “watching” a show.
So the news yesterday that Grant Imahara, an engineer whose work at Industrial Light and Magic on models and special effects led to him being a longtime cast member on Mythbusters, had died from a brain aneurysm was a blow for me. Imahara passed away at 49 — my age — and is someone I had been watching and following for the decade-plus he was on the show. You don’t ever know people on television, of course, but on a show like Mythbusters, you at least feel like you get a sense for the people involved, and so I felt like I “knew” Adam Savage, Jamie Hyneman, Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara, even if I’d never interacted with them or seen them in person.
Aneurysms are one of those strange, scary things that seem to strike out of nowhere, and take people unexpectedly, well before you would think it was their time. Richard Durrett, Texas Rangers beat writer and all around good guy, passed away of an aneurysm just over six years ago at the age of 38, as we all recall. It isn’t always fatal — if you recall John Olerud’s unusual batting helmet, he wore that because of an aneurysm he suffered in college, and David Cone missed most of a season due to an aneurysm — but it is serious, often deadly, and seems to come out of nowhere, like a lightning strike.
I’m not going to say I feel like I lost a friend, or anything like that, with Imahara’s passing. But he is someone whose work I enjoyed, respected and appreciated, and his sudden departure at what still seems to me to be a young age throws me for a loop. We are in the middle of a pandemic that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives, so it seems almost silly for me to say this, but his passing was a reminder to me of the fragility of life, the ease with which one can depart this earth.
So appreciate your time on this planet. Tell someone that you love them. In the words of Warren Zevon, enjoy every sandwich, and try to take joy and experience happiness where you can. Life is too short to do otherwise.