Robert Jordan has died.

I’m sitting here at my desk, just absolutely stunned. If you had told me that today, my first day back from vacation, would have contained the news I read this morning, I would have called you a liar.

Robert Jordan has died.

It’s just stunning. Yes, the man had been ill for quite some time and the diagnosis was bad from the beginning. Yes, he outlived what the doctors thought he would by 6 months. But still, it is so hard to really believe the news.

Part of this stems from the fact that I have been reading his work since 1992. Fifteen years, nearly half my life, has been spent reading this man’s prose (and a smattering of poetry). I’ve theorized about how he would end the series. I created notebooks about the prophecies within the series, trying to figure it all out before the author revealed answers to the questions he wrote.

So much time of mine has been invested in his work. The first 4 books in his Wheel of Time series have been read by me at least a dozen times each. I met the author twice during my life and have signed editions of his books. I’ve got pictures of he and I together and pics of his famous hat and cane.

I can’t imagine what his family must be going through. RJ’s struggle over the last 18 months has been quite public as he has blogged about the disease that was eating away at him. On one hand it must be good to know that he no longer suffers but the shock of his loss after his much repeated mantra of beating the disease must also be wrenching.

RJ spent his final months dictating the last book in the Wheel of Time series. His wife, Harriet, is also his editor, so she will at least take the work he had done and will have it stitched together in the best approximation of what would have been a capstone to a much beloved, and widely acclaimed series. It is just sad that RJ could not have completed the work on his own and lived to see it complete. Some passings just come too soon.