I suppose as one gets older (mind you, I'm only 38 - for another month or so) you have to get used to burying your dead or, if it's not a close relative you're putting in the ground, mourning the passing of a true hero.
Alex Higgins was never one of my personal heroes, but he was certainly one of the true sporting greats that defined my childhood. Snooker, in the early 80s, was strangely massive to all of us. Higgins, largely because of his unthinkable '82 win in the age of the Steve Davis machine, was one of the reasons why.
RIP Alex Higgins.