It's hard to know what to say about the death of Maurice Sendak. The thing that is so overlooked about the writers and artists that we learned to read with and then read on our own, is that they helped shape our view of the world. Sendak didn't sugarcoat life. He knew it was strange and frightening and miserable and beautiful and he tried to convey that to us as honestly as he could.
What was so stunning was that he worked for long and that for those of us who went back to his work as adults, he remains as fascinating and talented as he seemed when we were children. In interviews, Sendak showed that he was a thoughtful and brilliant man. He suffered through trauma and depression, but he kept working. He said, "Children surviving childhood is my obsessive theme and my life's concern."
Fresh Air posted the interviews he did with them and this quote they pulled out says so much, I think:
"I have nothing now but praise for my life. I'm not unhappy. I cry a lot
because I miss people. They die and I can't stop them. They leave me
and I love them more. ... What I dread is the isolation. ... There are
so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I
die, but I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready."