I remain terrible at dealing with death. It's something I hate to discuss and I don't deal well with it personally, becoming slightly more distant when it affects my actual life. I tend not to talk about when family members are sick or pass away due to my own inability to process or deal well with grieving.
Yet I want to make mention of Kim Manners, in my own awkward way, because he will be missed and should be remembered for his wonderful work.
I'll always be a bit more attached to the productions where the crew gets recognized for all their hard work and form a family unit beyond the cast. While the actors are the people we see on TV, it's the writers and directors and everyone who stands behind the camera who deserve credit and major props for giving us the shows that we love so much (or love to agonize over).
Kim Manners' direction and work behind the scenes helped foster the kind of environment that is consistently described as a wonderful workplace, where guest actors consistently praise how it feels to be on set. I loved reading interviews with Manners, loved what he said at Paley ("I read for Sam") and that he pulled great performances out of Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. It felt like he made everyone a little bit better, you know?
He directed some of my favorite episodes and acknowledged flawed episodes, and I truly appreciated his vision. It was always exciting to see his name come up in the credits--"Oh yay, it's a Kim episode!".
The Supernatural Wiki has a page dedicated to Kim Manners and I read it earlier today, mourning what was lost but grateful that he did come of out semi-retirement to work on Supernatural.