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a great scholar snatched away from the arms of
another, in the prime of life
Words intended to soothe can also hurt, by teasing a wound open; silence, which can sometimes say a lot, also can convey indifference, lack of empathy. Human life abounds in paradoxes, the ultimate being the frequently unconscionable, by all accounts insensible, unreasonable, and infuriatingly unacceptable loss of it.
In the little that I know of you, the inescapable memory is that of a will of steel that resided in your frail body. The voice that came through over the telephone, despite the merciless static and other disturbances, did not fail to convey that indestructible strength and composure, and did not only reassure us of your inner calm, but lent strength to our timorous, abjectly inadequate effort to reach out to you, hold your hand, hold you. We are all with you.
14 May 1986