Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011
Do I fear death? No, I am not afraid of being dead because there’s nothing to be afraid of, I won’t know it. I fear dying, of dying I feel a sense of waste about it and I fear a sordid death, where I am incapacitated or imbecilic at the end which isn’t something to be afraid of, it’s something to be terrified of.
It’s in times like this when, ironically, words just fail — it is so hard to convey some feelings. No, I was not so lucky to have met Mr. Hitchens in person, I cannot claim to know what kind of person he was, or how well he performed all of those roles each individual assumes throughout their life.
But I did know him as a mentor, as a writer, as a delusion slayer, as an educator of the masses. I was so fortunate to have exchanged a few emails with him, such an inspiring human being.
We knew him through his essays and books, his loudness, his brilliant rhetoric, his boldness, for his inspiring reasoning, and his amazingly blunt debate skills. He was such a pleasure to listen to.
I remember a few months ago, he was asked in an interview, “so, you’re dying…”, He calmly smiled and said, “Yes, but so are you.” The only good thing about these announced deaths, is the opportunity we get to show the sick person how much we cherish, and appreciate them. I hope he sensed how much we treasured him and his work.
He’s not resting in peace, he’s not in a better nor worse place, he simply is no more. Hence this feeling of irreparable loss.
All that is left for us is to celebrate his time on earth, and be thankful for what he gave us, that hopefully will continue to enlighten future generations. This was a life worthy of a great celebration.
Farewell, Hitch, you mighty warrior for rationality and reason, you! Thank you for your invaluable contribution to humanity’s enlightenment.
This is not a tribute, I am not qualified to do that. I just needed closure.