The Death of Christopher Hitchens
Far be it from me to pretend that I can utter some new words over a corpse that haven’t been shouted over another hundred thousand or so already, but we’re compelled, still, to say something when someone of importance becomes another ghost on the bookshelves.
Christopher Hitchens died of the same illness that killed his father. The same malady that afflicts many such enthusiastic smokers. He went so far as to comment on the banality of it, the predictability. And although he was undergoing some of the most advanced treatments and well-honed techniques to combat it, it was only a matter of time.
I’m not one for sentimentalism, or hero worship, or worship of any kind, for that matter, something I owe (in no small part) to the man himself. But some watershed in my soul was breached when I heard of his passing. It may not be the fate of anyone to live forever, in the literal sense, or to die when they’re ready, insofar as anyone can be ready.
But there’s still an unmistakable wrenching, a gash of unfairness in the whole messy ordeal that makes me bleed all over myself embarassingly.
I suppose we knew it was only a waiting game; I just wish we’d had to wait a little bit longer. For whatever that’s worth, that’s what I have to give. Not even a down payment on what was given.
“Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty and wisdom will come to you that way.”
-Christopher Hitchens: 1949-2011