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Silenced forever: Christopher Hitchens

Writer Christopher Hitchens died yesterday of cancer of the esophagus at 62. He was absolutely one of my favorite writers. He took on those he deemed hypocritical, including Mother Teresa. He was a prolific writer who smoked and drank “enough to kill or stun the average mule,” as he once said, according to AP writer Hillel Italie, who wrote an extraordinary obituary.

Hitchens, one of the most famous atheists of our time, wrote a heartfelt article in this month's Vanity Fair. He took issue with the line that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. He had lost his speaking voice and his fingers were no longer working well, due to the cancer or the treatment's side effects. He was losing his ability to write. So death, which came earlier than many thought, might have come at a time he welcomed.

I'm sad his voice will be silenced now forever, except in his brilliant writings he left behind.

Godspeed, Christopher. Or rather, Humanspeed!

(S-R archives photo)

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Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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