Dr. Edward Said passed away yesterday, his battle with leukemia finally over. His body will return to the dust from whence it came. His family and friends and associates and admirers will grieve and mourn his passing. An extraordinary life, an extraordinary character has left us; and that loss will be deeply felt, and painfully apparent for some time.
But Edward Said was more than just a man with a family and friends and ideas and goals and dreams and aspirations, like all men. Edward Said was like a star in the heavens, to which one could look for illumination on a moonless night. He was an extraordinary source of illumination — making truths obvious that otherwise would have been hidden in the haze, the fog, or the deliberate concealment by those who profited and prospered from the darkness.
Dr. Said shown light on the footpaths of those harried off their land to seemingly permanent exile. For many years, darkness shaded the evidence of those footprints, and the route home for the dispossessed. But, like a shining star burning through the fog, Dr. Said beamed forth his light and helped the abandoned find a sense of home and belonging. And that sense of belonging could not help but provide a sense of hope, for when the direction and the pathway of the journey to one’s past is determined, the path to one’s future destiny becomes clearer.
For his light bearing, Dr. Said was hated by some. Those inclined to hate Dr. Said were proponents of darkness, and predisposed towards badness and evil. There was never any shame for Dr. Said in being hated by the lovers of darkness. His ability and willingness to continue beaming forth light despite the attempts to extinguish the beam are testament to the integrity, the endurance, and the character of Dr. Said. He was a true hero.
Few men in the entire history of men made such a contribution to this world. Few men have had the towering intellect, the passion, the ability to communicate so beautifully and so well, or the wherewithal to make contributions to the welfare of whole nations and peoples as Dr. Said has. His name will be spoken of with reverence and great honor. Thankfully, his writings and recorded words in all media will survive and will bear testimony to truths and light uniquely displayed in his lifetime.
Dr. Edward Said — God bless your memory. Dr. Said, thank you so very much for your service, your character, and your extraordinary ability to illuminate this world with sorely needed truth. May your memory never leave us, and may your work and words survive for as long as men cherish light and bask in it. May your family and your friends and your admirers find comfort and pride and joy in recollecting your precious memory.