Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christopher Hitchens has died..

Rest in Peace, sir.  I met Christopher at a book signing/lecture/luncheon about 12 years ago.  For some reason, he took me under his wing and asked me to go outside and talk so he could have a cigarette in the garden of the Bel Air Hotel.  We sat on a bench in a lovely garden about 10 ft from where he was supposed to be signing books as soon as the luncheon crowd who'd heard him speak was in line.  Somehow, I'd asked him something and he seemed to want to talk and that was that...........there we sat and talked and smoked. I believe he also still had with him the glass of Scotch which he'd sipped throughout his lecture.  I found myself conversing with him but feeling guilty that people were amassing in that line for signatures and he didn't seem to care.   He just kept asking me questions and talking to me.  After 15 minutes, I was finally able to focus him on the crowd which awaited him and begged myself away, all the while thanking him profusely for his time.  He remembered something personal I'd told him about when we'd first started talking and he brought it up again and wished me great luck with it.  This man cared;  he was articulate, caring and a good writer.  He was mostly quite politically different than I was but we both respected each other's thoughts and all went well.  SO, goodbye, Christopher Hitchens, it hurts me to see you go. I'm glad I got to know you a little.  You could have written a lot more fascinating things .......and you were a gentleman.
I also remember hearing that when you knew you were probably going to die, you specifically asked that no one prayers for you.   I broke that rule then and I've broken it now.  Go with God, Christopher.........if you haven't ticked him off too much :-)



sue hanes said...

Z - Maybe it's because I'm a small town girl and not worldly enough but until I read your post I had never heard of Christopher Hitchens.

First - I thought - Z is lucky to have met him - and shared some insight into him.

And then at the end of the article all I could think of is:

How did Z know that God was/is ticked off at him?

Or is she only 'assuming' that the God she professes to 'know' is ticked off at him.

Maybe at the pearly gates Christopher Hitchens got one of those :

Welcome - well done good and faithful servant.

Because who knows really - the Mind of God.

Personally I happen to think He is
Magnanimous - and not as smallminded as we make Him out to be.

: )

Brooke said...

Sheesh. Take a joke much?

That sounds like a wonderful experience, Z.

Hopefully, Hitchens got right with God. He'd probably get a kick out of you praying for him, even if he'd disagree.

Rita said...

Thar She Blows!

Z: Your exchange with Mr. Hitchens is fascinating. I'm sure you would have loved to have been able to continue an in-depth conversation with him regarding his views.

Z said...

For goodness sake, Sue, I try SO HARD not to respond to you in (un)kind so I'll try to do it again today.
Did you READ my last words?
Did you see that Hitchens said he wanted no prayers? I heard him say that on the radio. He's an avowed atheist, Sue. My line was in humor. Do you really think I'd suggest somebody's ticked GOD OFF?
And, who would better than an atheist, Sue? geeez

Brooke, I like to think someone got to him before he went because he was SO kind. What he remembered that I'd told him was something personal that related to him (I'd tell you but I don't want to write it here)...and the way he brought it back to that after 15 min of politics, etc., blew my mind.

Rita, I sure would have!

sue hanes said...

Z - I told you right off that I hadn't even heard of Christopher Hitchens.

I'm not stupid by any means - but there is no doubt that I am dimwitted at times.

And I honestly don't always catch on to things when I read them the first time.

And you never have to worry about being unkind to me. I have built up a protective bubble around myself.

If someone penetrates that bubble with unkindness I lash out but then get over it.

I think you've seen that happen - haven't you Z.

But I'l always grateful that you don't give up on me like others,

sue hanes said...

athiests are people too

Z said...

oh, for goodness sake.
Thank the Lord I'm going to work.

Bob said...

The man was, indeed, very talented.

Leticia said...

I have never heard of him, Z. He sounded like a very kind and intelligent man.

What a wonderful memory to have and to share.

Pris said...

While I wasn't likely to agree with Hitchens often, he was clearly an interesting man, and fascinating to listen to. Very bright, and to my mind, intriguing.

Hitchens supported George Bush in the war on terror, and I'm sure in his mind, because what he saw happening to Britain with the Islamists and their behavior and demands, he could see what Jihad was bringing to his country.

One thing I really liked about him was his political incorrectness. He was direct and up front, whether we agreed with him or not, we knew where he stood on issues.

Z, I'm impressed that you and he had a conversation. How neat is that? You must have raised the right issue, or question to have had that opportunity.
It could be he was attracted to you, which would not surprise me.

In any case, he'll be missed. May he rest in peace, and with your prayer, he just may be.

Ducky's here said...

I wonder if Alexander Cockburn is going to write his eulogy in The Nation.

David Wyatt said...

Nice personal testimony of your experience with Mr. Hitchens. It's good to realize, that as Sue said, atheistsare people too. It's obvious that he was a real person as you know better than we, since you met him. I know I as a believer can sometimes jump too fast on unbelievers without realizing that they have a story too. I will confess that he didn't want God, but God very much wanted him, and the cross is the proof of that. Very sad since he could have had Him and eternal life. But wouldn't it be neat if in the final milliseconds that he realized the truth and came to Christ? What grace, to realize that He would have welcomed Mr. Hitchens, whom He died for, with open arms. God bless you Z.

beamish said...

Hitch was the rarest of breeds, an intellectually honest left-winger.

He'll be missed.

Z said...

David, I hope so....he was really so caring I was stunned.

Beamish, I'd literally just come back to add that exact thing.
Thanks, you said it well. We need more like him.

beamish said...

You should check out one of Hitchens' last "Fighting Words" articles at Salon on Mitt Romney and Mormonism.

It's everything you could ever wish someone would say loudly right now.

BB-Idaho said...

Read some of his books, never missed him on TV, and I was a great admirer of Christopher Hitchens. Unique, no one else
comes close to replacing him...

Jan said...

Z..thanks for sharing this very interesting encounter that you had with Mr. Hitchens.

I liked him, too, and was always interested in watching him whenever he was on any program.

I wondered, when I read that he was, literally, dying of cancer, why he requested that no one pray for him.

I knew, of course, that he was an atheist, but wondered what difference it would make if someone prayed for him, since he didn't believe, and wouldn't know, anyway.

Just my own funny way of thinking of thigs.

Actually, I did pray for him when I heard of his illness.

When I have counseled others who were concerned about loved ones dying that had never professed any kind of faith, I, too, have told them the same thing that David Wyatt has expressed...that we have no way of knowing their final thoughts, or whether or not they had acknowledged a belief in God...but that God knows every man's heart, and He is merciful.

May the God of Peace be with Mr. Hitchens' family at this time of loss of their loved one.

Rita said...

I've attended an atheist funeral. Or more accurately, a co-worker (Terry) who was agnostic, whose wife was a devout atheist.

The saddest thing of all was not that the funeral was atheist, the saddest thing was that my co-worker's parents and family were very devout in their faith and I watched those heartbroken parents literally ache that no praying was allowed whatsoever.

The widow did allow her husband's nephew to give part of the eulogy. The man was eloquent. He respected the widow's wishes, but he made it clear, in the most diplomatic way possible that there had been strife and disagreements over religion in the family.

You could tell his heart was broken for his grandparents and he was determined to at least give them some voice.

After vaguely mentioning the "no praying" service, he quoted his grandfather, my co-worker's father.

They had been missionaries in their younger years. The nephew said, "As my grandfather said, "But we know Terry was baptized in the river Jordon."

And although he did not actually pray, his final words had the intonation on one.

So, it's like Jan said, if the widow did not believe there was a God, why couldn't she at least find it in her heart to let the man's parents have a little comfort at his funeral. After all, in her mind they would have been praying to a non-existent God, right?

I know my atheist friend at least is respectful when other's exercise their religion.

This widow just seemed determined to cause even more grief for the man's parents.

sue hanes said...

'Very sad since He could have had Him and eternal life'

David Wyatt - Your comment sounds as if you are absolutely positive -
about the Salvation of Christopber Hitchens.

Were You There - at the final moment - when he could have been reached -and perhaps accepted Grace - which is available at no cost to any of us?

Z said...

Sue, helpful would be if you'd read David's full comment before attacking him.

sue hanes said...

Look Z. I made a comment.

Delete it if you don't approve of what I said.

My comment stands as I wrote it.

And I'm sorry that you felt the need to protect David Wyatt from me - by referring to my comment as an attack.

David Wyatt said...

Hey Sue,

No I of course wasn't there, that was my whole point, & actually you said it better than I did, when you said, "Grace - which is available at no cost to any of us..." Amen & Amen. The cost of course was paid by our Savior, & my point was simply to express my desire that Mr. Hitchens accepted it.
Z, thanks for your kindness, it's always a pleasure to come by your excellent blog. You do such a good job of hosting, you make it look easy, which it is NOT! God bless you.

Z said...

Thank you, David, you are always such a gentleman and I"m so glad when you find the time to come by. xx

net observer said...

I would have given anything to have THAT experience, Z. I'm jealous. Hitchens may be the most brilliant pundit I've ever witnessed. When I first heard about him dying of cancer, I remember thinking, "Man, I hope he can hang around a long time anyway. Its gonna suck when he's gone."

That man is an enormous loss.

sue hanes said...

Z - geeeeeez!

Why don't I ever get any little

x's after you comment about

my comments?

Rita said...

OK, I am now convinced that Ducky may be masquerading behind a sockpuppet here.

Sorry Ducky, I couldn't resist.

Z said...

net....I'll write you exactly what happened.

Rita :-)

Silverfiddle said...

Christopher Hitchens was an Orwell for our times.

BB-Idaho said...

Z, in case you missed it, there was another who met and talked with
Hitchens ...