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from Hanz Araki

“I hope this year will be the beginning of a new period in your life filled with peacefulness. And may it start to lay to rest the turmoil of the last few years. Strive to be positive, brother. Make the best of what life has in store. The rest will take care of itself.”

Lolly wrote this in a birthday card he gave me a few years ago. I found it while looking for a quote from Thomas Merton he had given me to use in my dedication to him. I found the quote, but his own words were far more moving.

We all loved him. Because of his music, his humour, his stories, his faith without piety, his willingness and openness to discuss anything, no matter how difficult, his warmth. To anyone who knew him, his penchant for rambling, his absent-mindedness and his frankness were some of his most endearing qualities.

It’s so wrong in so many ways to lose him. He’s too young to leave us. There was too much music in him, too many people whose lives he enriched. A man who gladly gave to so many should not be asked to pay so dearly.

I’m angry, I’m terribly, terribly sad, confused and unable to grasp this reality. But I will try to live up to what he said to me in that birthday card. I just never thought I’d have to do it without him.

I'll never forget him as long as I live.
Hanz Araki

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