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3/12/05 Insider Letter

Posted by Bob on March 12th, 2005 under Insider Letter Archive

(Reprinted to Blog from email list of 3/12/05)

*** Bob’s Insider’s Message ***

Sam Francis and Death

I want to keep reminding people of Sam Francis. He had wisdom we all need to keep in mind.

When I wrote Sam’s obituary in my blog, I started out by saying, “I’m not sorry for Sam. I’m sorry for me.”

If I had started by announcing that “Sam Francis has died,” Sam would have said something like, “Well, Bob, what did you think was going to happen?”

Sam and I were both going to check out eventually, and we both knew it. I wish he had waited until after me, but if there is one thing he and I learned in our long struggles, it was that we do not get what we wish.

But Sam and I had an armor against human mortality. Neither of us was our own universe. For many if not most people their own death is the end of the world. Sam and I spent our lives fighting for the future of our own people. We were both perfectly aware that what mattered to us would be decided in a time after we had both died.

Sam was obsessed with what is true. He would fight for facts the way someone else would fight to extend their lives a year or two.

If you are your own universe death is unthinkable. Everything that matters ends with you.

On the other hand, if your life is devoted to truth, truth with a small “t” and to a greater cause, you take death as one of the facts of life.

Sam had so much more to give us, and I needed his mordant wit, but we just don’t get what we want.

And that’s not Sam’s problem. That’s mine.


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