Alexander Chancellor

You realise how little you know of anybody when they die

My brother John was more difficult to fathom than most. All there is to say really is that we loved him

Whether or not you believe in the afterlife, death remains an impenetrable mystery. One moment a person is making jokes and comments and observations about life; the next he is gone. What has happened to that store of wit and wisdom acquired over a lifetime, to that particular way of understanding and looking at things, to that unique muddle of thoughts and feelings that every individual has? Even if someone has gone to heaven, it is difficult to imagine that he has taken these things with him.

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