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He is gone. I can’t believe it. It was no surprise. We had plenty of warnings, for years, actually. Still, when the news finally hit me late that Thursday night, I refused to accept it. I was just putting my youngest to bed when my wife told me the news. “Oh, really? Well, it was to be expected.” My wife was taken aback by my reaction. It was a reaction of intellectual acknowledgment with emotional rejection. The news didn’t seem to affect me – until early next morning. I was supposed to write an obituary, but I just couldn’t. Each time I put my head to it thinking about my memories with Brad, it pulled me down. And it made me feel sick. I remember feeling like that the last time in 1985 when I had fallen in love with a young lady that simply didn’t want anything to do with me. I was love-sick back then. And having lost Bradley felt the same way, kind of. I didn’t expect a non-romantic friendship to have such an impact. It’s the first time I have lost a person in my life that truly meant something to me. I’m still hurting. But I’m also all the more dedicated to help continue Brad’s legacy. “Jetzt erst recht!,” as we Germans say – now more than ever!
This issue is a special one, because it is so much more voluminous than our normal issues, and because we’ve decided to print it and send it out to whoever wants a copy. It’s our printed memorial for Bradley.
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|Title:||Bradley Reed Smith: Our Hero|
|Sources:||Smith's Report, no. 220, March 2016, p. 1|
|First posted on CODOH:||Feb. 28, 2016, 9:15 p.m.|