A Tragic Death

September 8th, 2008

I have just finished reading the article on Michael Bhatia '99, in tears ("A Belief in the Possible," July/August). The loss of a son resonates with me as a mother; as a member of the Brown community, I feel the loss even more deeply, while as a member of our world community, I feel it as a mythic tragedy. There are many unsung heroes on this planet. We meet them every day. I am grateful for them, and for the work Michael Bhatia accomplished in his short lifetime. My deep condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones, and to all of us.

Therese Sibon '77
New Paltz, N.Y.


Norman Boucher does Jarat Chopra an injustice when he notes, "As [Michael Bhatia's] former mentor at Brown, Jarat Chopra, writes, the death of any young man is deeply tragic" (Here & Now, July/August). What Jarat Chopra actually says is far more moving and wise: "However long someone lives, a life is ridiculously brief." True wisdom precludes singling out the young as people whose deaths are deeply tragic and entails recognizing that the deaths of the old are also deeply tragic.

Felicia Nimue Ackerman


The writer ia a Brown professor of philosophy.

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September/October 2008