Peter Hitchens on Christopher Hitchens

I am surprised Peter Hitchens, an evangelical Christian, would weigh in on Day One of the death of his famous atheist brother, Christopher Hitchens. In the reflection, Peter wandered from their stormy but mostly pacified and workable relationship to the courage of his brother, a courage Peter admired.

Here are some of Peter’s words:

There, he suggested, we could go through his bookshelves, as there were some books and other possessions he wanted me to have. I couldn’t have cared less about these things, but I had greatly hoped to have that conversation, which would have been a particularly good way of saying farewell.

But alas, it never happened. He never went home and now never will. Never, there it is, that inflexible word that trails close behind that other non-negotiable syllable, death. Even so, we did what we could in Houston, as the doctors, the nurses, the cleaners, and who knows who else, bustled in and out….

He would always rather fight than give way, not for its own sake but because it came naturally to him. Like me, he was small for his age during his entire childhood and I have another memory of him, white-faced, slight and thin as we all were in those more austere times, furious, standing up to some bully or other in the playground of a school we attended at the same time.

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  • EricG

    I also suffer from Stage IV cancer that had spread to my stomach and esophagus (and elsewhere), have followed his story very closely, and was also struck by Hitchens’ courage throughout his ordeal. His writings regarding cancer were very insightful and helpful for me. I think that even when we disagree with someone’s views about God, we can learn from them.

  • Rick


    Thank you for sharing.

    I will be sure to pray for you.

  • +1 to Eric #1. several friends resisting cancer right now, strength and courage to you. just blogged a little about Hitchens, would rather listen to an atheist like him than many Christian spokesmen. Honest, intelligent, sinned boldly. Couldn’t help but like him!

  • Brotherly love. I thought it a beautiful and fitting tribute, and I understand why he shared it so quickly. It provided an answer to the many questions, a thank you for the honest sorrowing gestures, and family solidarity in spite of a difficult relationship. Love runs deep, and that is good and right. I appreciate Peter’s words.

    Eric G, prayers being offered on your behalf, right now.