Wayne Flynt, Ph.D.

Published June 14, 2017

I know you [Carolyn Johnston] mourn the passing of Elie Wiesel as much as I mourned the death of Nelle Harper Lee. But in the death of those who have given all they had to give on behalf of justice, righteousness, love, reconciliation and peace, eternity is enriched; and those of us left behind redouble our efforts to tell THEIR stories as an addendum to OUR stories. In both your case and mine, we are different and better persons for having them intersect our lives. While visiting the grave of Jane Austen at Winchester Cathedral and mourning the death of one so wise at so early an age, I noticed a card in the rack nearby that contained a poem by the novelist/poet/theologian/nationalist/1913 Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Rabindranath Tagore, which read:

Say not in grief that he is no more
but say in thankfulness that he was.
A death is not the extinguishing of a light
but the putting out of the lamp
because the dawn has come.

—Wayne Flynt, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of History, Auburn University
(Professor Carolyn Johnston’s Samford University Mentor)