10 May 1948 – 14 September 1998
From Ellen Nold
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 11:02:22 -0700
Subject: Condolences
I didn’t read my email last week, feeling overwhelmed by my radiation treatments and the efforts to find a nest — a place to live that was secure enough that I could relax in these last years of my life.

So I came upon your last three emails all at once, and I was dumbstruck by your courage, forthrightness and love for your family and friends — as well as for lovely Hazel. You have always seemed to me an unusually insightful and delightful man, so I shouldn’t be surprised at how you have let this tragedy temper you, bring out your heart for all of us to treasure, and model for us the soulful efforts of the spouse who is left behind. Hazel was so lucky to have you by her side.

My heart aches for you and for the children. I know that you will step forward as their dad/mom to process this senseless loss and help them (and yourself) gain what benefits there might be. At least, your children have seen Hazel’s courage and your devotion: they know what a truly loving relationship between man and wife looks and feels like. That is a great gift from you and Hazel.

Upon reading of Haxel’s death, I did the traditional Tibetan Buddhist phowa — a practice to send her soul to the All. As I contacted her intuitively, I was struck by the peace she was feeling, and her overflowing love for you, her children and her large group of family and friends. I hope that my experience of her can be of some small comfort in your bereavement.

My love to you and to the children.


Ellen was a friend of Hazel’s and mine, and was also suffering from advanced breast cancer when she wrote this. Visiting Palo Alto in early June, 1999, the children and I were present at her wedding to Kent Peacock. Ellen died on September 4, 2000.
Kent's obituary for Ellen in the San Jose Mercury.

Last Updated 19 October 2003