September 13, 2002

Dear Friends:

As you receive this week's Tulane Talk many of us are gathering with the Lorino family to say our final farewell to Jonathan. I wanted to share with you the words I will say about Jonathan at today's service.

"In Praise of Jonathan Edgar Lorino"

A light went out in New Orleans on Monday--a light and life full of promise and hope and love. My words today cannot be anything but inadequate, but I speak from the heart as a father and as a friend. For Tony, Lisa, Jason, Patty and the extended Lorino and Wright families-and all the rest of us who knew and loved Jonathan--a light has gone out from us and left our world a darker place.

I cannot even approach an understanding of the shock and sorrow and anger you must feel, but I do know that in the days and weeks and months ahead we will all find ourselves crying out to God that this brilliant life was cut so short, and that it ended as it did. We will weep for him, and for you, we will feel rage, and we will ask why. But I hope we'll also remember how truly blessed we were to have known your son, your grandson, your brother, and our friend.

If we judge a life fulfilled by the measure of love a person can give, Jonathan's life was fulfilled. He loved his family, dropping by his dad's office and making him laugh and beam with pride, heading off to California with his mother for a special Barbara Streisand concert on her birthday. He loved his friends, his community, and his studies. Love always shone through Jonathan's smile, and a Jonathan smile was worth a pot of gold.

If we judge a life fulfilled by the measure of kindness and compassion a person can show, Jonathan's life was fulfilled. He was intolerant of injustice, was generous and kind, and sensitive to all those around him. It is indeed a rare gift to find some one so young with such wisdom, thoughtfulness and tenderness.

If we judge a life fulfilled based on sheer academic accomplishments, Jonathan's life was amazingly fulfilled as he packed each of his 21 years full of learning. He spoke fluent French, and in fact had recently returned from his Junior Year Abroad in Paris. He was an exceptional student, winning several academic awards in high school and at Tulane. Jonathan had a breathtaking array of intellectual interests ranging from languages and international affairs to political science and religion. I have no doubt that whatever Jonathan dreamed, he would have accomplished. What pride and joy he brought to his family and his friends.

If I developed a profile of the model Tulane student, it would have been Jonathan. He was a shining star, a light in the lives of all who knew or came in contact with him. His light will always burn brightly in our hearts and in our minds.

I cannot offer any answers for what has happened; none of us can. I can only leave you with a quote from Psalm 31, where David turns to God as a fortress in adversity and David says: "Be of good courage, and God shall strengthen your heart."

May we always remember and cherish the memory of a truly outstanding young man--Jonathan Edgar Lorino.



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