Remembering Dr. Stefan de Schill

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Not to become or be considered hopelessly maudlin, though I am a bit of the nostalgic sort, I am this still Sunday afternoon, as the light shines a certain way, remembering our long-time director, Dr. Stefan de Schill, in a personal way.

Long before I was invited to be on the board of directors of AMHF as well as its international-sister foundation in Geneva and Zurich, IIRSM, I came to know Stefan via a mutual friend that hooked us up when Stefan requested some help with his writing in English. It turned out, he helped me more with my English and writing than I ever did with his.

That aside, every Sunday at 4:15 in the afternoon, like clockwork, Dr. de Schill would call for a one-hour discussion of foundation business, which included the voluminous mail and instructions he began sending once I had come onboard.

I have greatly missed those telephone conversations since Dr. de Schill’s voice was silenced by death on February 9, 2005.

That is a long time. We at AMHF miss his sure guiding hand and firsthand knowledge of group therapy, an art as much as a science that, in many ways, remains more popular in Europe.

Stefan and I shared many, but not all interests. In my mind, our friendship was cemented perhaps a half-dozen years before his passing, when he casually mentioned his favorite author, who also happens to just about my favorite novelist: the great Sicilian Lampedusa. Lampedusa wrote his masterpiece, The Leopard (Il gattapardo in Italian, which really translates as “the ocelot,” il leopardo being the exact Italian word to my creaky knowledge).

Rest in peace, friend, knowing that, like Lampedusa, in death your reputation will someday soar.

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