We have been inundated by tributes and eulogies

following the untimely passing away of Raffi

Hagopian. They all share the shock, grief and pain,

This is a selection of the expressions of condolence.

                      I   read   your   obituary   of   Raffi   H.   Hagopian   yesterday   -   6   years after   the   event,   but   still   happy   and   then   very sad    to    have    found    some    information    about Raffi.             My   name   is   Sarah   Owen,   i   am   English   and aged   45.   I   grew   up   in   Strood   Kent   and   met   Raffi when    he    went    to    St.    John    Fisher’s    Catholic school-   he   was   in   the   same   class   as   my   older brother   and   they   became   firm   friends.   They both     attended     Oakwood     Park     college     in Maidstone,     Kent     after     leaving     school.     My brother Alun   was   a   very   good   guitarist   and   Raffi used   to   come   round   our   house   a   lot   at   that time.   I   was   5   years   younger   than   Raffi   and Alun and   used   to   try   and   follow   them   around   as much   as   possible,   thinking   that   they   were   both wonderful-        much        to        my        brother’s embarrassment!                Raffi   was   always   very   kind   to   me!   He   treated   me   like   his   little sister,   even   to   the   point   of   walking   me   home   one   evening   when   he found   me   out   in   town   at   a   time   that   he   thought   was   unsuitable   (   i was not best pleased, but very flattered ).                I   thought   Raffi   was   possibly   the   most   interesting   and   exotic creature   i   had   met   at   that   time,   but   he   was   very   much   a   man   and i   was   very   much   still   a   kid. Alun   used   to   keep   a   passport   photo   of me   in   his   wallet   and   years   later   Alun   told   me   that   Raffi   had   seen the photo and kept it. I was very proud.               As   you   get   older   you   lose   touch   and   move   around   but   knowing Raffi   touched   me   and   also   my   brother Alun.   He   was   very   much,   on one   hand,   a   tough   guy,   but,   like   you   said,   his   heart   was   so   gentle. He   radiated   love.   He   was   the   first Armenian   i   met   and   i   found   his history   very   interesting   although   i   couldnt   understand   why   he   had been all over the place at such a young age.                I   understand   now;   my   best   friend   here   (   in   NL   where   i   now   live )      is   also   Armenian   and   whenever   the   family   gets   together   they talk   about   the   history,   which   is   why   every   now   and   again   i   look   for Raffi   on   the   internet.   Yesterday   was   such   a   family   party   full   of Armenian   friends   and   family   –   some   ended   up   in   Germany   some   in NL   –   all   of   them   disjointed   and   exiled.   This   is   why   i   found   your obituary   last   night;   one   girl   said   to   check   via   the Armenian   church and community in Jerusalem.                I   wanted   to   express   my   sadness   that   his   family   lost   him   like this-   in   his   prime   and   on   the   brink   of   a   new   life.   Even   if   there   had been   no   photo   by   your   obituary,   I   would   have   recognised   him   from your description.      I will say a prayer for him and his family.      With warmest regards,      Sarah Owen      >       The   heavy   tragic   news   of   the   sudden   and   untimely   death   of our   dear   nephew   Raffi yesterday   night   struck   me   and   my   wife Anna   like   a   thunderbolt   from   the   sky;   it   left   us   speechless   and aghast   with   disbelief.   Raffi,   the   young   handsome   prince   with   the ever   smiling   face   has   left   us   for   a   far   better   dominion   than   he   has ever   known.       May   God   bless   your   soul   dear   Raffi   and   may   you dwell   in   His   everlasting,   borderless   heavens   and   Paradise   and   rest assured,   dear   brother   Hagop,   wife   Hoppig,   and   all   our   clans,   that Almighty   God   of   the   Universe   is   ever   merciful,   loving   and   tender anddenies   none   of   His   creations   His   Love   and   Mercy.       We   share your   grief   and   sorrow   and   may   God   grant   you   the   patience   and forbearance to carry on in life.        On   behalf   of   Apkar   and   Anna   Hagopian   and   our   son   Apo   and daughter Anoush Shocked and devastated!        There   are   no   tears,   nor   words,   nor   any   kind   of   expressions that   I   can   show   that   would   express   the   sadness   in   my   heart   for the loss of a Prince that I have always admired.        Raffi   Hagopian   was   a   Royalty   among   us   that   has   chosen   to leave   us   because   life   sucks.   He   was   all   what   his   uncle   says   and more.        It's   around   7:00   am   in   the   morning   here   and   I   feel   it's   still   dark and   dismal.   My   heart   goes   to   his   father,   my   cousin   Hagop   and   his ever    smiling    and    beautiful    wife    Hoppig    and    the    rest    of    the Hagopians,     Kevorkians,     Aprahamians     and     the     rest     of     the Armenians of Jerusalem.        At   this   moment   in   my   life,   I   wish   I   can   be   with   my   family   and cousin   Hagop.   My   wife   and   Sally   have   fond   memories   of   how charming,   decent   and   loving   was   Raffi   to   them   and   they   are   in complete   shock.   This   couldn't   have   happened   to   a   more   beautiful person than Raffi.        May   he   rest   in   peace   and   may   God   give   us   all   the   peace   we deserve   to   struggle   on   without   the   smiles   and   tenderness   of   a rare   human   being.          Cousin   Hagop   and   Hoppig!   My   most   deepest and   profound   condolences   to   all   of   us   for   the   loss   of   our   dear Raffi.          May he rest in peace.              The   last   time   I   was   in   California   and   I   visited   Hagop   and   Hoppig. Raffi   and   I   had   a   long   talk.   His   conversation   with   me   was   about life.                He   said   to   me   life   is   beautiful.   It   is   what   people   make   out   of it.                These   words   ring   in   my   ears   just   as   if   he   is   sitting   here   and talking   to   me.   At   his   home   he   hated   to   see   people   leave.   He always   wanted   every   one   to   spend   the   night   there,   so   he   can   sit and talk. and he succeeded to get everyone's attention.                He   was   like   a   candle   that   glows   among   us   with   his   bright   eyes and   beautiful   smile,   and   every   once   in   a   while   he   gives   us   a   high- five.               The   light   of   this   candle   had   stopped   and   Raffi   is   gone   from   this world   into   a   better   world.   He   can   look   down   on   us   and   continue talking   to   us   as   we   remember   him.   He   was   very   hospitable,   he respected everyone and extended his hand to help when anyone called on him.                Raffi,   we   know   you   are   in   a   better   place   tonight.   We   know that   God   had   a   place   for   you   next   to   Him.   We   pray   to   God   to   bless your   soul   and   may   you   rest   in   Peace.   You   will   be   remembered forever and missed by all of us.                My   wife   and   I   extend   our   deepest   sympathy   and   sincere condolences    to    all    the    Hagopians    in    the    United    States    and Jerusalem    and    Australia,    and    especially    to    his    father    Hagop Hagopian and his lovely mother Hoppig.                May   God   give   them   the   strength   to   pull   through   this   difficult time and the tragedy for the loss of their beloved son Raffi.                This   is   our   final   unforgotten bid   to   say   farewell   to   a   beloved but remarkable   spirit   who   has   left   without   saying   goodbye.   We have written   a   few   words   knowing   he   is   still   with   us   and   whoever reads    moving    challenging    lines    that    shake    us    to    the    core is supporting us & giving us strength.                We   are   indeed   far   away   but   the   World   can   never   take   away our   love   &   thoughts   of   you.   Our   hearts   &   souls   are   with   you   all   in this tragic & horrific moment.                We   feel   how   weak   and   fruitless   any   words   of   ours   may   attempt to   beguide   you   from   the   grief   of   a   loss   so   overwhelming.   We cannot   refrain   from   tendering   to   you   the   conciliation   that   may   be found   in   us   all.   We   pray   that   our   Heavenly   father   may   sway   the anguish   of   your   grief   and   leave   you   only   the   cherished   memories of    the    beloved    and    lost    son    who    is    now    in    a    world    we    are unfamiliar   with   but   nevertheless   believe   in.   A   `solemn   pride   that must be yours to have laid so costly a loss upon the alter of life.                We   all   find   it   so   hard   to   comprehend   the   truth,   that   our beloved   Raffi   has   been   taken   away   from   us   in   a   manner   no   one can   logically   justify   or   understand.   It   is   only   the   experience   of   the support   and   comfort   of   loved   ones   around   us   that   can   soften   the loss and reduce some of the pain that will never heal.                   We   know,   as   the   centuries   have   taught   us   and   foretold,   that Raffi   is   in   a   glorious   and   better   place.   Although   he   does   not   walk among   us   anymore,   and   find   it   difficult   to   accept   his   loss,   we   are consoled    by    the    thought    that    he    has    surrendered    his    soul    to paradise.                We   can   only   accept   that   he   is   living   a   new   life   now   and walking   new   worlds.   In   saying   this   we   can   only   believe   that   our Father   in   heaven   may   have   taken   him   to   watch   over   you   and protect   you   and   although   we   may   think   life   is   so   long   it   indeed   is only   a   breath   away   until   we   see   his   lovely,   such   beautiful   spirit once more.                Raffi,   you   shall   be   missed,   dearest   and   beloved   cousin,   and   no amount   of   tears   can   overcome   the   grief   and   no   pain   can   be greater than our loss.      Fare thee well.      On behalf of the Kaplanian family, Perth, Australia                   If   I   knew   the   magic   words   that   could   comfort   you,   I   would write   them   today.   But   I   know   how   little   anything   I   can   say   can   be of a real help at a time like this.                The   news   of   our   dear   cousin   Raffi's   death   came   as   a   shock   to all   of   us.   We   all   loved   him   so   much   and   we   will   miss   him   and   his jolly stories and good spirits.                My   dearest   cousin   Raffi,   I   know   you   are   in   God's   arms   today and I pray that you rest in peace.      God bless your soul. We will miss you ...                My   dearest   uncle   Hagop,   my   beautiful   Tantig   Hoppig,   cousins Viken   and   Talin,   I   feel   for   you   in   your   sorrow   and   extend   my sincere    sympathy.    May    the    Lord    give    you    the    strength    to    go through   this   pain   through   the   love   of   His   Son   Jesus.   Please   know that   I   will   continue   to   pray   for   you   all   asking   God   to   give   you   hope love, peace and strength throughout this time.             I   pray   that   out   of   "His   glorious   riches   he   may   strengthen   you with   power   through   his   spirit   in   your   inner   being."   (Ephesians   3:16 NIV)               The   tragic   and   unexpected   news   of   the   passing   away   of   your beloved   son   fell   like   a   thunderbolt   and   stunned   all   those   who remember   Raffi.   I   remember   him,   when   every   year   during   the summer   he   came   with   you,   his   parents,   from   Kuwait   to   spend   the vacation   here,   and   I   can   see   him   now   in   my   mind's   eye   playing with    the    children    of    the    Quarter    brimming    with    vivacity    and overflowing with energy.        I   know   words   are   inadequate   to   alleviate   your   profound   grief: this   is   a   time   when   much   courage   and   prayers   are   needed.       His departure   in   the   prime   of   his   life   will   be   sorely   felt;   it   is   indeed an   irreparable   loss,   but   his   memory   shall   never   fade   but   will remain   forever   fresh   in   the   minds   and   hearts   of   all   who   knew him.        My   wife Anais,   and   all   your   ex-colleagues   at   the   Tarkmanchatz join    me    in    conveying to    your    our    heartfelt    condolences    and profound   sorrow   on   your   irretrievable   bereavement.       May   his soul   rest   in   peace   in   the   eternal   Kingdom   of   Heaven,   and   may   the Almighty   grant   you   all   His   Heavenly   consolation.       Fortunately we   Christians   have   the   firm   conviction   and   solace   that   death   is not   the   end,   but   that   is   by   dying   that   we   awaken   to   eternal   life.      We all share your grief.
Armenian Jerusalem
6th Century mosaic
This project has been supported by the Gulbenkian philanthropic Foundation, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and members of the worldwide Armenian community. Reproductions of the genealogical documents [domar’s] are courtesy Photo Garo, Jerusalem. Copyright © 2007 Arthur Hagopian
This project has been supported by the Gulbenkian philanthropic Foundation, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and members of the worldwide Armenian community. Reproductions of the genealogical documents [domar’s] are courtesy Photo Garo, Jerusalem. Copyright © 2007 Arthur Hagopian