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Errantry: Novak's Journal
...Words to cast/My feelings into sculpted thoughts/To make some wisdom last
Personal: The Unexpected Death of James Oliver Rigney, Jr., a.k.a. Robert Jordan 
17th-Sep-2007 01:40 pm
Oh, crap.

My brother Joe sent me notice that James Oliver Rigney, Jr., who gave us both such pleasure as Robert Jordan, author of the saga called The Wheel of Time, has died. This comes as a shock, since he had seemed to be doing so well in his year-plus-long battle with Amyloidosis.

Even just a week ago, he was contesting rumours of his immanent demise, and his cousin Wilson was speaking of the rate at which A Memory of Light, the final volume of The Wheel of Time, was coming out on word processor and audio tapes, in-between bouts of medically-prescribed rest. The official announcement came on his blog through the Dragonmount website:
Sometimes even when you’ve fought your best….
Posted by Wilson on September 16th, 2007 in the Robert Jordan's Blog category

It is with great sadness that I tell you that the Dragon is gone. RJ left us today at 2:45 PM. He fought a valiant fight against this most horrid disease. In the end, he left peacefully and in no pain. In the years he had fought this, he taught me much about living and about facing death. He never waivered in his faith, nor questioned our God’s timing. I could not possibly be more proud of anyone. I am eternally grateful for the time that I had with him on this earth and look forward to our reunion, though as I told him this afternoon, not yet. I love you bubba.

Our beloved Harriet was at his side through the entire fight and to the end. The last words from his mouth were to tell her that he loved her.

Thank each and everyone of you for your prayers and support through this ordeal. He knew you were there. Harriet reminded him today that she was very proud of the many lives he had touched through his work. We’ve all felt the love that you’ve been sending my brother/cousin. Please keep it coming as our Harriet could use the support.

Jason will be posting funeral arrangements.

My sincerest thanks.

Peace and Light be with each of you,

4th of 3

To Catalyst: Never, never loose faith. RJ did not. Harriet hasn’t. I haven’t. Going through what we have, our faith is only strengthened. Besides, if God didn’t exist, we would have never had Jim. We did. God does. Remember my Brother/Cousin, my friend, think of him fondly and glorify God’s name.
The Wheel of Time is up in the regions of The Lord of the Rings for the amount of sheer pleasure it has given me over the years, and that is the very highest praise I can muster. Very few authors succeed in giving back to our world a world of their own.

James Oliver Rigney, Jr., a.k.a. Robert Jordan
October 17, 1948 - September 16, 2007
17th-Sep-2007 07:15 pm (UTC)
The Wheel of Time is amazing. I liked it so much that I would listen to it all day at work on my ipod, then go home and continue reading the book. I loved this series and he was a great author who created a magnificent world. I am very sad to hear this news. Thanks for posting this.
18th-Sep-2007 03:52 am (UTC)
Tell me about it! I'm shocked: like I said, all the indicators we'd been given had been positive.

I'm sure, though, that his wife Harriet, who also happened to be his editor for Tor, will see to it that some version of A Memory of Light comes out, rather in the way of Christopher Tolkien seeing The Silmarillion to print.
18th-Sep-2007 01:55 pm (UTC)
So sad. Would Harriet finish, or allow someone else, to finish the book, based on the writings and notes he left behind?
23rd-Sep-2007 02:45 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, Mike: I had it in my head that I'd responded to you on this: I am assuming from the general tone of things I've heard from that camp that Harriet Rigney will finish the book, or see that it is finished. I cannot imagine that she would let his intention for this story to be heard to be defeated at this last stage.
23rd-Sep-2007 02:42 am (UTC)
From Harriet
Posted by Harriet on September 22nd, 2007 in the Robert Jordan's Blog category

Dear Everyone,

He has gone where pain and suffering are no more.

Whenever he was able to be at the computer, he checked the blog first thing. Your e-mails REALLY MATTERED to him. He loved them … and I think in some sense he loved you all.

I never thanked you for all my birthday messages, but I do now. We had a nice party…about a dozen people, ranging in age from 4 months to 82 years, sitting around the dining room table which had been covered with lots of newspaper, picking our own lovely boiled local shrimp, eating corn on the cob and homemade biscuits , and later eating watermelon; a good deal of white wine went down our gullets, too. I should add, no cooking was done by me. My dearest first cousin, also named Harriet (we’re both named for her mother), did it all, just about.

It was a happy time. Jim made it so.

He came like the wind, like the wind touched everything, and like the wind was gone.

These are words Jim said to me several books ago, in the weary but always thrilling hours of putting the manuscript to bed, ready to carry to New York in the morning — I remember grabbing a piece of discarded script and scrawling those words up the margin, because they were so beautiful. He was talking about Rand. I of course am not.

I know he touched all of you. Thanks for being there.

Here is his final interview, given to the local newspaper. Notice the date:
Robert Jordan aims to get back on feet
By Bill Thompson

Thursday,September 13, 2007

Jim Rigney intends to “keep marching to the horizon.” Stage One is getting back on his feet.

Known to millions of readers as Robert Jordan, the best-selling author of “The Wheel of Time” fantasy series continues to cross swords with the rare blood disease amyloidosis, a progressive disorder he was first diagnosed with in December 2005 at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Subsequently, the author has been undergoing treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Rigney reports that with the help of the Mayo Clinic, he is keeping things under control.

“My numbers are still good, in the normal range. We will be going back up to the Mayo in about a month and we’ll see what the status is. Now I just have to get my foot healed up so I have a chance of getting out of this wheelchair. Strange to think that my foot, of all things, would be giving me the most trouble. It’s getting better, but unfortunately the amyloidosis makes healing go very slowly.

“When I get the foot better then I can start on the process of walking again. I hope to do this in another two or three months.”

While there has been no improvement in heart function and no change in his overall prognosis as of June, Rigney says improvement remains possible. And he’s determined.

“I’ve got promises to keep.”
And he did march, guys. He marched toward that horizon until he crossed it, where we cannot follow yet.

The word now, the only possible word, is Onward.

Go for it. With love.

Consider yourselves hugged.
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