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A message from Niall Kilmartin’s widow

My husband and I are currently staying with Niall’s widow. Though she describes herself as not one for comments, she has long been a Samizdata reader. She asked me to say how comforting it was to read the replies to the post announcing his death. She described it as “a real joy” to her to see how highly Samizdata readers and posters regarded Niall’s writing.

Niall’s actual cause of death was an aortic dissection which led to a stroke. Evidently he had had an aortic aneurysm without knowing about it. In these times it is perhaps worth saying that Niall had received the original two Covid vaccines, but chose not to have the autumn booster, so that cannot have been the cause of death.

I do not want to end this post by focussing on the medical details. Niall’s wife asked me to let you know about a little detail that is much more representative of his life: Niall’s computer was open at Samizdata when he died.

7 comments to A message from Niall Kilmartin’s widow

  • Paul Marks

    Thank you for your post Natalie – and thank Niall’s widow for her kind, and brave, words.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Please convey my condolences to her at this time, Natalie.

  • XC

    Having barely survived a severe aortic dissection of my own on the last presidential Election Day I can tell you that it was painless for me.

    My surgeon says I did not die, but my memories are quite vivid and while I was sometimes afraid (it was an odd experience) I was never in actual pain.

    Not really even much discomfort though until they cathertized me in my coma, I remember really needing to pee but not knowing where I was and having concerns about the mess for my wife.

    I’ve since talked to other survivors, as one does, and while we aLl experienced it differently, none of us recall pain.

    I hope that helps.


  • Steven R

    Some of those aortic and cardiac episodes that kill quickly are blessings in disguise simply because they kill so quickly. My grandfather had his while he was walking across the yard and was dead before he hit the ground. That’s a better way to go in my mind than lingering in pain or slowly wasting away. The sudden loss is unfortunate for the family, but then again I doubt most people would rather their love ones suffer.

  • Van_Patten

    I think we all wish we had half Niall’s clarity of thought and analysis – it’s truly shocking to think such a Light has gone out but he will live in the memory of those of us who read his magisterial contributions here. Sincerest condolences to you and his family. RIP..

  • BlokeInAshed

    I am with you on this Steven R. More or less exactly the same for my grandfather (a decade ago). He was out cutting wood and delivering the day before.
    There was no need to wind back for a good memory, he was just like I always knew him to the day he died.
    Sorry for your loss Mrs Kilmartin – he was always a good read on this site.
    BlokeInAShed in NZ

  • lucklucky

    Thank you.