View Full Version : RIP Tom Osborn
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I'm probably not the only person on Aikiweb who got an email today, announcing the death of Tom Osborn on December 19. Tom did many things in his life, but was probably best known here for his work in teaching aikido to veterans with PTSD. Tom and I had many email conversations on the subject of PTSD, and I'm here to tell you, he is one of those who Got It. He was someone I could talk to without fear of censure; worse, without fear of that horrible isolating gap of incomprehension. He invited me to become involved in his programs, but I held back due to not being a combat vet. I still think it was the right decision, but I regret not making the effort to meet him in person.
There's a lot of bad, sad stuff in the world. Tom saw some thing that he knew he couldn't fix, but thought he could make better, and he set himself to work at it even as his own health declined. He did it knowing that he would die without "fixing" the problem, that he would do so if he lived to be a hundred. That's a rare, quiet, lonely kind of courage. He could have cursed the darkness; instead he lit the candle.
Contributions in his memory can be made to Keganin No Senshi Aikido (KNSA), P.O. Box 1072, Holyoke, MA 01040
12-21-2015, 02:38 PM
Thank you for the sad but not unexpected news; how he forged on through his own health issues I don't know. He was a true budoka and a real mensch.
12-21-2015, 03:21 PM
Some candles keep burning long after the person who lit them is gone. RIP.
12-21-2015, 04:13 PM
Tom was an amazing, funny, committed, and irascible human being. It was my privilege to know him -- not closely, but enough to call him a friend. I will miss his inimitable stories and self-deprecating sense of humor. I will miss his booming laugh. His belief in the ability of veterans to heal themselves was abiding and obstacles didn't deter him. He came and taught a class at my place just last month and it is hard to comprehend that he won't be coming back.
His wife Fran has been his main support right through to the end and even now is making sure that his work with veterans is continued. In many ways she is as amazing as Tom (without the brashness perhaps) and I hope she gets all the love and support she needs and deserves.
Peace and blessings to all of Tom's family.
12-22-2015, 11:15 AM
Sorry to hear this; he was doing good work and was an important resource for PTSD issues and aikido. My condolences to his family and friends.
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