A Eulogy for Stieg Larsson

There are many mysteries surrounding the death of Stieg Larsson on November 9, 2004. Some accounts indicate that he had arrived at Expo’s office to meet someone named Jim, from Grenada, who Larsson had known as a result of the time he spent in Grenada and his dedication to that Caribbean island nation, which had experienced both a revolution and a U.S. invasion in the 1980s. One of our researchers has recently come across this web post, dated December 3, 2004, less than a month after Larsson’s death, from a James Wardally in Stockholm. It is quite a beautiful tribute to Stieg Larsson. Here are some excerpts:

Stieg has meant so much to me for such a long time that it is impossible for me to do justice of my memory of him especially in such a short note as this. However, his significance to me can be summed up in three simple phrases: he was a friend, he was a comrade and he was like a brother to me. We came to know each other because of dramatic events that occurred in a far away land, Grenada. My first encounter with Stieg was in a café in Kungsträdgården in January of 1984 while meeting with Swedish friends of Grenada. I was to discover later that he loved a nice café with good coffee.

We often met in such cafés to discuss current political issues related to the Caribbean and Grenada. He was very concerned about what we could do to improve the situation. He and his wife lovely Eva had visited Grenada and they both became very supportive of the social transformation that 1979 Revolution was trying to achieve. After our first meeting we became very close, indeed Stieg became my best friend.

He sought to have me integrated in the Swedish society and had suggested that I move to Umeå to avoid the trap that English speaking immigrants usually fall into; that of not being able to master Swedish. He had ideas that my stay in Sweden was to be some sort of preparation for my return to politics in Grenada and very diplomatically helped in every way to achieve that.

Even if Stieg was very young then, (about 30 years old when we first met) he had the political wisdom of a very old man. His advice was sound and he was dependable in things that mattered.

Stieg had a quiet strength and a determination to get done what he set his mind to do. When he often attempted to mobilize his friends to participate in activities he never attempted to impose his beliefs, but he argued for his positions when it was necessary. In an amorphous political setting, he found a common platform so that the goals could be achieved.

There were basic things on which he would not compromise, the most important are: the issue of human rights, the struggle against discrimination and the promotion of democratic principles, regardless of the level of engagement.

He was always a political being but he stopped short of being a politician. Stieg was no saint like most of us, he was human, but knowing him has made me a better person.

JAMES WARDALLY, Stockholm

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