Mariane Pearl

Quiet strength: Indomitable, she is a lesson in fortitude, with a message for us all.

March 03, 2002

AT A TIME so lacking in grace and hope, Mariane Pearl offered up both in abundance last week. Having endured such terrible pain, she went on television with kind words for Pakistan, ennobling thoughts for the son who will be born to her in the coming weeks, and gentle inspiration for the rest of us.

In interviews made before she left Karachi, Mrs. Pearl was radiant. Those who knew her and her husband, Daniel, in happier days speak of the love they had for each other, and none who saw those interviews can doubt the power or the reach of that love. Who could not reflect that, through Mariane, Daniel still lives?

"I will carry on this message because I think Danny and I are very much alive," she said. "We are not defeated, and so I will, you know, make sure that his pain and my pain will help ... change the world."

What a universe is contained in that phrase, "Danny and I are very much alive." Danny is not dead, she is saying, and neither am I, and neither are we.

Men and women enter into love and, yes, at its best we can make something even better from it. We live up to our love. And that's what Mariane Pearl is doing, for the whole world to see.

Daniel's death and his widow's bereavement are not extraordinary in this season of war, but let them stand as vivid parts of the greater whole. Don't let terror get into your heart, Mariane said. Be strong and brave and believe in the truth, for Daniel's sake and for hers, and in that way there can be no defeat.

At the end she talked about what Daniel gave to her, and what she must now give to other people, and what they must in turn pass on to others. She meant strength and conviction. And to that we would add just this -- a love like theirs.

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