We have been inundated by tributes and eulogies

following the untimely passing away of Raffi

Hagopian. They all share the shock, grief and pain,

This is a selection of the expressions of condolence.

  I read your obituary of Raffi H. Hagopian yesterday - 6 years after the event, but still happy and then very sad to have found some information about Raffi. My name is Sarah Owen, i am English and aged 45. I grew up in Strood Kent and met Raffi when he went to St. John Fisher’s Catholic school- he was in the same class as my older brother and they became firm friends. They both attended Oakwood Park college in Maidstone, Kent after leaving school. My brother Alun was a very good guitarist and Raffi used to come round our house a lot at that time. I was 5 years younger than Raffi and Alun and used to try and follow them around as much as possible, thinking that they were both wonderful- much to my brother’s embarrassment! Raffi was always very kind to me! He treated me like his little sister, even to the point of walking me home one evening when he found me out in town at a time that he thought was unsuitable ( i was not best pleased, but very flattered ). I thought Raffi was possibly the most interesting and exotic creature i had met at that time, but he was very much a man and i was very much still a kid. Alun used to keep a passport photo of me in his wallet and years later Alun told me that Raffi had seen the photo and kept it. I was very proud. As you get older you lose touch and move around but knowing Raffi touched me and also my brother Alun. He was very much, on one hand, a tough guy, but, like you said, his heart was so gentle. He radiated love. He was the first Armenian i met and i found his history very interesting although i couldnt understand why he had been all over the place at such a young age. I understand now; my best friend here ( in NL where i now live ) is also Armenian and whenever the family gets together they talk about the history, which is why every now and again i look for Raffi on the internet. Yesterday was such a family party full of Armenian friends and family some ended up in Germany some in NL all of them disjointed and exiled. This is why i found your obituary last night; one girl said to check via the Armenian church and community in Jerusalem. I wanted to express my sadness that his family lost him like this- in his prime and on the brink of a new life. Even if there had been no photo by your obituary, I would have recognised him from your description. I will say a prayer for him and his family. With warmest regards, Sarah Owen >     The heavy tragic news of the sudden and untimely death of our dear nephew Raffi yesterday night struck me and my wife Anna like a thunderbolt from the sky; it left us speechless and aghast with disbelief. Raffi, the young handsome prince with the ever smiling face has left us for a far better dominion than he has ever known.     May God bless your soul dear Raffi and may you dwell in His everlasting, borderless heavens and Paradise and rest assured, dear brother Hagop, wife Hoppig, and all our clans, that Almighty God of the Universe is ever merciful, loving and tender anddenies none of His creations His Love and Mercy.     We share your grief and sorrow and may God grant you the patience and forbearance to carry on in life.      On behalf of Apkar and Anna Hagopian and our son Apo and daughter Anoush Shocked and devastated!      There are no tears, nor words, nor any kind of expressions that I can show that would express the sadness in my heart for the loss of a Prince that I have always admired.      Raffi Hagopian was a Royalty among us that has chosen to leave us because life sucks. He was all what his uncle says and more.      It's around 7:00 am in the morning here and I feel it's still dark and dismal. My heart goes to his father, my cousin Hagop and his ever smiling and beautiful wife Hoppig and the rest of the Hagopians, Kevorkians, Aprahamians and the rest of the Armenians of Jerusalem.      At this moment in my life, I wish I can be with my family and cousin Hagop. My wife and Sally have fond memories of how charming, decent and loving was Raffi to them and they are in complete shock. This couldn't have happened to a more beautiful person than Raffi.      May he rest in peace and may God give us all the peace we deserve to struggle on without the smiles and tenderness of a rare human being.      Cousin Hagop and Hoppig! My most deepest and profound condolences to all of us for the loss of our dear Raffi.     May he rest in peace. The last time I was in California and I visited Hagop and Hoppig. Raffi and I had a long talk. His conversation with me was about life. He said to me life is beautiful. It is what people make out of it. These words ring in my ears just as if he is sitting here and talking to me. At his home he hated to see people leave. He always wanted every one to spend the night there, so he can sit and talk. and he succeeded to get everyone's attention. He was like a candle that glows among us with his bright eyes and beautiful smile, and every once in a while he gives us a high- five. The light of this candle had stopped and Raffi is gone from this world into a better world. He can look down on us and continue talking to us as we remember him. He was very hospitable, he respected everyone and extended his hand to help when anyone called on him. Raffi, we know you are in a better place tonight. We know that God had a place for you next to Him. We pray to God to bless your soul and may you rest in Peace. You will be remembered forever and missed by all of us. My wife and I extend our deepest sympathy and sincere condolences to all the Hagopians in the United States and Jerusalem and Australia, and especially to his father Hagop Hagopian and his lovely mother Hoppig. May God give them the strength to pull through this difficult time and the tragedy for the loss of their beloved son Raffi. This is our final unforgotten bid to say farewell to a beloved but remarkable spirit who has left without saying goodbye. We have written a few words knowing he is still with us and whoever reads moving challenging lines that shake us to the core is supporting us & giving us strength. We are indeed far away but the World can never take away our love & thoughts of you. Our hearts & souls are with you all in this tragic & horrific moment. We feel how weak and fruitless any words of ours may attempt to beguide you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. We cannot refrain from tendering to you the conciliation that may be found in us all. We pray that our Heavenly father may sway the anguish of your grief and leave you only the cherished memories of the beloved and lost son who is now in a world we are unfamiliar with but nevertheless believe in. A `solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a loss upon the alter of life. We all find it so hard to comprehend the truth, that our beloved Raffi has been taken away from us in a manner no one can logically justify or understand. It is only the experience of the support and comfort of loved ones around us that can soften the loss and reduce some of the pain that will never heal. We know, as the centuries have taught us and foretold, that Raffi is in a glorious and better place. Although he does not walk among us anymore, and find it difficult to accept his loss, we are consoled by the thought that he has surrendered his soul to paradise. We can only accept that he is living a new life now and walking new worlds. In saying this we can only believe that our Father in heaven may have taken him to watch over you and protect you and although we may think life is so long it indeed is only a breath away until we see his lovely, such beautiful spirit once more. Raffi, you shall be missed, dearest and beloved cousin, and no amount of tears can overcome the grief and no pain can be greater than our loss. Fare thee well. On behalf of the Kaplanian family, Perth, Australia     If I knew the magic words that could comfort you, I would write them today. But I know how little anything I can say can be of a real help at a time like this. The news of our dear cousin Raffi's death came as a shock to all of us. We all loved him so much and we will miss him and his jolly stories and good spirits. My dearest cousin Raffi, I know you are in God's arms today and I pray that you rest in peace. God bless your soul. We will miss you ... My dearest uncle Hagop, my beautiful Tantig Hoppig, cousins Viken and Talin, I feel for you in your sorrow and extend my sincere sympathy. May the Lord give you the strength to go through this pain through the love of His Son Jesus. Please know that I will continue to pray for you all asking God to give you hope love, peace and strength throughout this time. I pray that out of "His glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his spirit in your inner being." (Ephesians 3:16 NIV) The tragic and unexpected news of the passing away of your beloved son fell like a thunderbolt and stunned all those who remember Raffi. I remember him, when every year during the summer he came with you, his parents, from Kuwait to spend the vacation here, and I can see him now in my mind's eye playing with the children of the Quarter brimming with vivacity and overflowing with energy.      I know words are inadequate to alleviate your profound grief: this is a time when much courage and prayers are needed.     His departure in the prime of his life will be sorely felt; it is indeed an irreparable loss, but his memory shall never fade but will remain forever fresh in the minds and hearts of all who knew him.      My wife Anais, and all your ex-colleagues at the Tarkmanchatz join me in conveying to your our heartfelt condolences and profound sorrow on your irretrievable bereavement.     May his soul rest in peace in the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, and may the Almighty grant you all His Heavenly consolation.     Fortunately we Christians have the firm conviction and solace that death is not the end, but that is by dying that we awaken to eternal life.      We all share your grief.