Obituary: In memory of Paul Osborn

We are sad to report that Paul Osborn died on 2nd August. Paul was a freelance editor and translator and a member of EASE for many years. He regularly attended EASE conferences and was an active member of the Gender Policy Committee. Shirin Heidari has kindly shared this letter that she has written to him.

To my dearest Paul,

Today we received the news that your voyage on the Good Ship Senescence reached its destination, and you disembarked from that Good Ship into the bliss of eternity. The world is a poorer place today for no longer hosting a kind human like you!

We shared many fond moments in the past 10 years since we met at the EASE Congress in Tallin. I was delighted that I had convinced you to join the Gender Policy Committee that I was trying to set up – an endeavour I literally accomplished over that coffee break! I knew by then I had met a friend and a partner-in-crime for life: we shared a belief in the goodness of humanity, aspirations for a better world, a thirst for life, and good sense of humour! You were a pillar, an instrumental founding member of the EASE Gender Policy Committee, and one of the architects behind the SAGER guidelines! How you were proud of the SAGER tale, a tale of triumph and collective victory for the better good.

The SAGER guidelines were a culmination of many – often self-funded – meetings we had in Tallin, Stockholm, Athens, Strasbourg, and more unusual places such as Blankenberg or Geneva Airport. We continued our efforts, more lately (as recent as just the last couple of weeks), in our regular exchanges over electronic devices. Your dedication and commitment were contagious. What a delight it always was to receive one of your witty, eloquently and creatively crafted letters that infused good spirit and energy!

I hope in the final voyage on (what you kept referring to in your letters as) the Good Ship Senescence you were surrounded by loved ones, felt joy in your heart, was proud of the life you lived so fully and the many souls you touched. Your soul is now free as your spirit was and no doubt it has already made friends with the stars! I will think of you every time I look up at the sky, knowing you are the one shining so brightly from far above. And I will smile!

Rest in peace, my beloved friend! Your loving memories will live forever.

Much love,


Written by: Shirin Heidari