A few months ago, we found ourselves in the unfortunate position of having to say farewell to yet another beloved colleague and member of the extended family of systemic thinking and psychotherapy. It is hard to talk about the loss of someone with whom we have worked for over a decade. The following text was posted during those difficult days and was addressed to the people who had collaborated with Stathis over the last four years in the training seminar on systemic family therapy at the Adolescent and Youth Mental Health Unit of the General Hospital "G. Gennimatas".
Stathis Baklezos was an excellent child psychiatrist and systemic psychotherapist, trainer, colleague, and friend.
With a long-term presence in child psychiatry and twenty years of service at the Adolescent and Youth Mental Health Unit of the General Hospital of Athens, "G. Gennimatas", he generously donated his care and support to the patients and their families with his experience in child psychiatry and his rich systemic viewpoint. Concerned about the systemic psychotherapeutic approach, he was a member of the Hellenic Systemic Thinking and Family Therapy Association (HE.S.T.A.F.T. A), serving as a member of the Board in the years 2006-2010, while in the last four years he founded the department of Family Therapy at the G. Gennimatas Hospital.
We say goodbye to the child psychiatrist, the colleague, the teacher, and the dear friend.
We say goodbye to one of the most dignified, giving, dynamic, and steady people we have ever known. A person who consistently defended his views and thus, despite any differences, managed to gain everyone's esteem and respect. A scientist with active participation in psychosocial interventions for mental health, a person with a social and political sensitivity and commitment, and above all with humanity and concern for others.
In my opinion, his professional ethos and unwavering determination to keep hope alive in every psychotherapeutic work are the most important gifts of our long-term collaboration. At times persistent and rigorous, and at times in an innocent teasing mood, he quietly maintained the vision that change is possible.
Ultimately, he fought a brave battle, indeed, as brave as his whole attitude in life was. He was movingly present until his last days in the psychotherapeutic work, showing active support for the trainees up until the end. He continued with courage and great inner strength to the very end.
Despite the hardships of his health problem, he did not hide, he did not desert in the face of danger and health scares. But he didn't live inside it either. As bold and unpretentious as usual, he offered us one last lesson with care: Seize the day and transform the deadlock of disease into a hopeful path.
We felt as if he left us somewhat abruptly.
But we all knew.
He didn't fool us! He winked at us.
We are left without the strength of his presence, holding on to his smile and his fighting spirit. Deeply moved, we bid him farewell with the promise that he will always be with us in our thoughts, and that we will try to emulate the dignity, honesty, and purity of his attitude in our therapeutic practice and in our lives.
"Missing – it's nothing to be missing
if you've been away for what you should be,
You'll always be in all that.
for which you have missed...1
Excerpt from the poetry collection of Yannis Ritsos, "The Neighborhoods of the World". ↩