Palabras de Leo Rangell leídas en el V Congreso de la Sociedad Psicoanalítica de México en homenaje al Dr. Avelino González; publicadas el mismo año en la Revista Gradiva No. 2, Vol. II, mayo-agosto.


Avelino González was a dynamic and vibrant person. His sudden unexpected passing leaves a feeling of violence, the wrenching away of a man who still had much to do and give. It is a painful loss for those who loved him and those who studied and worked with him.

The personal and professional association between us began in the early sixties and spanned a decade. Our paths converged at the time of the planning of the first Pan-American Congress which came to fruition in 1964. This historical meeting was a milestone and set a precedent for regional geographic cooperation  between the Americas  which was to become ongoing and permanent. As President of the American Psychoanalytic Association, I had appointed and worked with the Chairman of the North American half of the Joint Liaison Committee (COLLAC) planning that Congress. Avelino was Chairman of the South American section of this Committee, appointed by COPAL, he was held by his colleagues.

In the years following the Congress our relationship grew in a personal and animated way, on common scientific as well as organizational ground, puring this period Avelino moved through a series of steps eventuating in his being elected in 1969 to the Vice Presidency of the International Congress in Rome. Representing his Latin American colleagues in this honored capacity in an administration which I again headed,  Avelino was devoted, loyal and creative in discharging his responsabilities.

In the ebb and flow of life, however, Avelino also knew adversity, even tragedy. With the complexities of human character and relationships, and the blows of reality which both shaped these and were shaped by them, Avelino learned to face both personal and professional adversities. He was actively working at mastery over these and developing resources to conquer both external traumata and inner ravages when a sudden somatic catastrophe cut short his efforts.

We had an interesting, ironic and fortuitous final meeting. I had not seen Avelino for another decada when we came  together again in the spring of 1981 for a reunion immen sely satisfying to both of us during a visit of his to Los Angeles with Susi, always at his side in support, and their now grown up son Daniel. At the Congress in Mexico City in 1964, in discussing my paper on termination, Avelino had introduced the concept of “the urge to reunion” as the other side of the coin of separation anxiety. Derived from his studies of space phobias, he had discussed this idea in conjuction with my having introduced “the quest for ground” in human motivation. His concept, which I have found useful and quotable scientifically since then, was to have an unexpected application in our subsequent lives. Following a spirited evening together in March, We were to see each other again on another visit they were planning to Los Angeles in September. Avelino died, however, in June. The quest for reunion had been satisfies but was no to last long.

September 21, 1981

Los Angeles, California.