Unlike some of my esteemed colleagues on the Rust I am not always comfortable about sharing personal recollections with our readers but last night there was such a momentous, devastating call that to write of anything else is impossible.
My best friend at university and a constant and valued friend for nearly 45 years was diagnosed with class 4 advanced cancer (there is no class 5) in March 2017 and after a valiant and inspiring fight he passed away yesterday. He was in considerable pain, surrounded by his wife and three children with no prospect of recovery so you could say it was a release.
Now we can only speak of him in the past tense. The irony with my friend is that in a gilded career he was a supreme planner who had worked out the work/lifestyle balance in his retirement with a number of non executive directorships, chair of a well-known art institute, traveling and time with his his children and grandchildren.
He enjoyed good health too up till the time of his diagnosis, had not drunk alcohol for over 20 years and was the same weight as at university. It rather knocks on the head all those warnings on supposedly carcogenic products and substances. Nor did he have any financial worries or stresses of which I was aware.
In my friend’s case we started a dining club built around books some 15 years ago and, although it has changed form and membership, it still takes place irregularly.
Tomorrow we were due to meet and even as recently as two weeks ago when it was clear the end was nigh he and his wife were planning to entertain us at his home.