Yesterday I confirmed the death of a friend. Some days ago, after a lull in correspondence, I received a very short message if his having been in the hospital thrice in 8 days; the worst was over. Then nothing for a long time.
Term having begun, which included being hired last-minute to teach a math course, I had little time to follow up. I shot the occasional email, but I knew he was down, perhaps too enervated to respond. Then it became too long. I called his company on a weekend but the answering machine was full. Yesterday I again called his company to find he had died on the 15th, just hours after his email assuring recovery.
Though never having had the good fortune to meet him in person, I came to know David extremely well, as he did me. A lover of classical music, wielder of an Olympian vocabulary, past mathematics major, computer programmer, notable businessman, and much more, he was a unique man who touched me deeply. I am a better person for having known David.
It is painful to note his passing; it still seems unreal that I will never hear from him again.
You are sorely missed, David.