We met just 18 months ago so I did not know him well. But I liked him immediately, as did my wife; her instincts about people are rarely off the mark.
We shared a passion for reading and a fondness for the films of Christopher Guest. Though he was 15 years younger, he too loved the Beatles and Jeff Beck. But on the one occasion when we broke bread, afterwards he listened attentively and appreciatively when a friend and I played jazz standards.
He was good at his work. I know this because he was the project manager when we had major renovations done on our home. And, he willingly took on the task of raising another man's children, along with their mother, a woman he obviously adored.
Taking the measure of any life cut short is folly. Instead, I will honor this good man's passing by reminding myself to be grateful for the riches of my almost 62 years. If my mindful gratitude extends beyond my sadness about his death, that state of grace will be his gift to me.