Tonight I had a call from a best friend in Sydney. I haven't seen her for years, but we are still in contact as I am with many of my longstanding friends. We spent most of our teen years together.
She called to let me know that a friend had passed away yesterday. He was one of our peer group in the 70s, and at one stage her boyfriend and fiancé, however, that didn't work out and they went their separate ways in the 70s. She supported him through his university studies (geology at Sydney Uni) and I met her through him, he lived with his large family five houses from my parents' place.
This punches home my mortality. I am quite sad, even though I haven't seen nor heard from him for over 30 years, it is a shock. He was only 56, quite fit, and only had gall stone surgery. Then they discovered pancreatitis. His death was sudden. Gone too soon.
He is survived by a wife and two children.