A very close friend of mine died this week. I’m struggling to come to terms with it. This post isn’t about him.
A few years ago someone I knew died while at work. I’d met him at a couple of conferences, and he’d been a patient and skilful reviewer of one of my books. I can’t honestly say I got to know him well, but he was well liked and respected in the community and gave his time generously.
He died of heart failure. He was single, with no dependants. None of his colleagues even knew he was ill.
In the wake of the tragedy, it emerged he’d known about the condition for a while. He’d been told that a transplant was his only option. He’d asked not to be put on the waiting list. There were too many tragedies like his, he thought; men and women who would leave parentless-children, financial hardship and familial devastation. He didn’t want anyone to delay their chance at life to wait for his.
I don’t know if he had faith or not. At the time it happened, the events caused me to suspect he did. Now I suspect he did not. Regardless, his motivation is irrelevant: I know I would not have had the moral courage or selflessness to make the same decision.