I had news yesterday that an old friend had passed away. He was an icon for many of us, a leader of our group of friends. He achieved much and he did it first so we who came after him, knew it could be done.
He was a doctor and a specialist in his field, but that is beside the point. He was good looking and confident. But that is beside the point.
He was humble, approachable, interested in the stories of those younger than him. He always had a smile and he listened in a way that you knew he actually cared about us.
Everyone called him by his first name and we all knew who we meant: a kind of respect reserved for royalty. In many ways, that's how we thought of him, but he would have been the first to dissuade us.
But now he is gone and I feel the world is a little emptier today. Shakespeare's Hamlet comes to mind. The last few lines:
Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.