I met Jim Rigney, who wrote under the name of Robert Jordan, at my friend Mike Ford's memorial service. (Mike died last September, when I was in London.) Jim was Mike's adopted family -- Mike would go and stay with Jim and his wife during the holidays. Jim was in a wheelchair at the memorial, fragile but happy (as happy as one could be, as I said at the time) to be there. We met and spoke and liked each other, bonding on a lost friend, and we've stayed in touch in email ever since.
I liked him.
I just learned he died yesterday.
And, slightly stunned, I found myself thinking, stupidly, "I shall have to stop coming to the UK in September if this is what happens whenever I do." As if, if I stayed home, I could keep everyone alive.