Matt lost his father last night after a long battle with cancer. I'm not sure of the right way to express my deepest sympathy on a blog; it seems so impersonal. When Matt first told me over a year ago about his father, it really shook me up to hear his grief at the time. There's been ups and downs since, and I'm reasonably certain that this most recent decline in health came about pretty suddenly for his family, just as it started (is there ever enough time to prepare for such suffering?).

Rolling with the punches is a trait with which Matt has always been blessed, but the loss of a parent is a particularly awful and heartbreaking experience. Having seen him cope with such a drawn-out tragedy has made me wonder whether the same strength is in me. However, Matt has had to deal with a situation much more complicated than it needed to be, and throughout he has done right by his dad all the way.I would be honored to have as devoted a son as Matt has been, and as hard as this is for him, he at least has the comfort of knowing he was there for his father till the end. You've done your part, Matt - now it's time for friends and family to be there for you, and we will be.

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Written on Sunday, June 17, 2007