My friend Don Heath

Donald Heath died earlier this year, unexpectedly.

Heath,DonHe was my age, and we’d known each other since our university days, so his death was both sad and sobering. Mortality is often a future abstraction, but the loss of a unique, special individual makes it sharply real. The immensity of its finality becomes overwhelmingly present.

Memories of Don that stand out. Playing touch football at a friend’s cottage in Ontario. Long, engaged discussions of philosophy at parties that began in the evening and ended in the morning. His boyish and gentlemanly love of women, and our conversations about our pleasures, problems, and prospects there.

And in everything Don did — his energy, his high intelligence, his sharp wit and infectious laugh, and the way one felt his genuine, personal interest whenever one spent time with him. He had friendships of the best kind all over North America.

Don’s talents and passions took him from Quebec to Ontario to New York to California and, finally, to New Jersey. That life’s journey is ended, and my friend is gone.

2 thoughts on “My friend Don Heath

  • June 11, 2016 at 8:27 am
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    My deepest condolences Stephen. Moving reflections with which I can identify too well.

  • June 11, 2016 at 3:15 pm
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    Sad, Stephen. It’s life (or death, or mortality, which, yes, does seem so often only something abstract and in the future, especially when we’re young), but sometimes life sucks, and such losses do, leaving a void that cannot be filled with anyone or anything else. But they can wake us up to the realization that this friend or this love, etc. will not always be, so let them know today how much they are valued.

    I’m sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your dear friend.

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