Two days ago I heard some shocking news. A former colleague, Paul, a technical manager in his late 40s, had died after being in hospital for just three weeks. Cancer had been spreading to many parts of his body without him, or anyone else, noticing. He'd complained of some aches and pains, apparently, but would have shrugged them off. He was a big guy.
Six or so weeks ago I visited work for the first time since leaving in March. It was good to see many friends there, including Paul. We said hello and shook hands, probably talked about how I was getting on in retirement, that sort of thing. He was his usual jovial self.
Today I called in at work again, this time to sign a book of condolence. I saw many familiar faces again, but the atmosphere, as you can imagine, was sombre.