There is death all around us. There are the deaths that affect us. Then there are the deaths that affect us in profound ways. I had a friend who died a number of years ago. He was not a close friend, but he was a GOOD friend. He was a coworker and a fun person. Most of all, he was fair. More fair than anyone I had ever met. I valued that enormously. I didn't go to the funeral. We were not close, but I thought so much of him that I was embarrassed by how much his death affected me. To this day my eyes water when I see his name. He was the kind of person that I want to be. He was the kind of person I want everyone to be. I am sure there are things about him I would not like if I had known him better, but those are things I never saw. I am not sure they are things anyone saw other than his spouse and really close friends.
I do know this. I have many times said "Never meet your heroes." but there are always exceptions. This is one. The only one I know of.
Tom, you are missed and will always be so.