Golo 高佬 literally translates to Tall Guy. It’s the nickname of my college friend D, who, at 6’, is tall. With this height advantage, he played basketball, volleyball and was one of the first of our group to take up running. He was also smart, gaining a First and completing the research for a PhD. We didn’t keep in close touch after college, meeting up very occasionally when I’m not travelling or living all over the world. I see pictures of his kids on fb. He likes my posts on food and cooking.

Golo passed away 2 weeks ago. Today was his funeral.

I’ve lost people in my life, family members and friends and acquaintances. Some lived a long and (hopefully) happy life; some left us way too early. It’s been hard to come to terms with losing Golo, because I only knew of his illness and how serious it was on a Tuesday and by Wednesday night he was gone. Technically it was Thursday morning around 1.30am, mm and I were amongst the last few visitors who left the hospital at around 10.30pm. Should we have stayed a few more hours? Would we have intruded?

It’s been hard to reconcile that it was lung cancer. Why would a healthy non-smoker, a runner, a loving father of two, get lung cancer? Genetics? Second hand smoke? Carcinogen from way back when he was working in the lab?

<OT>I’m feeling anger towards smokers again. When I was young, I was quite militant about smoking and was a paid-up member of ash. I swore that I would never, ever, ever, become friends with smokers. I’ve mellowed out a little since then, I have a few friends who smoke and even though I wish they’d stop, I respect their decision and will offer sincere support when they decide to quit. Anyway, people reading this. Stop smoking. Please. Please stop. </OT>

When we went to visit at the hospital, so many old college friends were there, someone said there were more people than at an alumni gathering. Such was Golo’s personality, he had so many friends. There was a memorial segment at the funeral today, when they showed a slideshow of pictures donated by friends and family (I sent a couple myself) and there were eulogies from his oldest friends, his sister and his widow. The hall was packed, standing room only. Three hundred people or more, there to pay their respects to a great friend who will be sorely missed.

Tomorrow morning, we accompany him on his final journey.