Posted By on August 22, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I received the bad news this weekend; an old friend and former co-worker had died.

Jose was one of the first people I met when I went to work at Cisco Systems in San Jose back in ’96. I was a complete noob, but he never hesitated to help when I was beating my head against a problem.

He was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer last year in May. After chemotherapy and radiation treatment, it looked like he was doing OK… but then last month testing showed the cancer was back… and despite undergoing a new round of chemo, Jose died just one month later.

It’s hard to see this happen.

When I was struck with my neurological problem, I spent a lot of time pondering my own mortality before the neurologists ruled out the more serious diseases. But for the usual reasons, I suppose, I’ve never given much thought to other peoples’ mortality, and so the loss of a friend comes as a surprise, particularly when it’s someone as young and full of life as Jose.

I’m obviously not the first person ever to lose a friend this way, and Jose isn’t the first friend I’ve lost. And I know that as the years go by, as we all get older, this kind of thing is going to happen more and more often.

Jose died surrounded by friends and family who loved him a lot. I guess that’s the most any of us can ask for, when our time comes.


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