Given some more time to reflect, I’ve found that I am not emotionally devastated by Rod’s death the way I was by Toby’s. And I think that has to do with the knowledge that all of Rod’s friends were doing all that they could to help him. And he was reaching out. But then he decided to refuse all help. He consciously made his decision. This was a slow burn and downward spiral that everyone could see. When someone deliberately chooses to die rather than discover new life, it is sad–but ultimately you can only respect that decision. In a way people could see it coming–but no one ever wants to acknowledge just how horribly real the prospect of demise is. You think that with time they will pluck themselves out of their self-created mire, and find a new vision and purpose with all the life left before them. And everyone involved wanted him find that new path, but he refused to let go of the past. So there aren’t as many of those confused feelings of guilt and inaction that is generally involved in this kind of death. Like a cornered lion, he cleared out the space around himself, he readied others for what was to come. I feel really bad for his kids and family and for his closest friends, who still have to work through the bricolage of anger and pain for years to come.