My friend and ex-colleague from ST France Antoine Gautier died last Friday in a mountain biking accident. I don't know the details of the accident but I'm imagining that one moment he was happily cycling down the summer slopes of the Alps in Grenoble and the next moment he is dead. If the details are any different, I don't want to know.
Antoine was a very good friend and colleague. He was one of the best engineers I have ever encountered. Engineering was a game to him. He was one of those few people who would be excited by the prospect of problem solving and he conveyed this enthusiasm to those around him. He was an A+ human being. Kind, compassionate friendly and most importantly full of life. He was always involved in some sport or the other - be it skiing, cycling, biking, anything at all. I have worked with him extensively and during our phone conversations, I could actually hear his smile.
Antoine was the same age as me. We turned 30 months apart. I was in Tokyo with him on my 30th birthday and remember discussing with him what it meant to each of us to turn 30 and what we wanted from life. I will miss him. I am totally shocked by his death.
He leaves behind a one year old boy and wife who is 7 months pregnant. It is not fair that there is a child younger than my son who cannot wave goodbye to his father everyday as he leaves for work. That there is a wife out there who cannot look forward to the husband's arrival in the evening to lighten her parenting load. That my friend will not be around to marvel at his son throwing ball. To witness the miraculous birth of his second born. To take his children wrapped in red skiing down the snowy slopes. No. Life is not fair at all.
Now is the time to give our loved ones an extra squeeze and tell them we love them. And then, do so all over again. Now is the time to count our blessings.
I hope some kind of solace soon reaches the grieving family.