A blog friend of mine is deep into the process of leaving his chrysallis to become a butterfly. He is no longer conscious and has been removed from "heroic" measures of restoring his body. He is being kept "comfortable" whatever that means.
His blog is one that I have gone to several times a day for several years. His insights into politics, economics, his in-depth knowledge of earthquakes, volcanoes and weather - all this made his blog a fascinating place.
He never swore or became impatient or angry with commenters or the situation of the world. His posts were always erudite and cited multiple sources.
He knew he was dying for quite some time and his posts regarding his medical treatments and the honest and detailed information he gave about his condition was almost matter of fact.
He was a confirmed atheist for most of the years I've read his blog until maybe a little over a year (maybe 2 - time goes SO fast!!) ago when he was contemplating possible self inflicted death rather than waiting for the Grim Reaper. He was at the beach, I believe, in the depths of despair when he heard/felt/knew a Presence that told him he was Not Alone. Words fall short of the fullness of this experience, because after that Alan became a Christian, a Roman Catholic believer. He was instantly different somehow. Even though his circumstances had not changed, his soul had and it was very obvious and comforting for me because I had been praying that he might change his mind about Christ.
Then he began work on the Psalms, translating them into the best English to match the Hebrew, which is very difficult. He had the assistance of a Hebrew scholar in Israel and he had his background of poetry to enable him to make the English translation lyrical and true to King David's own words.
I depended on Alan for the real story behind the error ridden main stream media news about volcanic eruptions and other natural events, but most of all for the truth about hurricane forecasts and potential. I live in South Florida and every hurricane season can be nerve wracking waiting to see what storms kick up and where they are going. Alan could tell from the beginning if this was one to worry about or one to just keep an eye on and relax.
There truly is no one else who can fill his shoes regarding meteorological information. No one. I will have to negotiate this hurricane season without my most trusted guidance. The only thing I have to go on is that Alan predicted this would be a busy hurricane year. Sigh. A busy hurricane year without the best "weatherman" I've ever known.
I don't mourn Alan, though, because I'm sure he is preparing to move beyond the pain and physical limitations of this realm. I mourn myself and all the other readers of his blog that are left behind to miss his wisdom and courage.