He died last night. For us, he was one of the many construction guys who routinely stopped by to clarify project details. He was friendlier than most, almost affectionate I would say.
His chronic leg pain was diagnosed as terminal cancer last week and he was on extended medical leave. Last night he suffered a cardiac arrest, a complication of the terminal stage of the disease and passed away.
Someone mentioned how inspite of his tough, lonely life he never forgot to ask about other people's children. Another colleague remembered the candy they had shared on his last visit. Yet another expressed deep regret, he had been terribly annoyed by his persistent questioning at their last meeting.
And then we went back to our work and our own separate lives, with just a wee bit of regret. That's what death leaves behind, I guess - a little pin prick of guilt over that last conversation we never imagined would be the last one.