I got an odd message on my business Facebook site, it was my friend’s sister telling me that he had passed away last week, he was 57. We hadn’t seen each other face-to-face in years, but I will never forget his smile, laugh, and sparkling eyes.

Dying before St. Patrick’s Day would have made him sad. Being from Ireland, he loved going to the pubs, watching Irish football and St. Patty’s Day was his favourite day of the year. We had often visited the Old Triangle Irish Pub for a bevy or two where he told me about Galway, Ireland and his family’s farm. Four-years-ago, my mother died on St. Patrick’s Day, so that day has pretty much canceled future celebrations for me. We talked about our mothers’ deaths and hoped they were both experiencing a better afterlife.

Right now I’m feeling survivor’s remorse or guilt. Could I have been a better friend? Should have checked in with him more often? Could I have been kinder and more supportive? Something now, I’ll never know.

But as a look back over the last 25 plus years, he was a good, loyal friend. In fact, we spoke on the phone last month and he was helping his friend who was in a bad situation and thought I could help with some crisis management public relations. We said we’d get together for lunch. I thought, let’s wait for the weather to get better. He was always in my corner and in those of his friends.

I didn’t see him every day, but I knew I could call him and he would be here for me without question. I will miss him. I vow to be a better friend and colleague to my existing circle and those outside.

For St. Patrick’s Day, I will post a review of a new cannabis infused beer-like beverage. He would get a laugh from this and I hope he’s in a pub in sky right now get ready for a St. Paddy’s Day party.