Thursday, January 19, 2006

We've lost one of the good guys...

An old friend of mine died yesterday. Jeff Bloomberg was a classmate from my brief (spring semester, 1971) sojourn at Adelphi University. The number of stories I have...

I really can't write through tears, so I'll hand this over to another classmate (and once upon a time apartment-mate) Dave Smukler, who was with him:

"It breaks my heart to tell you that our old friend Jeff Bloomberg passed away yesterday afternoon.

"Jeff was diagnosed with cancer only last Fall, and had been having chemotherapy
treatments. He had tolerated the first few rounds of chemo very well, but last week was very difficult. I spoke to him on Sunday evening, and sores in his mouth and throat made it difficult for him to talk for long. He said he'd call me back the next day, but he wasn't able to. Something went badly wrong on Tuesday, and he was taken to the hospital, and quickly slipped into a coma. His wife Linda called me Wednesday morning, and my wife Ann and I joined her in the hospital. We were with Jeff, along with Linda, Jeff's parents, his brother Norman, and a few other relatives and close friends, when he died at about 2pm.

"It probably won't surprise you to know that Jeff had a positive attitude to the very end. We had a long talk a few weeks ago; he told me about having read Lance Armstrong's book, and how much he identified with Armstrong's "never give up" attitude. In addition to traditional treatments, Jeff aggressively pursued alternative treatments and a strict diet. (Can you picture our old friend on Green Tea and a vegetarian diet...?... he was...) The last time we went out to dinner with Linda and Jeff was at a Vegan restaraunt, and he had fully embraced it.

"Jeff had continued to work until the end, going into the office two days a week, and from home a few days a week. Amazingly, he had actually taken on greater responsibilities at AIG since he was diagnosed, supervising other attorneys for the first time in his career. He and I spoke about the trials and tribulations of supervising people, and as always, he had a sensible and non-judgmental perspective on it."

Godspeed, old friend.

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