Earlier this week, whilst on honeymoon in Egypt, my friends Luke and Sophie were hit by a sudden freak storm on the Nile. Their craft, a local 'felucca', was swamped and - after saving the lives of his wife and two other passengers by helping them to escape from the foredeck hatch - Luke became trapped and drowned.
I can't express how profoundly saddening this is for us and our friends: I used to work with Luke and they came to our wedding. He really was someone who was genuinely full of life - a cross between the endearing wildness of the Muppets' Animal and the serene power of a brown bear. On top of this, he was an inspirational French teacher at a tough school, and he once lent me a banjo for an entire summer (he could really play). A tremendously magnetic personality.
Our thoughts go out to Sophie and both families: it's heartbreaking that he's no longer with us and tragically apt that he should go out in so selfless a way.
This scarcely seems the appropriate context for grief, and it's odd to express it in this way, but thanks for bearing with me.
What a fine example of the good in mankind.
NB: The Telegraph put together a very informative and sympathetic article, here.