Another Good One Down

My friend Dave had more impact on my life than Pogues singer/songwriter Shane McGowan. They both passed away yesterday.

I first heard the Pogues when they opened for U2 in 1987 on the Joshua Tree tour. Later that summer I bought the latest Pogues cassette and listened to it on my Walkman. It became the soundtrack of my summer in London as I roamed the streets at night.

I first met Dave when I interviewed him for my blog. He had an early social media role at a big company. This was in fact news at the time. Several years later he hired me at Salesforce/Radian6 and we worked together for a tumultuous two years. I think times are always tumultuous at Salesforce.

This was my first remote job years before work from home became cool. Or a hashtag. We lived near each other, but we rarely worked together in person. It was more likely that we met at an event in another city.

We shared sensibilities and senses of humor. He was my boss for that time, but we acted more like peers. But more importantly, we were friends.

Dave and I had a Zoom call a couple months after he was diagnosed with cancer. It was good to catch up. It had been a while. The conversation took a few emotional turns. That happens when someone is facing their own mortality.

You know the feeling that you need to make time for the important people in your life because you never know when it will be too late? I had not made the time to visit Dave during the fall of his illness. After a brief hospital visit for an infection, Dave moved into a hospice house on Wednesday. I took that as a signal that I had to get to Massachusetts to see him.

I confirmed my plans with his wife and booked my travel for Saturday. She and I even communicated Thursday morning. I was anticipating an emotionally hard trip, but I wanted to see him one last time and say goodbye.

Dave passed away Thursday afternoon.

It's hard to imagine a world that Dave is not part of. Still processing this one.

Jeffrey L Cohen

Jeffrey L Cohen