The downside of the wonders of the internet – someone I’ve never met, nor ever expected to meet, is dying, and I feel like a friend is going.

I must have first come across him almost a decade ago through work, saw the internet through different eyes thanks to his early visionary writing, and experienced his sudden horrible discovery of cancer through his blog.

Four years living with it, and now time is finally running out for him.

He’s philosophical, filling his days with family and happiness, and taking consolation in a religious faith that I don’t share but – for the moment, at least – can see the benefits of.

And I’m left with an uncomfortable uncertainty over how to react when, on the one hand, I know so much about him but, on the other, our actual interaction has really only been a couple of emails.