Fred may not have been my closest friend or colleague: we were not often in NYC at the same time and LA and Miami are worlds apart.  But I heard about him often through our myriad of shared patients, and got to know him through their eyes.

He will be missed by those around him – his patients, his colleagues and those whose life he had touched with his ever pleasant quirkiness and lighthearted humor.  He was unconventional and creative in his own life and the way he treated patients.  Fred made many people happy. If only Fred could have felt that own happiness within himself. I often heard how lonely he was.

Fred was a great educator in life and was  proud of his accomplishments and innovations.  Maybe in his death he has taught us what should be his greatest lesson.  Make sure you have “heart friends” in your life.  Get help, find help, if you need it.  If you know someone who has dark thoughts, reach out to them to get the help they need.

Depression and suicidal thoughts can happen to many people and tragedies such as this may not be all preventable.  But we all need to try just a bit harder and not be afraid to say and ask the uncomfortable things.

Rest in peace Fred.  May your angel wings carry you to a place of light and love.

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