His face was thin and pointed and his teeth bared in craving for life, yet he was quiet and detached, as if halfway to the quietness that awaited him. He smiled often, reassuringly. Only his eyes were sad, but there was no fear of death in them, only a sadness at seeing his future no longer projected in a world with us – a world he knew he would miss. Fear was a terrible journey, but with sorrow he had at least arrived. We talked of little things, his car, the weather. I looked into his eyes, happy to have survived, to be there. Many things went unsaid, except in our eyes. I tried to think like the mountain, like the earth , and they helped me to balance and stand, fortifying me with their peace.

From Sacred Summits, by Peter Boardman.