I came across John Diamond towards the back of The Times magazine one Saturday afternoon.
Not ever having read anything about him before, and not knowing that he had cancer,I, at first, found his column to be rather bleak.
Though it always had a streak of wit and dark comedy running through it.
It was shortly before his death that I read his book, C:Because Cowards get cancer to.
Well, though he hated to be refered to as brave, he was certainly no coward.
The way he coped with his cancer, and was able to write about his disease with such flair and wit, is really beyond most of our understanding.
We also musn't forget that before his writing about his disease made him famous John was a prolific writer, journalist, columnist and broadcaster.
He remained prolific, at least in terms of the written word, right up until his death in March last year.
In this book he tracks the 'progress' of his throat cancer, including having to have part of his tongue removed, and does so in a matter of fact way.
His lack of self-pity, the way he didn't want to be seen as a 'victim' but just as someone who had got cancer, was truly refreshing.
The ultimate irony about him, of course, is that he became the man profligate with words who couldn't speak and the man who was married to a top TV cook and yet couldn't eat.
Despite all this, however, he remained dignified to the end and, though we will never know the darker side of the torment he must have felt at knowing he was going to die at such a young age and having to leave behind a beautiful wife and two young children who adored him, his sense of what is really important in life remained true to the end.
He once wrote that the meaning of life is 'loving and being loved, about one day being missed when your gone.'
He was right. And he is very much missed.