Back when I was the editor of Smart Computing Magazine, it was my pleasure to work with a talented tech writer named Alan Luber. Alan wrote columns, feature articles, hardware reviews.... You name it, and Alan could write it. And he wrote on word-count and on deadline. He was an editor's dream; we knew that if we had assigned Alan an article, it would be in on time and that it would be very, very clean.
Not everyone knew it, but Alan was fighting what would turn out to be a losing battle with cancer. And yet, in the last year of his life, he worked harder than ever, churning out quality copy for me and for other magazines; he wanted to leave a legacy, he said. And I suspect that work was something of an escape for him.
When he passed away on November 23rd, 2004, I was struck dumb; even though I knew by then that his death was inevitable, I was in shock. I had lost a respected colleague and a dear friend, and I ached for his family, his wife and his children especially.
Now, 13 years later, one of those children—the youngest, Mallory—has completed a labor of love in honor of her father. The Cancer Chronicles: A Story of Transformation and Triumph is an eBook collection of Alan's thoughts about his journey toward death and his reflections on a life well-lived. You should get this book. It's sad, but somehow uplifting, and flashes of Alan's dry humor stand out against the stark reality of his pain and his sure decline.
At the time, I wrote a column about Alan's death, which—with the kind permission of Sandhills Publishing—I will include in this post. Don't forget to check out The Cancer Chronicles; it'll be $5 well spent. (As I write this, in fact, the book is actually free, but I don't know how long that'll last.) We don't often get to see this clearly inside the heart and soul of someone about to die. When you read the book, you'll see that Alan faced death with a heart more peaceful than that with which most of us face life.