That is how I feel about the news that author David Foster Wallace, at 46, has died.
I'll grant you, I was never a big fan of his fiction. But if you want to read one of the finest essays ever written on the subject of reading and writing essays, I'd strongly recommend you pick up the 2007 edition of the Best American Essays series, for which he wrote the introduction. He was also the author of books of essays of his own, including Consider the Lobster and the sublimeA Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again, in which he wrote about attending a county-fair like baking competition. Wonderful stuff.
I think the Guardian has it right with their typically outspoken headline: Foster Wallace is a Huge Loss. Compounding the sadness is the fact that he committed suicide; in addition to the just plain loss of someone, I always think about the sadness that must have come before the death and feel very badly about that as well.
Sometime this week, or whenever you can, find a copy of Consider the Lobster and raise a glass of something expensive and alcoholic in tribute to a very fine author. I will be doing that, and hoping that whatever came before, peace will come after.