Thanks to all for your voices of sympathy and experience on the previous post. I found them really helpful.
I've gotten more information about my sometime friend. It looks good, as far as general quality of life, but less so as far as a career as a researcher/teacher. But one never knows. Small blessings, I suppose.
As for me, it's another good push in the direction my introspection of late has been taking me: be present, and be grateful.
But this does not preclude also: do thi werk. So it's back to transcriptions. I'll let you know when it gets interesting.