Perhaps in part because he was so private, Tony was tormented by the idea of his own absence, not in itself (he was as hard a realist as any) but for his two boys. He wanted desperately to teach them, to love them, to be with them into their adulthood. He had so much to tell them about where he had been, whom he had known, books he had read (and written), and what he had made of it all. Here he did something extraordinary: he projected himself beyond his own death and found a way to reach “back” from the abyss. I didn’t fully understand it at the time, but I now see that the dead can extend feelings across the divide separating the living from the ever after. But—and it is a big but—they can only do it if they think of it in advance, before they actually die.