I think I am saddened most by the deaths of people who are complex. Around me, C was usually acting out this aggressive, macho persona, but there were hints of this more sensitive, even nerdy kid who was captivated by Tolkien and fantasy. My uncle’s death made me sad in the same way– he was also a complex man.
In both cases, some of the sadness is because I felt like there were sides to each that I didn’t quite have the full experience or measure of. But there’s a deeper sadness here, too, a second law of thermodynamics sadness, that psychological, personal complexity goes lost and dissipates.