Neighbor expresses feelings on Haley's loss
This summer, I have grieved too many untimely deaths, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Williams; but Matt's death hits the most painfully. He was our next-door neighbor. He always smiled and engaged in conversation about his new additions to his house, the community, my garden which he really liked, our shared forest (his lot), state and world politics.
During our infrequent storms, when we would all emerge from our houses, he was ready to help. Once after a community meal together, when we had been talking about Indian cooking and he told us of his friendship with Raghavan Iyer (author of 660 CURRIES), he was at our door with Garam Marsala and the recipe for making it.
He on his motorcycle would wave and smile as I passed by on my bike.
I was so impressed and proud of him when he and his doctor, Dr. Jani, did the nutrition experiences "Doc and Chef" together. I liked eating occasionally at one of his restaurants. Once, he beckoned me back into the kitchen to taste some seaweed that he was incorporating into some salads. (It was not my favorite, but I'm sure it was nutritious and delicious in a salad!)
The more I heard and read about Matt's reaching out and supporting marginalized people, the more impressed I became. Adopting two Nepalese girls as daughters and supporting schools in Nepal and India, helping the Hispanic community in Sussex County, helping farmers of color, and so many other projects, earned him the humanitarian award that he received in New York City.
His life has been too short. All of us will miss him. I am thankful that I had this time with him as a neighbor. I intend to contribute to the Global Delaware Fund and try to emulate in some ways the good neighbor that Matt Haley was to me, to his community, and to the world.