I didn't know Ron, but 51 is rough, especially these days.
I have a friend John who just passed a couple weeks ago at 70, he was at work and had a heart attack, died two days later.
I mention this as it has been very hard on my close friend Charles, who talked with John every day and had lunch together regularly. They have known each other over 20 years.
Most of you know this intuitively, but please don't have regrets about a close buddy because you never took the time to REALLY tell them how much they mean to you, and now they are gone forever.
For some of us this takes a bit of courage, but it will make you feel better, no matter how awkward it seems.