I reached out recently to check as well.
I received a reply today saying that Dave is no longer with us. I checked it out really quickly, and I am sorry to say that it seems to be true. He passed on July 29th.
Doubtless there was some arborist in his life who was close enough to ensure that the tools of his trade continue their work in his absence. I know there are a few in mine, and they know where we stand.
My name is Steve from the Arborist forum TreeBuzz. All of us in the online community Dave belonged to wanted to offer our condolences and support for you during this time. Dave was always a friendly and supportive contributor to the family. We were all very saddened to learn of his death. We all would like to offer our support and assistance in any way possible. If there is a charitable site we can contribute to, or a site we can contribute to your financial burden, we would like to help.
I lost my wife and newborn some time ago and can relate to the chaos which ensues after such a tragedy. The financial stress pales in comparison to the emotional pain but none the less its still there. I have no idea about Dave's family situation but if there is help to be given, we are here to help.
Dave had been working on a project of purchasing a large batch of specialty rigging rings from a supplier in Italy. I don't know if he paid any of his own money to initiate the project or if he actually paid in full. If he did, I would like to assume the financial responsibility. I don't think you should be stuck with the cost of these rings nor should you have another box of things you have to think about and have to deal with. You have more on your plate than any person should have to handle.
My intention is to alleviate some of your stress not to add to it. If you choose to totally ignore this email, or table it until you are ready I totally understand. It's an ocean of emotions. The days are like waves. You never know when the next wave of grief will hit and how strong it will be. I had many days it took all the energy I had to just live.
I will not bother you with another email. I just wanted to say we are all very sorry for your loss. If we can help, we'd be happy to. If there was money paid for the order (likely a few thousand dollars), I would like to send you that money and try to finish the project in Dave's memory. Take as much time as you need if you choose to respond.
On a personal note, I am so very sorry. Although our situations are completely different, to a large extent, I understand and hope you can find a moment of peace in each day.