Thanks to all of you for your comments. In the end I did email him, and it turns out he hadn't noticed my last email had arrived and had been wondering why it was taking me so long to respond. But the whole incident has led to alot of thinking about how we all deal with the difficult situations in our lives. Do we back away? Do we hover? There's no good answer for how to help someone through a difficult time, and you can't please everyone. But I'm glad this time I said something.