New York Times Portraits of Grief

Michael Finnegan

The innumerable friends of Michael Finnegan found that one simple word best captured him: "mine." Everyone felt he belonged to them, because he made everyone feel special.

"Every one of his friends thought Mike was his," said Katherine Finnegan, his sister. "If he was talking to you, you were the only person in the world. A neighbor remarked that Mike never just beeped the horn and waved. He stopped the car and got out."

Finny, as his friends called him, was a 37- year-old currency trader at Cantor Fitzgerald, who could never let a friendship lapse. He kept up with people he had met when he was 5.

He constantly rooted for his friends. He was a scratch golfer. At a memorial service for him, a fellow golfer printed out a dozen or so recent e-mail exchanges between the two. The friend was preparing for a club championship, and Mr. Finnegan told him: "It's all in your mind. Don't play against yourself." And: "E-mail me your tee time. I'm going to be in the gallery. You're going to break 70."

If there was a chance for some impulsive fun, he took it. Once, after a golf tournament, he and some golf buddies jumped a fence encircling a horse farm, lept on some horses and rode them merrily around the pasture.