'Until we meet again': A fond farewell to my friend Cokie Roberts

PHOTO: Cokie Roberts covering the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.PlayRick Rowell/ABC
WATCH Celebrating the life of trailblazer Cokie Roberts

So many folks will offer their remembrances and tributes to Cokie Roberts after her passing because she was such an icon and beloved by people across this country.

I want to add my humble thoughts for a colleague and woman I held dear. Having lost a mom, sister, and daughter all way too young, it is hard to know what to say to comfort those close to her, but I believe the best way is to remember the times we had and the impact she had on my life and others.

Most people know that Cokie and I were colleagues at ABC News serving on the "This Week" Roundtable on many Sundays, "Good Morning America" to talk elections and at special events for the network. But I have known Cokie for more than 30 years -- starting when I was working on political campaigns and she was covering them.

She and I hit it off immediately. It might have been because we both loved politics, history and our country very much. It could have been because we were both Catholics, where faith was key, and as much a part of our life’s as politics. I remember all the conversations we had covering Pope Francis' visit to America.

It might be because we both had suffered loss in our lives and one bonds with people who have an open heart. It is hard to know, but sometimes the universe brings people into your life who connect with you whether that be for a day, a season or a lifetime. I am so grateful I was able to share a season of life with Cokie and to have had so many conversations and laughs with her.

Cokie had strong opinions, but it struck me that -- whether I was working for a Democrat or a Republican -- she wasn’t judgmental and she was always curious to understand. She would ask numerous questions and try to delve deeper into the people involved. And she would consistently ask about my family and what was going on in my world no matter how hectic or stressful events were unfolding.

PHOTO: ABC News broadcasts live with Cokie Roberts as the 24 American soldiers held captive in China disboard their airplane at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in Oak Harbor, Wash., April 14, 2001. Andy Rogers/ABC
ABC News' broadcasts live with Cokie Roberts as the 24 American soldiers held captive in China disboard their airplane at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in Oak Harbor, Wash., April 14, 2001.

She was kind under every circumstance, no matter if it was at a campaign office, a coffee shop, the green room or in the makeup chair. Each time I would come away from the connection having learned something or laughed out loud. Politics was in her DNA and her bloodstream, and she understood well that the political is personal, and the personal is political in the best sense of the words.

Each time I would see Cokie, she would smile, put out her arms for an embrace, and then start asking questions with that twinkle in her eye. She wanted to make the world a better place and she did so by the thousands of conversations she had with people in every walk of life. Cokie always pushed for our country to live up to its best angels, and she demonstrated that in her daily life as she connected to humanity.

I will miss Cokie. ABC will miss her. And the world will now have to mourn the gentle movement of her light from amongst us to the heavens above. I do hope that she understood while she was here how many of us loved her. And my wish is that we all bring her example to our daily moments when this universe needs more curiosity, more kindness and definitely a more profound sense of enjoyment no matter what we were doing.

Cokie, from an Irishman who won’t forget you, “And until we meet again, May God hold you gently in the palm of his hand.”

Matthew Dowd is an ABC News analyst and special correspondent.