i'm glad it went so well for you. i think you needed that and it will be a good milestone.
about your friend - chances are, it was just what he needed too. it can't have been easy - most likely he's never talked about it out loud in a group of regular guys - but sounds like you were all supportive and will be there for him when he needs it. this could very well be a very healing moment for him, too.
"Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself... And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity." - Paulo Coelho