Will successors also be able to see politics as art of the possible?
In an article in yesterday's 'Belfast Telegraph', Peter Robinson, former first minister of Northern Ireland, wrote that his relationship with Martin McGuinness "was probably more robust and enduring than most friendships and certainly closer, more complicated and formidable than many".
Mr Robinson said he was "absolutely certain he (Mr McGuinness) had reached a place in his life where he wanted to ensure there would be no reversion to the days of violence and I am equally persuaded that he was genuinely seeking reconciliation and progress in our community. In my view, no other republican could have performed the role he did during this transition".
This is certainly a remarkable tribute to the former deputy first minister from the former first minister. Mr McGuinness's ability to win the trust, and even the friendship, of Ian Paisley and Mr Robinson is a testament to his charm and to his personal integrity as a politician.