K read the reviews this morning and he's very disheartened.
Last time, two years ago, he was a finalist with a much weaker proposal. He had five reviewers, got 3 excellent reviews, one very good, and one good/fair.
This time there were only four reviewers and three reviews were very good and one good. This feels like such a random process, not really fair, not really consistent.
I feel so terrible for him, but there's nothing I can do. The only positive side for him is that he feels that it would be tough to manage a postdoc, so maybe it's for the best.
It is still sad and disheartening, though.
P.S. And K won't say anything to his parents because they don't really know what a grant is and what it means to him. (It's funny that he barely mentioned to them that he got tenure).