I find myself in a strange mood today. I’m looking back at interactions I’ve had with people here, and on other sites, and wondering who’ll be the next to go.
We’ve had three deaths that I know of on this site over the past twelve months. Most recently Ricewood lost his fight with cancer. I didn’t really know Allan that well, only spoke to him once or twice, but I’d seen him around enough to know he was a nice guy. Deborah, under the name 1bluebox commented here for a while then stopped visiting a while back. I never found out why and now I never will. She died at the start of the year in a car crash. And of course there’s Esther, the elusive Sugarwinx, who died in a fire midway through last year.
Of the three I was closest to Esther. We chatted in whispers and inboxes quite often and had a similar outlook on life. Her position in advertising gave her some surprising insights into the human mind – knowledge made more surprising by her almost constant dizzy blonde online persona. When she left this place to concentrate on getting her life in order I cheered her on yet she’d return periodically with bad news. The death of her beloved Bebe, the loss of her job. It just seemed like things were getting worse, not better. And then came the day when, months after her death, her mother found her e-mail passwords and let people know what had happened. I suppose not having her around for so long cushioned the blow a little, but it didn’t feel like it at the time. I’ve been thinking about Esther a lot recently. A bit of a spring clean of our flat unearthed a lighter she sent me as a present once. While retagging my old posts here I found a load of old conversations and jokes with her there. And, of course, my phone decided to alert me to the fact that it’s her birthday today. I was halfway through a birthday post when I remembered.
We never expect to make real connections the first time we come online and, for many people, that can be accurate. But sometimes we’ll meet people who make our lives better for knowing them, people we enjoy chatting with, people we enjoy sharing and debating ideas with. Make the most of those people, my friends, because they may not be around forever.