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.

EstherWe’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.


18 thoughts on “Requiem

  1. celebrating her life is a privilege , she was dear to me . Allan was a great guy and he will be missed deeply :heart:Deb ,our paths crossed a few times ,at our common "Opera friends", and I found her very smart/funny.I always promise myself "not to get close to people I never met,"(it is not wise to start with), however, after talking to some on a daily basis,I got to care for them and I only wish them the best! :wine: to Esther a.k.a Sugarwing on her memory/Bday, thanks for reminding me this special day πŸ™‚

  2. Real connections… I actually met my wife via an internet community. I read her blog and viseversa, and after a while we startet mailing eachother and chatting. Then the exchange of telephone numbers and shortly after that we decided to have our first date. Next we got engaged and within a year married. You can really get to know eachother well via blogging and chatting, escpecially if you dare to be honest and straight forward. I also met Ricewood that way – via the same community as where I met my wife – and he recommended Opera to me. Back then I lived in Horsens, 50 km from Risskov, Aarhus where Allan lived, so we saw eachother on a regular basis, and became close friends over the years. We shared the same sense of humour – a special Danish brand which we call 'dry humour', and also the same taste in litterature. He will be missed. On Monday I shall participate in the funeral ceremony at Risskov Church.Death is never fair. Inevitable but never fair.

  3. It always start as a comment somewhere, then that comment provoke another from another person… and suddenly you are in "conversation". It goes just like that. And one day you realise you care for that person as you would care about some people you know in what is known as "real life". Sometimes, when someone is having a bad times, I am thinking to myself how I can help, or what to say not to hurt someone feelings more. Like I would do with my friends here in Serbia. It was new and weird to me at the beginning, now I am thinking about my on line friends as a part of my everyday life. And when someone leaves for good it hurts…

  4. Exactly. I, too, got an email reminder (through my Hotmail) of Esther's birthday. Can't bring myself to go in and delete it, somehow. 😦

  5. Martin, I met Kim online in 2002 so I know what you mean. Take the community with you on Monday knowing he was well liked and respected even from afar.El, Esther was a treasure of Opera. She started a few of the jokes that are still running now with people I couldn't stand to lose. I chose that photo cause it sums up her public persona perfectly on her birthday. She'd want her friends to have a good time, even if she wasn't.David, I don't think there's a day of the year when someone I've known hasn't died. Apart from coming online and making comments that make me sound like a serial killer, I find it helps to have the reminders there. Sure, sometimes they make you maudlin but other times you get a reminder of that person and can think back on good times, smile and raise a coffee mug in their honour.I find I'm more picky with my online friends, Darko. I say that people need time to build a relationship online but I've realised that the final criteria is respect. Once someone's earned my respect it's hard to lose it again, to the point you'd have to do something only an enemy would do. I respect people for different reasons and that is the final straw that earns them a place on my friends list here. The last person to leave for good was Moe. I keep starting an e-mail to him but haven't gotten around to sending it. He left for a reason after all, and can't concentrate on his offline life if his online life keeps chasing him.

  6. I really liked Sugar – and it puts me down knowing that she isn't with us anymore. She was a very special person.My deepest respect and happy birthday, Sugar. I still miss you.

  7. True words, Mik – we never know when people we care about won't be around anymore. That's easy to forget, or neglect.

  8. It's easy to forget yes but sometimes somehow one remembers and it gets you thinking again.People on here certainly can be considered as friends and close ones at that. That's how I see it anyway.

  9. Sugarwinx's death was a shock to me. Mostly because I had been wondering just the day before the news came why she hadn't been around. :awww:.:sst: I still don't know why, but I cried when I got the news. Strange thing is, I didn't know her well at all. :left:

  10. She was a doll. One of the good guys. I know everyone says that when people die, but I hope you guys know me well enough to know I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it.

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