A good friend of mine died today. His friendship was of a rare kind, built from scratch in full adulthood, without benefit of youthful energy or shared childhood history or common locality, built even without having met face-to-face. And yet it was a solid friendship, having outlived the length of time it takes to tell all our most interesting stories.
We met online through some forum or other, finding that we shared a few interests in common. And when we each moved on to other fora, we kept our communication going through e-mail and then daily interactive chat sessions, discussing the news of the day, sharing our triumphs and frustrations. I looked forward to meeting my friend in person one day, at last being able to attach a voice to the words we’d type back and forth.
My friend actually passed away a week ago. I didn’t find out until just this morning. The week-long silence in our conversation is no longer a mystery, and the least-expected explanation for that silence has been instantiated. The loss of this friendship in cyberspace hurts as much as any friendship I have lost out here in the real world. Had I known about it in time, I would have traveled to his memorial service.
I guess we’ll just have to wait a little longer to meet up, my friend. TTYL, Curt.