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My First Internet Death

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 


I haven't been on my regular chat boards lately and I just found out a person who I only knew online, passed away from cancer. This is the first time I have to deal with an internet death and it is a very unsettling experience.

I only knew her from her words and now her words are gone. She brought such life and warmth to the 'cold' computer monitor and now the community in which she shared her soul is mourning. It's hard enough to face death when you know the person in the flesh, but I never even thought about what would happen if someone from my internet life passed away. It really is a loss but at the same time, the community gained so much from her presence because she decided to turn on her computer and share her thoughts with an 'untouchable' community.

Never doubt how some 'typed' words sent into cyberspace can make a difference and change the lives of many. To all the special friends I have met on this board, I thank you for all you have shown me and all that we will share in the future. You have opened up your worlds and I thank you for revealing things from your life so that I can learn something new and see things from a different perspective.


R.I.P Caz, you played out your cards well.

Found this in one of the threads posted about Caz, and thought it was beautiful.

What is Dying?

I am standing on the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze, and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch her until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says, "She is gone."

Gone where? Gone from my sight - that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side. Her diminished size is in me, not her; and just at the moment when someone at my side says, "She is gone", there are, on a far distant shore, other eyes welcoming her arrival and other voices taking up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"- and that is dying.

The Rev. Canon Wilberforce
St. John the Divine,
post #2 of 16
Kass - I am so sorry. No matter if she is a cyber friend or real life friend, the operative word is "friend". I am so sorry for the loss you and the others who knew her are going through. That writing you attached was beautiful.
post #3 of 16
I am so sorry Kass, an internet friend is no different from a friend offline - to me, they are friends.

Sending you my thoughts and for your friend.

post #4 of 16
I'm sorry Kass. Like Adrienne said, what matters is that she was your friend. (((HUGS))) You're in my thoughts.
post #5 of 16
Hi Russian Blue,

I went thru that very same experience a couple of years ago. Only difference is, that my friend Hilary, also became a flesh and blood friend, because we started meeting up at Kiss functions across the USA and in Canada. Plus in Toronto, we shared a hotel room when we went to see Paul Stanley in The Phantom of the Opera there.

Two years ago, on Thanksgiving (USA's Thanksgiving) I got word that Hilary had died. It was very frustrating and depressing for me, because she lived in New York City, and I live in Los Angeles. I never got to go to her memorial or funeral, but it hurt so badly to know that Hilary would never be around anymore.

She actually sounded alot like your friend. She was very gifted with words, and she changed a lot of lives with her wit, and her warmth.

I think it's absolutely as hard to lose an Internet friend. My symathies are with you and everyone else who's lives were touched by your friend, Caz.
post #6 of 16

I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. I agree with what everyone else here said....a friend is a friend, no matter if you have met in real life or not. Some of my closest friends are people I met here, and although we may or may not have spoken on the phone, I've only met one of those people in real life (Christy this summer). But you guys mean as much or more to me than the people who I interact with on a day to day basis in person.
post #7 of 16
Kass, I'm very sorry for your loss. Many (((hugs))) for you right now.
post #8 of 16
Oh Kass I'm so sorry! Anyone who's been online knows that these friends on here are as close as rl ones.

Here's my first internet death story:

I was 14, I was the only person I knew with the internet, and I was so addicted. I spent a lot of time on MUDs (kinda like a chat room mixed with a rpg).. I met this guy who was also my age, and we hit it off. We'd talk all the time, and a year or two later, we got "MUD married." I know it sounds corny now but then it was so cool, he was my first net boyfriend lol. Well not long after, I noticed he didn't come around for a while and was worried but we had never exchanged phone numbers or anything so I didn't know what to do. About 6 months later one of his friends comes on and I'm like "Where has XXX been, is he cheating on me?" just joking around, I thought he got a life.. Well it turns out he died, at like the age of 16.. I didn't believe him of course, so he sent me to their highschools website where there was a memorial for him. It was the first time I ever saw a picture of him. No one understood. It made it hard because I couldn't properly grieve because everyone thought it was no big deal or I was just looking for sympathy. He was the first friend I knew that died, irl or online. Since then I've had more friends than I would like to think about die, but he was the only online, and somehow it touches me in a different way completely.

I feel this way. We made an impact on each others lives, a positive impact. And you can't really ask for much else in this world. She was blessed to have known you, and you to have known her. I am sorry for your loss.
post #9 of 16
I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't really matter if it's an internet friend only or someone you see on a regular basis. They are still friends and we have feelings for them. I feel that way about many people here. Some of you know things about me that my own family doesn't know.
post #10 of 16
Oh Kass dear- That's so very sad! May your friend RIP.

post #11 of 16
Oh Kass, I'm so sorry!!! It's got to be so difficult. First of all, I worry that we GET notified! When people I care about post regularly and then don't post for a little while - I always get worried something might have happened. So far, that hasn't proven to be the case, but an internet death has got to be difficult to deal with.

To me, a friend is a friend, cyberspace or real space. To many, the internet isn't "real," but I've made real friends here. I hope you meet you all in person some day. But anyone's passing would be just as devastating to me whether I'd met them or not. The worst part about it is that we probably wouldn't get notified by a loved one in time to make a memorial service if something had happened.

All of you - PLEASE notify a loved one to post on TCS if something happens to you (and hopefully it'd just be an illness or a broken leg and not death!!!)

What dark thoughts to have to discuss.

Kass - I'm so sorry.

post #12 of 16
I was thinking the same thing as you Laurie.
post #13 of 16
I had the same unfortunate experience a few years ago. A woman who was an active poster on Petsmart's Acme Pets boards unexpectedly failed to return to the boards after an expected 4 day hiatus at a work related event. She posted on their main cat board, but was also one of the small numbers of kooks who actively posted on their Pet to Pet board, where the cats/dogs et al posted to each other. One of our posters there called her work phone number, and got a very odd message which led her to call one of Nancy's co-workers.She had been found in her apartment by a co-worker after she did not appear at the presentation, laying on her bed, dressed for work, as if she had laid back down because she wasn't feeling well.She was only 52 and they never identified a cause of death.

Her co-workers had a service for her in the city where she worked, and we sent them a number of writings/recollections from many of us, and asked that they read some of them during the service, which I believe they did. She was a kind, and wonderful person. I had adopted Sasha right before she passed away, and I remember how excited she was for me.

This is what I wrote about her at the time. Perhaps it will strike a chord with you.



A New Meaning of Friendship...

Since learning of Nancy's passing, I've thought a great deal about what was causing me so much sorrow. She was, after all, a person whom I never met, whose voice I never heard, whose picture I never saw. And yet, I felt that I knew her so well. I knew her amazing kindess, her silly humor, her heartfelt encouragement, her sadness when she lost her baby Dash and of course, her love for Lily and all of us.

All these wonderful things, from a person whom I never met...

In "real life" there are so many things we let affect our feelings about others: their appearances, their jobs and social status, their ethnic backgrounds, the neighborhoods they live in, the clothes that they wear. In "cyberspace" these factors lose much of their influence. The person whom I came to know and care about was Nancy herself.

In recent months, social scientists have rushed to pronounce that the Internet will harm people's relationships with one another and will cause great loneliness. To me, this is an incredibly flawed conclusion. I do deeply regret that I will never have the opportunity to meet Nancy, at least on this plane. Yet, despite that, my relationship with her was joyous and meaningful and real. Her friendship will forever be important to me. She will forever be in my heart.

Watch over us, dear friend.

With love,

Lucia, Ivan, Yuri, Khan and Sasha

post #14 of 16
post #15 of 16
It's funny how things like this happen. I too lost a good Internet friend. He was a military man who was planning of coming to Colorado to go sking on his next leave. He was supose to call me when he got here so I could meet up with him and show him around a bit. Well about 2 days after he was supose to be here I got a call from his brother who was with him here. He called to tell me that His Bro had gotten killed in a car accident a month before. And his Brother felt that I needed to know since the reason they were planning on coming to CO was to meet me(and ski). I was so devistated!!! Yet like most people I had no one to talk to about it. Because everyone didn't consider him a Close Friend of mine since I didn't even know him face to face. Sad thing was that He knew more about me then any of my Face to face friends did.
I also Had an Aunt pass away a few years ago and still get PM's from her online friends asking me about her. She was very involved in the internet. And since she and I were so close most of her friends knew who I was. It's strange having to tell someone about a internet friends death.

Anyway My thoughts and Prayers are with you.
post #16 of 16
A friend is a friend no matter it's in real life or in cyber space. I've lost 2 internet friends to cancer and like you I knew who their friends were and they new me. I also received emails and IM's about them for almost 6 months. It was hard to have to answer everyone individually so I eventually emailed everyone and told them what had happened and when.

I also mentioned where exactly my friends lived and then gave everyone the full names and if they would care to please make a donation either online or send the Cancer Association a check in "Memory of" and that seemed to help everyone they new that I new deal with it.

I know how you feel and it's going to get easier with time and I'm sorry for the loss of your friend!
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