In loving memory of an online friend – a heartfelt post

In loving memory of an online friend - image of flowers and cemetery

I’ve cried so many tears this past week. I wasn’t sure what I was going to write for this week’s post, as honestly, this is the only thing that’s really been on my mind.. so, I decided that this should be what I write about because of that. A post in loving memory of an online friend.

When someone passes away, it’s always incredibly hard and I don’t think I will ever get used to it or understand it. I just don’t understand how someone can be there one minute and the next they are gone forever. I like to believe they go on to another place, but of course I don’t know that.. and I’m not a religious person, so it’s an ambiguous area.

Receiving the news

I rolled over in bed, half asleep, to an e-mail telling me that someone very close to me that I knew only online had passed away.

A little back story on this, this person was basically like my family. It may be hard for people to understand how someone you’ve never met can feel like that, but I literally spent at least 3 years of my life (it’s probably more as it was November 2013 when I met them) talking to them every single day. We would chat via text chat, voice chat and often times they would talk and I would type. They lived in America, so sometimes it would be extremely late when I could talk to them and me talking wasn’t always an option. They always made time for me, even though our time zones were so different.. often getting up early before they went to work just to come talk to me.. or staying up later than they should have.

I’m not going to say how we met, because that’s really not important.. but where we would often communicate is a place that I hadn’t been on in a little over a year. I think I was spending far too much time in that place and sometimes my virtual life became more important to me than my real life. I get that way sometimes even when I play The Sims. So, imagine that situation, but while communicating with real people. I could spend all day there and sometimes when my partner wasn’t at home, I practically wouldn’t even leave my computer. I basically left for my own mental health, but I figured that the people there would always be there for me as soon as I felt able to come back.

Disbelief

I’ve had people online before just not want to come on anymore and instead of telling me, they’ve messaged me from another account pretending to be someone else and informing me that they died. I’ve since learned those individuals that did that were fully alive and well and were just sick in the head. Even those times that happened, it didn’t really upset me because I didn’t feel the same connection with them.

So, as you can imagine at first I really didn’t want to believe that this information was true. I had been told that they passed away from cancer and it had all happened incredibly fast. From the e-mail I received I really didn’t get a whole lot of information about what had happened.. so I messaged someone else that I am friends with from the same place, who was also incredibly close to them (who I now talk to on Whatsapp) and told her the news. We were both furiously messaging each other back and forth, trying to make sense of the situation and not wanting to believe it was true.. coming up with our own theories about why it was fake.

Finding out more

I finally decide that if I was going to understand more of what had happened, I needed to get online and go to the place I’d been avoiding for so long. I had to talk to the person that e-mailed me and find out exactly what happened.

So, I put on my big girl panties and logged on. Immediately I started to get some more information about what had happened and I still didn’t want to believe it. I was trying to get them to phone them in real life, which in hindsight was stupid.

So, I logged off with some new information and still a lot of disbelief.

Acceptance

To be honest, even though I had been crying so much over it anyway, I still didn’t fully believe it.

The only time it really sunk in for me was when I read their real obituary. Then the tears came hard and fast and wouldn’t stop all day. They have been flowing ever since on and off. When I think I must be out of tears, another round of tears starts. This solidified the fact that it was indeed true.

This person meant so much to me. They had been there for me in my darkest times.. and they had talked me out of killing myself on multiple occasions. They were always there to listen to me no matter what I was going through.

It’s weird to think that I’m never going to be able to talk to them ever again. I just assumed they would always be there for me, waiting to talk to me if I needed them. I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye or let them know how much I thought of them.

Weirdly blaming myself

I’ve had this horrible guilty feeling too, that I just can’t shake. I feel like if I had actually been online and knew that they were ill, I could have convinced them to be seen sooner and maybe this wouldn’t have happened. They were stubborn, but they would have listened to me.

I’m very up on medical knowledge as it’s something I’ve always had a passion for, so I’d like to think if I was there and they had told me their symptoms I would have been able to convince them to see someone way sooner. Maybe they would have gotten the chemo they needed sooner. Maybe they’d still be alive. I know they would have listened to me.. even if everyone else around them had tried and failed.

In loving memory of an online friend

This post was more therapeutic for myself than anything else. I appreciate anyone that actually read what I had to say about things and I’m sorry if it was a bit all over the place.

I’d just like to say that if you’re friends with anyone online, make sure that you have someone that can reach out to them should anything ever happen to you. Get as much info as you can from them too, without overstepping or making anyone feel uncomfortable of course.

I hope everyone is doing well. Thank you so much for reading. ♥

 

In loving memory of an online friend - image of grave stone that says "in loving memory"

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7 Comments

  1. July 30, 2018 / 12:13 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Online friendships feel just as real as the offline friendships, so is natural to grieve the loss of a dear friend. Hugs xx

    • merkitty
      Author
      July 30, 2018 / 12:19 pm

      Thank you, that means so much. Hugs ♥

    • merkitty
      Author
      August 2, 2018 / 4:53 pm

      Thank you, it’s nice that you understand. Hugs ♥

  2. July 30, 2018 / 5:08 pm

    Ah no, I’m so sorry for your loss. Online friends are every bit as valid as friends IRL, although many would find that a challenge to accept. Please don’t feel guilty for anything though, sometimes people end up in very dark places that we don’t know about and there’s nothing we can do for them. Please look after yourself and be kind to yourself, you need some comfort too xx

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

    • merkitty
      Author
      August 2, 2018 / 4:55 pm

      Thank you so much. I needed to hear that.. I’ve been feeling so guilty and like you said sometimes we don’t know and there is nothing we can do. I’ve been having some time to myself, crying it out and trying to be kind to myself in the process. It’s tricky though. Thanks for reading and commenting, lovely ♥

  3. July 31, 2018 / 10:23 am

    It was really sad to read this but I’m glad you found comfort in writing this post. Online friendships are very real and we can sometimes feel closer to internet friends than those in real life. I’m so sorry for your loss, please don’t blame yourself. Sending you lots of love at this difficult time 💖 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    • merkitty
      Author
      August 2, 2018 / 4:56 pm

      Thank you so much, Bexa. That means a lot and it’s really lovely to know that there are people out there that understand. Thank you for the reading, for the love and for leaving a comment. It’s much appreciated. ♥

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