Good-bye, My Friend

I found myself at a place in my life where I’d suffered many losses.  With lots of important people missing from my world, I decided that no one else was going to get in.  But, with a need for interaction of some kind, I ended up on a website that allowed intelligent people to cyber-mingle.

I thought it was the perfect solution, but I was wrong.  These online people were more than just icons and snappy comebacks.  There were people behind the profile pictures, and I found myself forming attachments.

It started out with cards, then phone calls and texts.  Gifts started being sent and received, and shoulders were both lent and given for crying.  Then, visits became kind of inevitable.

I found myself caring for these people in a way that I didn’t think possible.  I’ve met a baker’s dozen or so, and have plans to meet more.  If you add their family members in to this mix, I’ve met upwards of 25 or 30 online friends.

You can get into all kinds of real life situations with online friends.  You can laugh, joke, cry, bitch, moan and even get pissed off. Some online friends stopped being friends because cyber-bullshit doesn’t always translate any better than it does in real life.

And when an online friend dies, you grieve just as though they were a co-worker, real-life friend or neighbor.  You cry, rail at the gods and remember.

I lost Terry and Søren.   I knew how hard this next loss was going to hit, but I’m still reeling over the recent events.  I lost Ruth.

I’m not going to go into detail about what an amazing woman she was, or all of the things she accomplished.  Our mutual friends know all of these details.  I just want to say that when she requested my friendship on that old website, it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.  She guided me, aided me and slapped me when I needed slapping.  She became my online mother.  My Mummy, as it were, and she named me InaPie.  She yelled at me when I needed yelling at, and sometimes when I didn’t.  Those were the times I yelled back at her.  We locked horns, danced and hugged each other on numerous occasions.  I felt honored that I had the chance to actually meet her.  I’m blessed that I had Dame Ruth Dickson in my life, and my only regret is that I didn’t have her longer than the six years I was granted.

Good-bye, gorgeous.  Until we meet again.

Ruth Dickson (1925 – 2012) and me.

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25 responses to “Good-bye, My Friend

  1. I am closer to my online friends than I am to my family. But you already know that, Sis. Losing Soren was horrible because it was like losing a son. But, losing Soren was easier because I understood why he did it. I understood the incredible amount of pain he was in and I knew that he could not go on any longer. I am proud of him for all of his accomplishments.

    Losing Ruth is harder. She was such a vivacious personality. She should have been allowed to go on forever!

    Love and hugs!

  2. She has such a lovely twinkle in her eyes. Actually you both do.

  3. Poignant, heartfelt message, Ina. Big hugs for you!

  4. I haven’t written about or commented on the loss of Ruth on fb – I just can’t. And I can’t go into how much my online friends mean to me; that emotive part of me doesn’t work in a public forum. Ruth was the first writer on Gather I really sat up and noticed; she called me after my operation; I wish I could’ve been there at the end. There’s so much more I just can’t say.

    The rest of you better fucking stay healthy.

    • I totally understand. This was written with huge tears pouring down my cheeks. She spoke about talking to you on the phone, and how surprised she was that you have a southern accent. We both giggled about that. 🙂 And, I love you, too.

  5. I think she taught us all a lot about how to navigate through life’s ups and downs without losing who we are. She has left us with that gift and she really hasn’t left us because I know we all carry her with us where ever we go.

  6. Ruth was always a force to be reckoned with.
    Love,
    Gremsie

  7. I am heartbroken to lose another one of our Gather gang. Ruth was like the den mother, only a den mother with no patience for ignorance or foolishness. She’d dope-slap as needed, and could cut your legs off with a word.

    I don’t think I’ll ever get over the loss of Soren – not so much to me as to the world. He was the one of us I thought was destined for greatness.

    They were two of the most unique individuals I have ever known.

    • It never ceases to amaze me at how many great friends we’ve all made from that hideous site. I feel certain that I’ll have most of you around for the rest of my life. I agree with you about Soren. The world lost greatness there. Having both him and Ruth in my life, however briefly, has been incredible.

  8. Very beautiful Ina.

  9. I am so sorry for your loss. From reading this very sincere message, I can tell she was loved dearly and will be sorely missed.

  10. I didn’t really know Ruth, but I feel your pain.

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