Online to off-world
The Internet, borne of my curiosity to learn, to know and to be sure has recently been the bearer of sad news. The sad news of people I once knew who have unfortunately departed this world.
In one month, three stories have hit me, of the people cut down in the prime of their lives, their creativity or their foresight. Each reading or sighting of the reality of the information has both shaken and shocked me. All unexpected, yet real.
Losses too difficult
The first came via email, he had died at home just before Christmas, but I did not learn of the passing until a month after. Probably, the most prepared of the three, he had set his house in order and had forewarned me he did not have a year left.
He barely completed two months after our chat, it was the cancer that had returned a few times and now exhausted him at 71. He was in the prime of his foresight, so many thoughts flood my mind about too many things that I cease to function in the things I normally do, as I adjust to the situation.
The second came in the process of an Internet search just to corroborate some facts I was about to include in my blog. One of those situations where you think, where are they now? I did find out, she had died 4 years before, in had to be cancer at the age of 53, in the prime of her creativity and also of her life.
She left a legacy of three young aspiring children and the memories of times so far gone, that one can barely remember, but for the nostalgic feeling that is the most effective time machine, having the ability to take you back and keep you here in time, simultaneously.
He created a community
However, the third was the most intriguing and the one that has bothered me the most because for the first two, with enough curiosity and inquiry, one can ascertain circumstances and situation in which things happened. The mind bombarding you with questions you might eventually get the answers to.
Our secret lives were shared in the community of people who had interests as adults would have to explore and interact. He provided the forum and means for brief and long encounters of the debauched, yet pleasurable kind. Like, I have always said, we all have needs as humans and much more.
There was a time, I was offered a proposal to get involved in the project as domains of operation started to adopt Puritanical legislation that had wider nets for unintended consequences.
A certificate expired
The first sign that something was amiss was when the security certificate to the site expired. Not something he would have allowed to happen, I thought – something was wrong. Biding my time, I made the adjustments to my browser to access the site and left it at that, but there was unfinished business, I did not know and I had to know.
Next, I searched for his profile, it was not even deactivated, it had disappeared, yet, that of his partner remained. Now, that really got me thinking, but I did nothing else for another week.
A few days ago, I decided to fully understand the situation. After a few searches, the plot thickened, then after obtained his full name and other interesting research projects he was involved in, from Google+ I landed on the page of his partner and all was there in plain sight. His certificate to life had expired.
No ordinary people
A chapel, a large portrait, lots of flowers, some prominent wreaths, one more from his partner of over a decade with a very short note of endearment and an urn. He had been returned to ashes and this was a ceremony to return him to dust. He was young, he was intelligent, he was friendly and I had met him a few times with his partner when I visited Berlin and they came up to party. He was only 44.
I liked them a lot and we got on well. Though our last meeting was almost a decade ago, we kept in relatively good contact over the years along with the many missed opportunities that are becoming the story of my life to visit people and my leaving it too late until nothing can be done.
That was why the website had run into problems, he had died in August, but in what circumstances, I could not tell.
The questions are many
Was it due to complications of a plague that scythed in harvest young souls and brought a cloud of unremitting sorrow upon a generation? Was it a sudden event? The last picture he posted on his Facebook page taken a few months before did show some changes like he had bulked up a bit, probably from some medication – I could not tell.
Was due to some pre-existing condition or was it some other accident? One cannot tell and that is one of the problems with the Internet. It provides a wealth of information, but never in the depth or breath that will satisfy ones curiosity and by that, you may gain some information and yet be bereft of knowledge from which to develop some wisdom.
The goodbyes left unsaid
Therein in the recesses of my mind, I bring up the memories of the many goodbyes I never got to say, out of affinity, out of respect, out of reverence, out of friendship and out of love.
The past few days have been a blur, one of considering the readiness for things, the preparedness for things and the legacy one might leave behind. Obviously, I would hate for this wonderful project he started some 13 years ago to die off in a matter of months after his death, I think we in that community owe him that much.
Yet, I must reflect upon a life cut short in its prime and a resting place with a memorial, flowers that bloomed on the day but will die away, a hole in which the ashes were poured, returning him to Mother nature and a beautiful tombstone that sums up the history of many gone before. A name, the date of birth, a hyphen, the day he died, some words and life goes on.
To John, to Tola, to Heiko, to lovers and friends, I loved you in different ways, many I cannot explain, may your gentle, loving, amazing and wonderful souls – Rest in perfect peace. Thank you for the things you brought into my life.