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The Coil Shuffles in a Blur Between Lives

I was exploring SL last night late, and came into a memorial for those who had died in RL. I saw a name I knew, and checked my contact list. DaisyBlue Hefferman, perhaps some of you knew her?, one of the first people I friended since she was a librarian and Civil War historian, had died last May of a stroke. She was helping me seek out folks that wanted to attempt Civil War reenacting inworld.

Now she is gone, but memorials and unintended testimonies to her life remain. I can pull up her profile from my contact list and there she is, still alive, telling me what she is up to, what she is interested in, pointing me to her favorite places and displaying her projects. I can send her an IM which she will never answer. I can see her likeness. If I google her, there are more comments, photographs, blogs.

Though subdued, I went to bed mindful of virtual life everlasting.

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  1. Yang Moreau Yang Moreau February 1, 2011

    ::smiles softly:: A dear friend, The Sojourner, died a couple years ago of a stroke. She has her own memorial and her friends kept her sim going in honor of her. The sim known as Dreams is her old one. She was an amazing woman pushing for understanding of autism for the parents of autistic children as well as for stroke survivors and held monthly building contests. She was one of the first people I got to know inside Second Life. On my 5th rezday I had forgotten for a brief moment that she was dead and accidentally sent her an invite to my party.. I was shocked at myself for a moment and worried what her family might feel if they got the IM. But a friend who runs the sim these days gets her messages. She said she thinks if her family had seen it, they would have been happy to know someone remembered her and wanted her to be with them.

    Life and death in SL is a funny thing. It’s not any gentler, for sure… But it gives us something more to hold onto and to remember that person by, doesn’t it? You should have seen her sim when she died. It filled to the brim with candles and builds in tribute to her. My own was a Terry Pratchett quote about a light in the dark, printed in the beam of a flashlight. Some were far more beautiful. She was an inspiring person.

    As a cancer survivor, I’m in one of the main cancer support groups in SL. And well, a sad fact of cancer and it’s treatments is so often there is someone who doesn’t win the fight. Every few months I see another message of someone who passed on. It’s seldom someone I really knew, but so many people mourn them and miss them. It’s amazing how many people all over the world we connect with through SL.

    And as I’ve told a few near suicidals before, you never know just who’s life you’ve touched. When you walk through life, you may think your own actions insignificant, but there is ALWAYS someone that they mean something special to, whether they speak up and you notice them or not. There is someone out there rooting for you. There is always someone who will miss you. And I think most people would often be surprised just how many people would mourn their passing and celebrate their life.

    Mr. Valeska, I was wondering if you could tell me where this memorial is? I would dearly like to see it. And thank you for the beautiful rememberance of your friend.

  2. Glaubrius Valeska Glaubrius Valeska February 2, 2011

    Alas, I cannot find it now. When exploring I do not landmark much. It was a simple plaque on a stone wall, and I came across it quite by accident. I have found many memorial places inworld (the Lindens have set up a very nice Island just for that purpose, vast and beautiful), and one was so moving, so poignant, with friends that loved them eager to memorialize them, that I began to think of my Mother, who died eight years ago, from cancer and complications from Parkinson’s. She survived a brutal form of cancer for five years, and when it returned she decided it was time, and went quickly and quietly, in a dignified manner, just a few months after the last diagnosis. While I read the sweet memories and testimonials of folks for their friends, I was overcome.

    I realized, after seeing DaisyBlue’s memorial, and found bits of her on the internet, that those of us who pour our lives, in whatever way, into cyperspace have gained a kind of imortality! In bits and bytes we establish a residue that arcs across servers worldwide. When I am gone, various places and blogs on which I have posted will remain. We can go and see folks words eternal, and our faces recorded, and our thoughts go on forever.

    And I shall never delete her friendship.

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