I’m not very good at memorial posts. I didn’t do one for my father-in-law last year nor one for my mother-in-law because I didn’t know what to say, and I still don’t. At least, not that would make a compelling blog post. But, when I feel down about them – when I see an antique car or some clever little craft idea and I think of them, I can turn to my husband, or my sister-in-law or even my brother or mother and say “Awwwww.” And they share my grief. Because of that, I guess there’s not really a need to pour it out to an unseen audience because there are warm bodies right here to share it.
Not so with Sue.
Sue was an “online friend”, so called because as a society we like to label people and keep them in boxes like “work friend” or “facebook friend”, but in truth Sue was more than that. We met on MySpace, I can’t remember if it was through Blogophilia or if she joined Blogophilia afterwards. I believe it was a vampire poem that started us talking – one she’d written – but we found we had a lot in common. We were both writers, we both loved taking photos, we were both married to exasperating men (I mean this in a good way), and our chats moved from MySpace to email. In fact when I went to look through my emails from her (all neatly saved under my “Sue” label) to find a photo for this blog, gmail’s results were “1-20 of many”.
As of Friday, May 30th, those many emails will never be added to. I will never get another random photo of Canadian snow, or a tomato (this was a joke because I said with red hair and my round, pink face I looked like a tomato). I will never get another college paper or short story to beta read, just as she will never beta read for me again. No more funny observations about teachers, neighbors or husbands. No more words of encouragement or random comments to make me laugh just when I need it.
I could go on but it’s all selfish. Grief is selfish. We are sad not for them, but for ourselves because WE feel the loss. WE don’t get to have them in our lives anymore. And though Sue was an “online friend” I will miss her as though she was a REAL friend – because that’s what she was.