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Trust me: not nearly as morose as it sounds, just a matter of curiosity - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Trust me: not nearly as morose as it sounds, just a matter of curiosity [Mar. 9th, 2009|03:01 am]
[Current Mood |contemplativecontemplative]

Based entirely on a conversation I had with someone this evening; I promise I'm not contemplating a spectacular end to this mortal coil:

How would your life be changed if you heard suddenly that I was dead?

Mostly, I suspect, there would a sudden shock of, "OMG, that's so sad!" followed by, "OMG. that's an awesome LOLCat!!!!"

We are frail critters, our net-selves.....

[User Picture]From: kid_lit_fan
2009-03-09 08:08 am (UTC)
Probably "OMG, shit, that's so sad," a condolence note to Ferrett, and several days of re-reading your stuff, probably an LJ post; when a musician whom I knew only slightly IRL (I'm almost 100% certain she didn't know my name, she may have recognized my face as "That woman who does PEERS" or "I think she's one of ____'s friends.), I posted informing those who might not have heard and did a bit of an elegy.

For several months, I didn't exactly tear up when I heard "Solsbury Hill," the last song most of us ever heard her sing, but I felt a bit of a sting at my eyes. I don't know offhand what would remind me of you, but I'm sure I'd get that sting.
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[User Picture]From: polymorphism
2009-03-09 08:25 am (UTC)
That really depends upon when this hypothetical transition to ex-lawyer takes place. I mean, lolcats are bound to jump the shark sooner or later, right?

It ain't necessarily so, IMO. Not all internet people are created equal. Everybody's got some of those vague online acquaintances, from their groups, from their haunts, from their fandoms (shippers that pass in the night), and yours would absolutely respond that way - but that's only one possible degree of interaction. I know that if the chat/email/LJ/whatever interactions are enjoyable and solid enough, I tend to see them as just being the initial steps of a development of friendship that will grow to the point of meeting. I wouldn't meet everyone I "meet," and I can't meet everyone that I would, but I know who I would, if all things were possible.

I internet-know Ferrett better than I do you, but we've had a bit of fun here, I'd say, and I see no reason why that won't continue so long as you're animate. Right this minute, I'd take a reasonable opportunity to meet him, and I'd be pretty interested in you, too, enough that if you'd both be there I'd be more likely to do it; if you get over your chat-chicken status (BAWK!) I feel pretty confident that I'd get more invested pretty quickly.

If you die before that maybe-meetup ever happens, I'll think, "Dang, that's one more person I'll never meet." Then I'd get into the internet-friend version of supporting the bereaved.

Peppy topic, lady. It led me to dig this up (I was looking for how to spell "kakked" - which I never did find) - good times.
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[User Picture]From: andrewducker
2009-03-09 08:48 am (UTC)
In a combination of "I've been reading theferrett for far longer" and "The dead can look after themselves" I strongly suspect that I'd mostly be worrying about his state of mind. Probably for a fair few weeks.
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[User Picture]From: scarfman
2009-03-09 08:52 am (UTC)

When I first got on LJ at the end of 2005, I went poking around to see who else I knew was here, and discovered that kielle, who had an indirect but significant influence on the Usenet fanfiction writing career I had before I signed up with LJ, had recently died of sudden early onset of colon cancer. I still haven't decided how I feel about that, or what I think I ought to feel. I've no idea how I'd feel to learn of the passing of someone whose journal I've actually left comments in.

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[User Picture]From: littlebuhnee
2009-03-09 11:25 am (UTC)

"Because I knew you, I have been changed for good."

I think I'd be more than a bit sad. You've always been there to provide me kind but firm guidance, telling me the things I need to hear precisely when I need to hear them. I suppose it sounds corny, but it makes me smile knowing that you're there in the background looking out for me. And it would break my heart to know that you were no longer around, or that I'd never be able to adequately thank you for the difference you've made in my life.

Okay, don't want to talk about this anymore...
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[User Picture]From: greybeta
2009-03-09 11:40 am (UTC)
Well, there would be sadness for such a loss on this world. But then I'd smile knowing you were in a better place.
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[User Picture]From: kathrynrose
2009-03-09 11:55 am (UTC)
I'd prefer not to think about it.
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[User Picture]From: scarletdemon
2009-03-09 12:05 pm (UTC)
Oh gosh, I'd be really sad. You're my friend. Of course, I can't predict my entire reaction without knowing the manner of your death. I mean, if you were gunned down by police as you carried out a random killing spree in a Church, I'd be more shocked than if you just got run over by a bus, or something.
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[User Picture]From: lyssabard
2009-03-09 12:18 pm (UTC)
Shock, sad, utter grief. And then I'd have to drag B and Jan to hole up with Ferrett for a while until he's functional again.
So, not allowed. Not allowed at all, until your rightful time at 105. Ok? Ok. Glad we understand eachother.
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[User Picture]From: theferrett
2009-03-09 12:23 pm (UTC)
One begs to differ.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-03-09 12:31 pm (UTC)
Yes, but you rather more than 'net-know me, dear.
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[User Picture]From: kibbles
2009-03-09 12:33 pm (UTC)
Your prediction is probably close to accurate.
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From: (Anonymous)
2009-03-09 01:31 pm (UTC)
Er, I can't tell you the answer to that, and I hope I don't have. I can tell you that The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness would take on a whole new meaning for me.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-03-09 05:38 pm (UTC)
No worries, hon. ;-)
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[User Picture]From: yndy
2009-03-09 01:57 pm (UTC)
Actually... I'd be more than sad - I'd be pissed at myself for never having actually gotten to your realspace to buy you the drinks I'm always promising and to give you the dozens of hugs I owe you.

I do take some "internet only" friends' passing really hard. Mostly because they're people I've made an actual connection with. I pared down my FL to only those last Fall (in one fell swoop!)

Even tho I've been reading Ferrett longer, I feel like I know you better - and so it would be one of those Anger/Loss/Sadness reactions.

But no, no lolcats - hate the things actually. Ben Huh was here last weekend for WordCamp and I politely stayed out of the session b/c I'm "she who thinks lolcats are the ultimate symbol of what is wrong with the world" and might've said something horribly rude.

Okay - see that last paragraph? I'm already in denial that you could ever die before I see you... so there.
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[User Picture]From: fallconsmate
2009-03-09 02:03 pm (UTC)
i'm a weirdo. i *have* had internet friends go missing and find out later that they passed. it tore me up for months. i still cant think of those people without tearing up, and its been over 2 years for some of them. two of them i still have on my f-list, although i recently stopped expecting them to post. (literally)

sug's been gone since 2001, and i still kinda expect to see her sign on in the am to "have coffee" with me while she waits for the bus to come get her son. he'll be a junior in high school now.

so yeah. i'd miss you, and wonder how the ferret is holding up, and your other extended family. and i'd pray for you and for them (such prayers a pagan prays anyhow.).
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[User Picture]From: roaming
2009-03-09 02:38 pm (UTC)
I'd be saddened for you and for ferrett for no longer having eachother. Even if t'is better to have loved and lost, yadda yadda.

And I'd be saddened for me because it would be one more reminder* that all good things, all great loves, inevitably end. Loss, loss, loss all around. We get what everybody gets: we get "a" life.

*(reminders that are coming more regularly these days as I am 58 and many friends are entering the "now the fit starts to hit the shan physically" stage of life where the body breaks down, the cancers and strokes and diabetes etc., start taking over)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-03-09 05:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, just had the first of the "someone you went to high school with dropped dead of a heart attack" thing not long ago. Whee.
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[User Picture]From: cinema_babe
2009-03-09 02:56 pm (UTC)
Wow, I wonder if this is going to turn into the new LJ Meme?

I've had this happen from time to time and I always get a funny feeling inside, I guess akin to a "sinking feeling in my stomach". It would probably take me a day or so to go back to LOLcats and the like and I'd probably be very worried about The Ferrett, glad that he is surrounded by such good friends and send him my condolences.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-03-09 05:44 pm (UTC)
Man, I hope it doesn't become a meme! It was more an intellectual exercise - didn't think much about it at the time I put it up (which, being 3am, sort of makes sense).
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[User Picture]From: zarhooie
2009-03-09 03:15 pm (UTC)
Step one: call Ferrett.
Step two: quadruple check to see if I could be of any use/good.
Step three: cry. A lot.
Step four: write LJ post.
Step five: rinse and repeat.
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[User Picture]From: mazlynn
2009-03-09 03:16 pm (UTC)
Given that I am one of those folks who only knows you through the journal, I'd say your description is entirely wrong. There would probably be at least a full 60 seconds of moment of silence/depression before "OMG LOLCAT!" :)

Seriously, I'd probably be stunned in the way people tend to be when someone they have a peripheral connection to dies. Sort of like when I find out a favorite author or actor dies, although a bit more personal than that. It would be a moment of stunned silence, followed by comments to my various friends of "Huh, Zoethe died. *explanation of who that is.**expression of being mildly stunned.*" Followed by contemplating sending sympathy e-mail or card to Ferrett, or making a small donation to charity in your name. Follow through on that would probably be determined by how difficult it was to find information on how to do one of those things.

Beyond that, for the next few weeks there would probably be a moment of sadness whenever something happened to remind of the situation - most likely me either thinking "Hmmm, Zoethe hasn't posted in a while - oh yeah" or seeing something from Ferret.

Since I don't know you at all, haven't met you in person, and since I haven't had any in depth conversations with you given that I'm mostly a lurker on your journal, most of my sadness would probably be the selfish "I won't get to read anything by her again" kind, mixed with a healthy dose of awareness of my own mortality and a dash of worry for those who knew you better than I do.

I'm guessing at most of this based on my reaction when a coworker died recently. He was someone I pretty much never actually interacted with at work. I'd bought a car from him about a year before he died, and since then if I passed him in the parking lot or copy room he'd ask how the car was doing and I'd say "fine", and that was about the extent of our interactions. So when he died, it was this weird feeling of not knowing him well enough to be upset at all, but feeling like I should be feeling more because there was some sort of a connection and he wasn't a complete stranger. In your case, it would be a deeper connection, but given the nature of being an audience member, it's that weird one way connection where I feel like I kind of know a part of you from your writing, but nowhere near the whole you, and I know that you basically don't know me at all and that my presence probably doesn't impinge on your consciousness very often if ever. So there would probably be a pretty large dose of the surreal to the whole thing.
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[User Picture]From: candiedheart
2009-03-09 03:22 pm (UTC)
I would cry.
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[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2009-03-09 04:11 pm (UTC)
I would be sickened and horrified, plus terribly concerned for Ferrett!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-03-09 05:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that was a little unclear, now that I look at it.
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[User Picture]From: kisekinotenshi
2009-03-09 05:12 pm (UTC)
I actually did have a very close internet friend die. Her name was Michelle (we called her Michi) and she had been sick for a while (she never told us exactly what was wrong, but it was the kind of sick that lasts for years and has lots of expensive treatments). She was a really good friend to me in my last year of high school, when I was particularly alone. My best friend was a year ahead of me, and had thus already graduated, and my other good friend had decided I was too much trouble and abandoned me. So here was this cheerful, upbeat girl (and she was always cheerful to me, bless her) and I was constantly down in the dumps about something or other, which was pretty stupid, since I had an okay life and she had some strange sickness that was killing her. At any rate, I loved her as much as I loved anyone, and shortly after I went off to college (it was the summer before college really began, I did one of those early start programs) I got word, through her AIM account, from her mother that she was dead. And no one cared. Everyone I told said "I'm sorry" until I mentioned that she was an online friend. Then they gave me a look like I was crazy and dismissed it. I mourned for her for a month before I started feeling better again. And I still think about her regularly (I would say at least once a month). I tell people about her (like I've told here) and as a final mark of respect, I've never deleted her screen names from my AIM list. Maybe that's silly, but they're kind of like a grave marker for me. When I see them, I'm reminded again of the person I've lost, and I can silently offer up a wish that she's happy, wherever she is. Since I never met her in person, I can't visit her actual grave. So that's the closest thing I have.
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[User Picture]From: ba1126
2009-03-10 01:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you for this. I'm an online friend to several college kids. Most are friends of my kids but only slightly known to me in person. Generally speaking, they are young adults who have poor relationships with parents and/or peers, and I try to offer some support, suggestions, etc. I don't expect, and don't receive, much feedback, but it's nice to know that someone else doing that was appreciated so much.
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[User Picture]From: kisekinotenshi
2009-03-10 02:50 pm (UTC)
I had several quite older internet friends when I first got online (12, and most of them were in their early to late 20s), and they were all very kind to me. I remember them with fondness, and a bit of wistfulness, as I never paid much attention to their attempts to help. Still, they definitely made an impact on my life. I try to emulate them when I talk to teenagers online, be patient and remember what it was like back then, and remember not to get frustrated when they blithely ignore me. n.n;;

I think Michi was only a few years older than me, perhaps 19 to my 17 (when she died), but she was definitely tons more mature than me. I suspect that comes with dealing with an illness like hers.
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[User Picture]From: ba1126
2009-03-10 03:11 pm (UTC)
I'm quite a bit older than the kids I'm LJ friends with. Besides what I remember from my own high school/college experience "back in the Dark Ages", I have 7 kids of my own, from 43 down to 21, and their experiences are shared. I always try to emphasize asking for help from counselors, RAs, etc. and recommend they try to analyze what went wrong in the situation and work on improving their response next time.
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[User Picture]From: jeffpalmatier
2009-03-09 05:13 pm (UTC)
Mostly, I suspect, there would a sudden shock of, "OMG, that's so sad!" followed by, "OMG. that's an awesome LOLCat!!!!"

I think you've been watching too much Seinfeld recently, sweetie!

I have known people who would have that reaction, and they leave me feeling absolutely disconcerted. However, I think the people who read your journal tend to be deeper and more thoughtful than that.
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[User Picture]From: weds
2009-03-09 05:26 pm (UTC)
There would be a period of mourning. Otherwise, I would probably be very quiet about it, so as not to do you injustice with an inadequately-informed/researched Internets eulogy in the manner I expect would surface all over my flist.

(I am, however, not promising that I wouldn't commission or draw something involving a transporter, a Superman outfit, a wheelchair and the gates of heaven. I would then have to burn it so that it got to you first.)
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[User Picture]From: etain
2009-03-10 12:01 am (UTC)
Honesty is fun!

Death is an inescapable part of life. When I was a kid, my parents never lied to me about it. By the time our pet bird died, I already knew what death was.

I can't remember not knowing what death is. I can't remember ever caring about it.

I'd feel more remorseful for those in your life who it would change--I'd feel impotent and helpless because there would be these people with overwhelming grief I can neither affect nor understand. Knowing how upset they were would make my heart break--quite possibly more for my inability to change this than their own sadness. I don't really know.

But yeah, honestly, it'd come down to a "Zoethe's dead."
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[User Picture]From: ladiefare
2009-03-10 12:02 am (UTC)

Glad I am not

the only person to have had this thought skitter through my head.
I would notice your absence, eventually, as I would if other people who make semi daily/weekly appearances on my FL stopped showing up.I like the posts you make. They are thoughtful and often well thought out.

Note: my first impulse was to use Eddies Cake or death? icon but decided that you and/or others don't know me well enough and may not appreciate the humor I saw in it. Just my twisty sense of humor wanting to be let out.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-03-10 01:00 am (UTC)

Re: Glad I am not

Actually, that would have been an EXCELLENT icon!
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[User Picture]From: lacey
2009-03-10 12:08 am (UTC)
I would miss you very much, and re-read the posts of yours I've memorified. I might post about it, I might not. Probably leave Ferrett a comment or drop him a line.
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[User Picture]From: uplinktruck
2009-03-10 04:44 am (UTC)
That would crush me. And I would forever regret never having met you and never getting the chance to shake the hand of a very smart lady who I've grown to admire in spite of our philosophical disagreements here and there.
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[User Picture]From: mmseason
2009-03-10 11:53 am (UTC)
This gave me a real shock, as it happened to me last week. Found out - purely by chance, through Facebook (where i never look but a failed link dropped me in my update page thingummy - that a friend who goes back more than half my life, though we'd never met, had died suddenly six days before i read about it.

I have so many friends, some i used to know in the flesh, others purely online, that could die without any of their bereaved thinking to let me know. It's something i worry about in the depths of midnight and now it so nearly happened. Would have been Christmas at least before i found out, but for that coincidence.

As for you... i hardly know you, you don't know me at all, but i've heard a lot about you on Ferrett's LJ and feel i know you both. (Oh, the burden of fame.) And i'd mind.

There's been a strange thing in the currents this last month. A friend's mother died on the last day of February too. And there's a feeling...

Not being morbid, or rather, not feeling morbidly about this morbid topic, but just musing. Really odd to see your post today.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-03-10 05:57 pm (UTC)
I am sorry for your loss. It is hard to find out about such things in such a casual way.
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[User Picture]From: que_sara_sara
2009-03-12 01:39 am (UTC)
But... who's going to grab my boobs in the hall at Penguicon now??

(among many other thoughts, this one managed to rise to top)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-03-12 03:05 am (UTC)
ROTFLOL!!!! Awesome.
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[User Picture]From: que_sara_sara
2009-03-12 03:07 am (UTC)
Nice to know you still "love" me. :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2009-03-12 03:11 am (UTC)
Very much so!
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[User Picture]From: que_sara_sara
2009-03-12 03:12 am (UTC)
Yea! :)

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