Sunday, April 5, 2009

And Yet Somehow the World Keeps on Spinning

I attended a funeral on the Internet today. For a woman I never met. For a woman who touched my life and the lives of hundreds (thousands?) of other people who never met her. She wasn’t a celebrity. She wasn’t famous. She was just a funny, smart, sassmouthed woman who was trying her best to raise her son, love her husband, be a good person and beat a deadly disease. She was an inspiration. I’m sorry that she’s gone and I’m sorry that her son will grow up without her there. I’m grateful that I got to “know” her for a short time.

I tried explaining this to my boss and to one of my friends. Neither got it. It should be said that neither judged me, but they didn’t understand. I probably wouldn’t have either if I didn’t “know” these wonderful, wonderful people. You, wonderful, wonderful people.

I’ve never been to a funeral/memorial service on the Internet before. It was cathartic. It was different and new, yet very familiar and intimate and sad all the same. The only difference was that I could cry openly and not have to put on my brave face. I felt like I was surrounded by friends and people who loved her and wanted to celebrate her life.

I didn’t know Amanda very well and won’t cheapen her memory by trying to pretend that we were friends. We weren’t. We were Facebook friends, for whatever that’s worth and I read her blog, but we didn’t exchange correspondence. However, her life and her passing affected me deeply. I’ve been grieving for her and her family all week. Knowing what lies ahead for her little boy. Knowing what it’s like to grow up without a mother and empathizing with how hard it must have been for her knowing that she had to leave him. She made a huge mark on this world. I hope her husband and son and parents are able to get some comfort from that someday. I hope her son will always know just how cool his mama was.

See ya' later, ‘Manda. You’re so cool. You’re so cool. You’re so cool.


jM said...

It was such a sad/amazing experience. I feel lucky to have known her/of her at all. It left me feeling strangely happy. Happy that I was even a part of it and happy that stumbled onto our little corner of the internet when I did because, goddamn, you people are awesome.

Oh, and ////////. I think I just need to get that out of my system.

Lainey said...

jM, it was a strange feeling, wasn't it? Her father was sooo composed and charming and funny and I got such a sense of what Amanda must have been like in person and that made me happy. And I can't stress it enough, the fact that all of you were there, made it feel so special; so unique. I really can't remember what my life was like before all of you amazing people were in it and I don't want to know what it would be like without you guys. I'm so enamored of all of you!

lordhelmet said...

That was my first online funeral and it was quite the experience. I really wish I'd known Pink better, but while the service underscored how awesome she was and how much I'd missed out, connecting with everyone there in our own way (without offending friends and family who were there) was very meaningful. Seriously, online services are the way to go, for weddings and funerals! - no drunk uncles saying inappropriate things, no pervy old men pinching butts, no overly weepy aunts wearing too much perfume, and no babies trying to read your soul's darkest secrets while you try focus. It's a triple-win for everyone!

Ahem. That's to say, word, Lainey. Manda got the send-off she deserved, from those she knew in person and from a rowdy, randy group of online miscreants scattered over the globe. What a way to celebrate her life.

Lainey said...

It really was something. I'm glad we had the opportunity to "be there" and I think she would have been pleased. It was especially touching to me when everyone said where they were. Seeing that she reached people all over the world was very affecting. "You can't stop the signal".

(Yes. I'm a dork. I don't care. It seemed appropriate in this instance.)