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.