It all started on the fail blog, where somebody posted this little gem:
As utterly idiotic as the question was, it made me think. In a few decades, an entire generation will be immortalized through facebook a-la Anne Frank's diary, and I just don't know what to make of it.
I was putzing around on one of my facebook apps (farm town, btw) and I had received an automated message from a facebook friend who recently passed away. My first thought was "UN-FRIEND ASAP," but I went to look at his page, and found that it was filled entirely with stories his close friends would never forget, condolences to his family, and even a few messages TO him from folks whose beliefs promised that was not weird. It was very nice. A virtual memorial, in a sense, so I kept him as a "friend."
This is not about facebook, though, the real story here goes back to livejournal. Livejournal was my best friend from 2001-2009. It helped me keep in touch with old friends who moved away, it was a place I could vent or gush about whatever was happening in my life, and it opened doors to a few quite intimate virtual friendships that opened my eyes to things, helped me, changed me, etc.
There was one girl in particular, whom I added because her profile really grabbed me - a quirky, outspoken bibliophile from Texas who seemed to have quite the unique outlook on life. Her journal drew me in instantly - she was immensely intelligent far beyond her years, and the comments she left on my own journal entries always made me think.
In 2007, she sort of disappeared off the face of the internet - and I worried. Between her accidental pregnancy and toxic boyfriend and everything else in her life it was not too surprising, though very curious. Her sudden absence became as permeating as her effervescent presence, so I searched, though not obsessively, and soon stopped.
I recently had e-mail correspondence with another individual sincerely wondering what had happened. I said I did not know, but hoped he'd let me know if he learned anything. This afternoon my worst fears were confirmed. The only relief lay in the fact that it was not an overdose or suicide or anything else that could have been prevented, but a serious medical condition.
She has been gone for two-and-a-half years, in which time I have mourned her absence, yet I still am completely blown away by her death. I lit a candle and began writing, because that is what I do. Of course I wanted it to be some sort of tribute or memorial, but I just don't know what to say. I'm sure I will publish this, but it is more for me and not you. I was hoping I might make sense of the whole thing through writing, but I can't. I hoped to bring myself to a profound conclusion, but one can not be drawn. It is what it is - life&death - because of the photo he sent me, I will always remember her smille. And so to S: I will miss you forever. Love, Megan (NOT Meghan).
[respectfully added 1/10/10 courtesy of postsecret]