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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A tribute.... to a friend I never had the privilege of actually meeting...

If you know someone, only in an online capacity, do you still know them? Should you still be entitled to grieve because they are gone too soon? Should you allow yourself the tears, the lump in the throat, the quivering chin? 
Is it your right to have your heart broken by the loss of someone you know only through some lovely exchanges in email and chats online and in sharing each others creativity?

Today I learned of the unexpected death of a fellow blogger, Charlane, she was taken from us too soon and that my friends is a fact. I know it's a fact because on many occasions we talked about getting together and having a little 'blogapalooza'. We planned to take pictures, and talk, and laugh and share our experiences with one another, me hoping to learn from her amazing talent and she no doubt hoping to share her knowledge with someone younger who obviously needs the benefit of her amazing abilities. Of course, life happens and you tell each other, well maybe in the fall when it's cooler, or maybe in the Spring when there's less going on... maybe after the next business trip, the next family vacation... and so it goes until it's entirely too late... and all too soon .... she's gone. 

It's been a very strange few hours since I learned the tragic news, I have gone through a myriad of emotions and thoughts about the last exchange we had... actually... just the other day I had checked on her blog and saw that she was extremely busy and had a lot to look forward to. I remember typing a comment something like apologies for not stopping by, thinking about you, will email and catch up... but the comment was not there when I looked today. Did I not hit the "submit" button? How many times has that happened in my haste to keep up with my onliners??  I was a little confused and thought, well at least I know that her last post was a very happy positive one, but honestly most of them were, that's the person she was, upbeat and positive. 

I was probably  definitely wallowing a little in my own feelings of sadness and grief wondering what in the world could have happened? I'm like that, it's all about me see.  But then, out of the blue the UPS man arrived at the door, and I was embarrassed to be seen in such a sniveling state on a Wednesday afternoon but I didn't bother to offer an explanation. He left and I opened the package which was the most beautiful box of cookies... in a bright green and yellow box with a lovely ribbon. They looked divine... and I didn't have my camera on me... should have used the phone but it seemed they deserved more justice than my crappy phone camera. Immediately I saw it as a sign, I know I'm weird with all my signs lately, this is the comment on Char's profile; Life is too short to waste a single day, eat cookies, dance when no one is looking and try to be as happy as you can. 

So my friends although the label said something else, I saw it as a sign from my friend, a reminder that although she's gone her spirit lives on in so many ways. I will treasure the advice and encouragement she has given, especially with my newly formed photography business. Char was the first one I turned to for advice and as ever she was very happy to help me out, for that I'm eternally grateful. 

I celebrate you my friend, I hold dear the place you occupied in my life and heart, I will miss you tremendously but will always hope to follow your shining example of friendship and giving. I promise to pay it forward and be glad for the time we knew each other, and yes I'll eat cookies and be happy.

The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is a little something "extra."
–Jimmy Johnson 


Brian Miller said...

i am sorry for your loss...lost several blog friends last year...and it is real pain...

Mandy_Fish said...

This is lovely. You've got me in tears again, but good tears. Such sweet memories of Char.

beth said...

i loved what you wrote....char and i had talked about getting together, too....she loved seaside and i was down there in january, but she could't get off work to come visit.

i will miss her terribly.

KCLAnderson (Karen) said...

What a beautiful tribute to your friend...and I am so very sorry for you loss.

And thank you for so eloquently expressing what it's like to have online friends...and just how powerful a force they are in our lives, whether we've met them face-to-face or not. In fact, I'd go as far to say that some of my online friends are better friends than the one's I know "in real life."

I made my first real online friend in 1994 when I posted a personal ad on AOL's old romance connection and met my husband as a result :-)

Since then, I've made MANY friends in many online venues. I've had the great fortune of meeting some of them, but not all. In fact, it was one of my online friends who pointed me in the direction of this post and said, "this is how I feel about you."

Anyway...thank you again.

Ali said...

Karen, thank u for commenting, and im glad your friend used my words to show you how they feel...that makes me smile. I have friends who don't use the web like I do and I sometimes think they're kinda giving me a sidesways look, but I have some precious friends here and give them as much of me if not more than my irl friends....cyber hugs work too. ")

Eva said...

Beautiful words for a beautiful lady.

stephanie said...

What a wonderful post for such a wonderful woman. She will be missed a great deal.

Indiri said...

What a lovely tribute for such a lovely soul.

Anonymous said...

Just beautiful. I knew Char too from our blogs and photography. She was my partner in facebook games as well, lol.

You're right though... Char would be telling us life is too short... make some cookies.