I just learned that Alice Payne from Alice’s Bucket List passed away yesterday from cancer. She was 17 years old.
I never met her, but that doesn’t stop me from being affected by her passing. I’m sad and crying tears for her and her family. I read her blog and followed her story for just over a year and a half, basically ever since she started her blog. That was enough. I didn’t need to meet Alice to know she was an amazing young girl and a great inspiration.
While crying for Alice this evening, I was reminded of the first time I cried for someone else I had only met online. Her name was Ailee, she was a werewolf and I was a druid. We both played the game Midnight Sun* (multiplayer real-time virtual world, text only). I didn’t know her very well in the game, but most everyone was friendly with everyone else. I remember hearing that she just died one day. I don’t know if I ever knew the reason she died, or if I’ve just forgotten after all these years. What I remember the most is that in the game she was married to Crusader and they were supposed to meet later that year face to face for the first time because they were boyfriend and girlfriend IRL (in real life). They had made an online connection that moved into the real world and was more powerful than two people just playing a game. I was so heart broken that Ailee and Crusader would never get the chance to meet in person. She was gone too soon. I sat in front of my computer and cried huge sobbing tears for Ailee, on several occasions.It’s “funny” how people we’ve never met in person can have such a big and lasting impact on our lives. They need not die for their presence to impact us, but sometimes it just happens that way. For me, it was first the people I met in my games, then years later different chat/message boards and now it is the blogging community.
I may never meet you, but you have left a lasting impression in my life. Thank you.
*This is the game where I met Mr Siili. And it just so happened that we had met face to face for the first time about a month before Ailee died in 1998.