She had been an internet chum for over five years. And today she will be removed from any life support systems in her hospital room, having suffered a stroke on Sunday several weeks back.
My friend Karen always, yes always, had a witty and engaging response to any queries or statements that were poised and posted. She was a compassionate, dreamy, and clever child of the Sixties, in both demeanor and reality.
Although she was from Kansas and I, from North Carolina, we were at the same place in life in both expectations and priorities.
I don’t know what else I can mention. That’s one of the greatest frustrations with internet relationships: we never learn how to define them. We flounder in any attempts to mourn or grieve appropriately and to our satisfaction.
In a perfect world and on a perfect day, it would be wonderful to be able to boast that our more meaningful relationships are with neighbors, relatives, co-workers, … and folks that live down the road and can meet us for a spontaneous dinner at a downtown bistro. (I use the term “bistro” in the broadest and most forgiving of senses.)
It’s very likely that a few of the most honest, compassionate, and rewarding friendships we have today are with those met on social media sites. We can text back and forth all night long while we’re dressed in worn robes and with hair, a fright.
Although I know that I often struggle to isolate any innuendo or sarcasm. Any discourse can blossom even in the glistening charcoal stillness that frames the moon shadows. And we now carry the internet with us 24 hours a day.
Unfortunately, I still flounder when it comes to resolution or even just blowing the dust of of relationships. I just don’t know what to say or how to say it.
Except that I miss my friend from Kansas and teeter on heartbreak.
(Image: “Shakespeare’s Ariel” by Maud Tindal Atkinson, 1914.)