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Grief in the Digital Era: Mourning A Virtual Friend

traveltext Member Posts: 1,050
edited August 2022 in May Their Memory Live On

Ive written this article to both reflect on the passing of a long-term BCO member of the IBC forums, and examine how possibly we can deal with grief in our digital world where true identity is masked by an avatar.


  • Member Posts: 1,435

    Wow. What a wonderful article and gorgeous tribute to Amarantha.

    I am teary-eyed, both in thinking about the loss of Amarantha and in thinking about some of my amazing BCO virtual friends from over the years who have passed away and who I can recall vividly, despite being only virtual friends, and still mourn and miss many years later.

  • bcincolorado
    bcincolorado Member Posts: 4,685

    Thank you for sharing.

  • sunshine99
    sunshine99 Member Posts: 2,480

    Traveltext, thank you for writing this. As I read posts of others, I often look to see when their latest activity was. If it's within the past few days, I breathe a sigh of relief. "Oh, good, they're still with us!" Sometimes, there has been no activity for a long time. I wonder, "Are they still with us?" I hate this disease.

    It's a beautiful article. Am I able to share it with my virtual friends?

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 13,002

    Oh Traveltext - that is just beautiful. There are so many that are gone. I appreciate it when a husband or daughter or sister comes back & posts to let us know that in fact our CLOSE long time virtual friend is gone. I've been so grateful to actually meet 8 or 10 BCO members in my travels. It's such a wonderful experience to put a face to someone you've come to know very well - even intimately - although virtually.

  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 1,050

    Sunshine, yes of course you can share the article. I know the feeling you get wondering about people here, as in where did they go, or have they passed? I wonder if the account settings shouldn't have some options for, those who wish, to include more contact details.

    Beesie, thanks for your nice comments. Amarantha could well represent any of the many wonderful people who have come and gone from BCO. I think we should all remember them, and we should all be thankful for the fellowship that BCO has allowed us to be a part of.

    MinusTwo, You knew Amarantha as much as any of us and, like you, I would have loved a comment from a family member when she passed. But, we have retrieved much to remember Amarantha by and it's most fortunate that her posts were not deleted from this site. I'd like BCO Moderators to consider changes to the account settings so that a person could request their posts remain in perpetuity.

  • betrayal
    betrayal Member Posts: 1,985

    What a wonderful homage to a "virtual friend". It's a shame her family is unable to see or comment on how much she was loved by others.

  • cm2020
    cm2020 Member Posts: 530

    What a beautiful tribute for a beautiful woman taken far too soon at the hand of this cruel disease. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,691

    This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing!!

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769

    Traveltext - thank you for this beautiful article. I have become close to members I've met here; several who I consider family. I've interacted with many others on this site and all of them have had some sort of impact on me throughout my dx/tx and it hurts just the same when any one of our BCO family members pass.

  • traveltext
    traveltext Member Posts: 1,050

    Thanks serendipity09. Some people really shine through in their posts and I think it's these people we connect with, even when it's a virtual relationship. Perhaps it's not really necessary to know these people in reality, but so many of us on the IBC thread wanted more information on Amarantha so I took on the web search project. Our love of this person, garnered only through her posts, was confirmed when the real person's life came to light. You've obviously found out that with your friends, too.