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Kardamom's avatar

Is anyone else having problems mourning Auggie?

Asked by Kardamom (30251points) 1 month ago from iPhone

Fluther for me has always been completely separated, and private, and hidden, from my friends in real life. I want it to remain that way. Otherwise, I can’t answer questions completely honestly.

I need the anonymity. Not from Fluther members, because if you have read my Qs and As, you all know where I stand.

But Auggie leaving us has sucker punched me in a way that I can’t describe. Obviously me, and everyone on this site (and the others where we all gather) is probably still reeling from the blow. This site is not known (and will never be known) to people IRL, lest I have to leave.

But because of our (or at least mine) anonymity, my friends and family IRL, probably wonder what is wrong with me, because I’m pretty sure I’m not myself, and I can’t/won’t say.

Please don’t suggest that I just tell everyone, and share this site. I decided in 2010, when I joined this site, that I could not be useful or effective if I shared all of this with everyone.

I realize that some of you are completely happy and comfortable mingling this world with your “regular” world, but some of us need to keep our worlds separate.

I am just feeling the pain of a huge loss, while at the same time, trying to keep my shit together.

I’m just wondering how some of the rest of you are coping with this loss.

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33 Answers

Aethelwine's avatar

I’m probably going to regret this in the morning for getting so personal here but I’ll go ahead and share this. It’s something I shared tonight with friends and family. I’m hurting terribly:

It took me two years to get over the loss of an online friendship with someone I cared deeply for. They gave up on me when I was going through a very difficult time. I never harbored any ill feelings but I was devastated. I cried many tears that would often come out of nowhere. It was especially difficult because we had many mutual friends. I had to block her several times because it hurt whenever I saw her communicating with our mutual friends. I felt so left out. So dismissed. Just recently I finally learned to deal with the grief. It became easier to see her face here on FB though it still stung just a little bit.

I found out that she passed away this week. The pain has come back tenfold. I see all the people in her life who remained and had the privilege to know her better and hear her stories about her amazing daughters. She always gushed about her daughters and she had every reason to. They are as amazing as she was. I’ve missed out and I’ll never get a chance to have it back. I’ve been grieving for two years and now it’s going to continue.

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mazingerz88's avatar

Only been in Fluther probably around seven years and inactive for the last three but enough time to get familiar with jellies who I think had left and a few had passed away.

I can’t even remember the name anymore of the very first jelly who died and only found out about it a few years later. That hit hard. As well as all the rest that followed which I was thankful to have been aware of.

This one is the hardest.

janbb's avatar

I do most of my grieving internally so not many people would know. If it is something that is obvious to others, I might say “I lost a dear online friend of many years.” Since I often meet up with Jellies in other parts of the country, when people ask how I met them I will say, “On an online Q&A site.” It doesn’t need to go any further than that.

canidmajor's avatar

Because social media and the internet have been around for so long now, very few people will think it odd, the grieving the loss of an online friend. We all understand when people grieve the loss of a celebrity whose work affected them deeply, the grief over the loss of someone you actually knew personally is not at all unusual.
I have told a number of people about this loss, why I am sad, nobody thinks it’s weird.

rebbel's avatar

I’m just making this up, while reading the above answers, and listening and reflecting to and on my own feelings:
I think if I will tell people around me what’s going on (since they might sense something is going on) I will tell them a friend has passed away; not so much an online friend, as an actual friend.
You’ll likely, in these days (although @canidmajor ‘s observations about social media being so widespread and normal/part of everybody’s life) receive more understanding, and sympathy/empathy (than if you tell it was an online friend you lost).
Yesterday I went to the doctor for something and he asked me, in order to rule stuff out, if something has happened, like an accident, or other major event.
I told him told I lost a friend, but I said with that, that it was an online friend (“of ten years” I added).
He shrugged it away (was my observation/perception).
Later I told my girlfriend (we’re 3000km apart) and she had a total different reaction (understanding and comforting).
She’s not a part of Fluther, she knows I’m here though.
And she knows how social media/online fora etc. work.
I guess it depends on the person we tell it to, and maybe we should take that into account before we open up.
I feel it hit me harder than I thought it would (even after Gail’s passing), mainly because I thought I had toughen up a bit in the following years, but I was wrong.
Online friends are friends.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Yes, I am struggling a lot with this, though maybe in a slightly different way. I’m so glad you made this post.

I have felt like I am floundering the past 2 days with no one to talk to about what I’m truly feeling. Everyone is grieving, everyone is suffering this loss, we as a community recognize what these relationships mean and the people in my life have been kind in recognizing that I lost someone I care about. I’m not afraid to tell people that I lost an online friend, I’m just struggling to communicate the gravity of it. My relationship with Lisa was profoundly special to me, this is a big loss and so I’m left with that sense of disenfranchised grief, like I can’t quite connect with others in how much I am hurting. And, although I recognize everyone here is also hurting and many of you are feeling exactly as I am about her passing, I have been removed from this site and community for so long that it’s almost unusual to reach out even here. I have been open publicly that I have suffered a loss, but I think what any grieving person is hoping to find is that connection from others who can see the weight of your pain. With online relationships that can be harder to see, even though it shouldn’t be that way.

You’re not alone. It hit really hard. <3

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KNOWITALL's avatar

I didn’t know until I read this post. Another blindside from not being here every day, like adirondack. That sucks, a lot.

Jeruba's avatar

Why not say you’re struggling with some things from your past that have come up to bother you? Everybody has something, some troubling memory. It could have been triggered by a book you read or something you saw on TV. And you’d rather talk about it with an objective party such as a therapist (or a hair stylist or a bartender) than go into it with anyone you’re close to.

Just don’t sound too mysterious about it or they’re apt to push out of curiosity (and caring).

I said I’d lost a friend from an online community I frequent. I didn’t have to give a lot of detail.

Your family is probably already aware that you’re active in some kind of online community unless you do all your posting and reading when nobody’s around. The way you research your answers and create long, detailed posts may communicate your level of involvement as well. They might be more understanding than you think—?

Jeruba's avatar

I have to amend my answer above because it doesn’t sound the way I meant it. I’m not suggesting making up a lie as an excuse. I’m never in favor of that.

But our past relationships with Lisa are past now, sad to say, and her death is a big loss. So it bothers us.

Let them think about what might have caused it or brought it up. You don’t have to say anything other than that you have to deal with it in private because that’s what works best for you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Mine is internalized. I’ve always dealt with grief privately, and put on a different face for the public. I’m taking it out on my curtain project.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

This is so much like what we went through with Gail. So so heartbreaking.

Dutchess_III's avatar

With Gail we had some warning. I don’t know which is worse, though.

So good to see so many Jellies here.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

My girlfriend and I were out for a walk today along Lake Huron. The beach was covered with ice and snow and there was driftwood everywhere. While walking, I looked down on the ground and saw a flat piece of driftwood. It had a capital “A” carved into it. I pointed it out to my girlfriend, but didn’t think more about it until I got home.

I thought about Auggie the whole time that we were walking.

I want to go back and find that piece of driftwood and take a picture for you all.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh. If you can that would be so wonderful.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

I will head out in a short bit!

Mama_Cakes's avatar

I don’t remember how to post links properly.

https://instagram.com/p/BsoRfwynxLa/

Swipe over to see the second photo.

Dutchess_III's avatar

(((( ♥ ))))

hearkat's avatar

I’ve lost more people from online friendships than I have people I’ve known in person. Since I’m pretty much the same me in both scenarios, I’ve not had a hard time telling people about my online relationships. If someone didn’t understand, I’d explain that in some settings, we can get to know people even better online, because the conversations tend to get right to the core of the topic without the fluff of social niceties or distractions of physical presence.

I posted this link on Facebook a few months ago, and shared it again when I learned of Auggie’s death. I don’t know id anyone has shared it here, because I only just logged in. I don’t know if it will be of any help to your specific situation though, @Kardamom.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/10/well/family/how-to-grieve-online-friends-you-never-met-in-person.html

My own difficulty with grieving for Auggie is because it coincided with my own heart problems. Wednesday morning, I woke up with heart palpitations and a wicked headache and went to the ER. I have condition that they are able to treat with a medication that stops your heart for a moment, then it starts up again normally. So I sat and watched everyone staring at the monitor as I flatlined and waited for it to start again. It’s a surreal experience.

The fact that Auggie and I were about the same age and we both had heart issues Wednesday morning, but she didn’t wake up and I did has shaken me. Part of me feels like I would change places if I could—my son is older than her girls, and far fewer people would miss me. On the other hand, part of me is feeling my mortality extra hard because of this loss and the circumstances, which has opened a whole other can of worms.

I was raised strictly religious and became agnostic as I grew up, but I had a tremendous fear of death for a while. As I’ve gotten older and have found self-contentment, I feel like I’m OK with dying on some levels; but then when I contemplate not existing and the what-ifs about the great unknown and the dread sets in. So it’s got me in an existential funk that I cannot be resolved.

Jeruba's avatar

@Mama_Cakes, that was great. Thanks.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I’m so sorry that you are grieving @Kardamom. I don’t think I can offer any good help for you, because you can’t talk about it to your loved ones outside this site. I just want to say that I was in the same situation too, when my friends died. I just didn’t have anyone to talk about it, so I was forced to drag through life despite my grieving. At one point I received the news about the death, and it was time for work! I don’t think even if you talked to your people, they would understand. Online friendship is surrounded by stigma unfortunately, and it’s easy to get into a situation when people start questioning stuff like “how did you guys meet? Have you ever met face to face? Why do you put so much trust in a stranger? Don’t you value real life interaction? Do you even have a life? Don’t you ever suspect this is a scam all along?” I don’t know about you but that’s definitely what would happen to me if I talked about my friends’ death.

While I was mourning, I talked to my jelly friends. That was the only thing I could do. And it helped a lot. It is better to have someone who understand where you are coming from. If you want, you can talk to me. I may not be able to offer any solution, but I can lend an ear.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I think the first jelly that I knew we lost was the Crow. Even though a lot of weird things came out later, if affected me stronger than I could have imagined.

I guess a bond, is a bond. If we couldn’t see, or touch each other, we would still develope a bond that could hurt us when we lose them.
The pond is a community. When we lose a member, we lose a friend, and contributor. This is another huge loss.
All we can do is mourn, remember, never stop loving, and never give up…

Journey well Auggie.

Peace n love.

Mariah's avatar

I feel the same way about people in “real life” finding Fluther. I would hate that. But, people generally know that I spend a good amount of my time participating in online discussions (on various sites) and have made online friends. I just told my boyfriend and parents that a close online friend had passed away and they understood – no further questions.

I’m sorry you’re having trouble with this. I am too. In a way, it’s almost nice that work has been so overbearing lately – I’m thinking about Lisa most of the time when I’m not working, these last few days.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

@Kardamom, just say you’ve lost a friend. That’s the truth. You don’t need to say Lisa was an online friend. She was someone you cared about, probably more than you do many people you know in your face-to-face world.

If you need to talk, you know how to contact me. Reach out to people here or via Facebook if you feel you need someone to talk to who will understand.

filmfann's avatar

Last week Lisa and a former co-worker both passed, and I am having issues with depression (from which I have suffered all my life). I wish there was some kind of a funeral I could easily attend, to share the grief.

XOIIO's avatar

Fuck, that sucks, just finding out now. Didn’t get a chance to interact with her in the on/off revisit I’ve done for the past little bit.

Going to be weird not seeing her pop up everywhere anymore.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yesterday her WWF games came up. I was just going to leave them in the “Their move” section…but they came up as they lost by default due to “Timed out.” It’s been 14 days.

janbb's avatar

@mangeons A huge hug for you!!

chyna's avatar

Oh @mangeons ! Hugs and much love to you and your sisters. Lisa was a very special woman, as you know.

Kardamom's avatar

@mangeons Your mom has been a major inspiration in my life. I am so sorry, and devastated, for your loss. All of our loss. She was so loved and respected by so many people. I can only hope to live up to her example <3

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