A cyber friend just died.
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mbriant

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I met Lillian about 7 years ago through MSN when I first got online. I was extremely curious about this "new" means of communication and checked out everything I could find on the net, including various pen pal and chat room sites, but now can't remember exactly where or how Lillian and I originally met.

We only chatted online a couple of times, exchanged some basic info about ourselves but started sending each other internet jokes via e-mail. ( I know she was a few years older than me, was originally from Arkansas, recently had moved to Michigan, and that she was a nurse of some sort...and that's about it.)

Every once in awhile, if a certain joke struck us as extra funny, we'd send a short note with a comment about it, or just a "thanks for sending", but other than that, we hadn't really had any sort of real conversation since our first contact 7 years ago. We never met in person, talked on the phone, or sent photos of each other.

About an hour ago I received an e-mail from her father, telling me that he was sorry to advise me ( and everyone else who was on her joke list) that Lillian had died yesterday morning of a massive heart attack at 9:30 AM while making breakfast. The only other thing in the e-mail was info on when and where her funeral will be held.

This has really upset me.

I've had several close friends and family members die over the years but this is the first time a cyber friend has passed away. I'm surprised it hurts so much, since I really hardly knew her or anything about her. I wish now I had at least spoken to her once on the phone, or had swapped photos or something.

It's all very strange.
 
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HighwayStar

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My condolences Mike. Maybe it might feel strange as it wasn't a conventional relationship, but she was in your life for quite some time, despite the method of communication. It's very hard to lose a friend. Hang in there.
 
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andrzejpw

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Sorry mbriant. My deepest sympathies go out to you and your friend, wherever she may be.
 
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Hirsch

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Mike, I'm sorry to hear about this. It's a sobering reminder that there are real people behind the pixels you see on the screen, and electronic friendships can sometimes be as powerful as those with people you've met in the flesh.
 
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squirt

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mbriant, you have my sympathies...i can understand how cyber friends can be just as close to you as any you know in person...i also lost a cyber friend several years ago...She was an avid astronomy buff and we would meet in an astronomy chat room with others...She was an American Indian named Lyssa Morningstar and she was an expert in all things astronomy and very helpful to me as a budding astronomy buff. Unfortunately she had a serious epilepsy condition that made things difficult for her as one can imagine...We spent countless nights chatting about the stars and planets over a period of a few years. Then she just stopped coming to the room. It was about as month later I learned she had died suddenly, evidently after suffering a severe seizure while she was online...Her twin brother found her body next to the computer...Although i never met her in person, Lyssa's death was devastating to me and i still feel her loss and i still think about her each and everytime i gaze at the stars...
 
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Onix

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I am so sorry Mike. It's very hard to loose a friend, even if you never actually meet each other.
 
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neil

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Sorry to hear about this Mike. I also have a few cyber friends that I've met online many years ago, but have yet to really meet in person -- I can even think of a couple good friendships in particular. Funny, sometimes when I run into something funny or just feel like saying hello to someone to side, I'll pick those friends first. I'll say a prayer for Lillian and her family.
 
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carlo

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mbriant, i wish you well as you go through this man... my deepest condolences.
 
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mbriant

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Thanks everyone. I'm surprised I even started this thread. I guess I needed to talk about it and this seemed like the logical place to do it. It seems I was right.

Thanks again.
 
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