Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he? December 16, 2008 8:33 AM   Subscribe

Its been a tough month, but you are good people. I would like to thank you.

A month ago today, we lost our friend Soulbee.

All I can say is that you guys did exactly what Lexi would have wanted. You came together and responded in sympathy and kindness. I am yet still overwhelmed by the outpouring of support through this community, and there are far too many people than I can possibly thank in one short MeTa thread, but I'm going to take a shot anyway.

piratebowling - thanks for pointing out my mistake early on. I am so very glad I was able to be at Lexi's service.

- you are a solid, thanks for giving me some of your time, it was extremely helpful.

- thanks for pointing out what I couldn't say.

jessamyn - your offer was incredibly kind and I thank you for it.

iamkimiam - thanks for being Lexi's friend. I am sorry for your loss.

Item - Lexi would have wanted you to come out of this doing better. I hope you are.

ikkyu2 - you also are a solid. Thanks for being part of this community and thanks for understanding what I was going through and bearing with me.

nickyskye - thanks for your kind and wise words. I think you and Lexi were something of kindred souls, though you might not have known each other.

- thanks for the donation on behalf of the community. The gesture spoke volumes about the good people around here.

I would also like to especially thank all of the people who posted such beautiful and moving passages in Soulbee's thread, and everyone (too many to mention) who filled up my MeFi mailbox with kind notes.

Many people wondered how Lexi died - understandably. To this day I have no reason to suspect suicide. Her family has chosen not to speak publicly about it and I respect their wishes. All I know is that in her last hours alive, we were chatting and sharing music and talking about Africa. She was favoriting some of my photos from there on flickr. I don't think someone planning their own death would be bothering with favorites.

One of the last things she asked me about was the languages I would have to learn when I returned to Africa more permanently. Lexi, I have good news. Today I accepted the position and I move to Kenya next month. I'll be working all over eastern, southern, and western africa in humanitarian supply chain management. I'll have to learn all those languages we talked about, and then some.

Thanks everybody. My 30th year has been bittersweet, but more sweet than bitter.
posted by allkindsoftime to MetaFilter-Related at 8:33 AM (25 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

I'm sure your friend would be proud of the work you are about to embark on! Good luck.
posted by typewriter at 8:49 AM on December 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

This is the thread you can show people who don't believe that "internet friends" can be real friends.
posted by padraigin at 8:54 AM on December 16, 2008 [15 favorites]

Wow, just Wow. I am so moved by this. I've had a tough few weeks since Lexi passed. My husband has had some serious health issues but things will be fine and I'm so glad to see that you will be fine too. We sponsor a child in Kenya and write letters with her often. It is an amazing place. When my daughter is old enough, I want to take her to meet our "Kenyan sister". I'm so excited for you and I know that Lexi would be too. Please keep us updated on your travels. My best to you...
posted by pearlybob at 8:59 AM on December 16, 2008

This IS why I paid $5. Very moving.
posted by gman at 9:00 AM on December 16, 2008 [1 favorite]

Congratulations on the new job, and I sincerely hope that this next year is less bitter for you. I have been going through a similar weirdness, my life took a dramatic shift on my last birthday, and I'm still trying to settle. Still, this too shall pass.

I'm so glad that you felt such support and kindness from this community, because you are one of the people that I feel consistently brings a fantastic message and new insight around these parts.
posted by piratebowling at 9:03 AM on December 16, 2008

This is the thread you can show people who don't believe that "internet friends" can be real friends.

Well put. It has been kind of weird discussing Lexi's passing with my family and friends, always with the caveat that I never met Lexi "in real life." That's an inaccurate term, because Lexi was a part of my real life, because part of my real life exists on the internet. People seem at an impasse to gauge the appropriate levels to grief in such a circumstance (is there even such a thing? I'm not sure.). That said, my IRL network has been just as kind and supportive as have you all, and I'm thankful for that as well.

We were able to be such fast friends purely because of the fact that the internet separated us - I don't think we could have been friends without that. Lexi was comfortable with our level of friendship because I was safely behind a wall of tubes. We talked about that on a number of occasions, and I know she shared that with her therapists as well. I was also safe, as a friend, because of my plans to be far, far away. We even joked about it at times.

I think there's a wealth of study, introspection, and writing that can be done around the topic of how technology is changing how we interact with each other and our world, and I'd like to write at length about it someday, when I have the time. Its neat to get to experience an exciting time like this. I'm glad I got Lexi for a friend.
posted by allkindsoftime at 9:39 AM on December 16, 2008 [4 favorites]

My condolences are still with you, allkindsoftime, but I am also so very inspired by your words, and by the unmitigated good that is coming from this. Lexi would be very, very proud of you, for certain.
posted by shiu mai baby at 9:50 AM on December 16, 2008

Thanks for sharing, man.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 10:00 AM on December 16, 2008

I am a liquid.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 10:08 AM on December 16, 2008 [2 favorites]

Good luck to you allkindsoftime.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:10 AM on December 16, 2008

This and all the numerous good and downright moving comments on that thread are what make MeFi such a great place. There's a reason I keep on coming back here, and it ain't the snark. Best of luck to you.
posted by ob at 11:52 AM on December 16, 2008

This is a much better MeTalk post than the price of gas one.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:04 PM on December 16, 2008 [6 favorites]

Thanks for updating us! I just realized that the MeMail I thought I sent in response to yours was never sent, which probably means I spent a lot of time composing it in my head and never actually got around to typing it out! Sorry about that.

Regardless, congratulations on the new position - it's good to know that there's people like you trying to make some small difference in the world. :)
posted by HopperFan at 1:55 PM on December 16, 2008

I will never forget the overwhelming outpouring of support, warmth, concern and help from MeFites, when I was pretty much a lurker on here, after my boyfriend died 3 years ago. I've met a number of the people who commented in that thread on my travels since then, and they've become friends in person as well as online.

Yes, there are times in this forum where people will be ripped a new arsehole for voicing an opinion, but the counterbalance to that is the support that's offered in times of need.

I'm sorry you lost such a good friend, allkindsoftime.
posted by essexjan at 2:26 PM on December 16, 2008

It has been noted that Metafilter does some things poorly.

Coming together to rally around one of our own is not one of them, we are really quite good about that.

Which is one of the reasons I spend my time here.
posted by quin at 3:56 PM on December 16, 2008

This thread makes me happy.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:55 PM on December 16, 2008

allkindsoftime, sorry again for your loss, and congratulations on your new position. I hope we get a chance to hang out before you leave for Africa.
posted by onalark at 7:28 PM on December 16, 2008

I'm so glad to hear about your new job! Let me know if you have a chance to grab coffee or something before you go to Kenya.
posted by amicamentis at 8:47 PM on December 16, 2008

I never knew Lexi, but I am sure she would be proud of what you are going to do in Africa. Best of luck.
posted by keijo at 9:29 PM on December 16, 2008

Note: Everyone needs a hug.

I'm fairly certain you just did that. It's a weird thing that we (humans, I mean) so often need tragedy to make us give out the warm fuzzies.

But I guess the important thing is that the warm fuzzies are given out. Good job, allkindsoftime. I'm sorry that it took a death for people to be so nice, but kudos to you for being a good friend and a good person.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:35 PM on December 16, 2008

Wow. I hate to think that you had to lose a friend for it to happen, but I keep coming back to the thought that there is some kind of balancing force in the universe that repays us equivalent to how it punishes us. I have to, otherwise so much of what happens on this rock simply makes no kind of sense. I hope your move to Kenya and subsequent adventures mitigates your loss, even if it never goes away.

... Lexi was a part of my real life, because part of my real life exists on the internet.
Sometimes, I think that the part of my life lived on the Internet is more real than the real part. I've never felt as accepted for who and what I am than here amongst the tubes. I know that most of that is the fact that it's pretty easy to take someone in small doses when you can walk away from the computer without them even knowing and not so easy to like someone you interact with face-to-face, but there is some kind of bizarre community feel to places like this that I've never experienced with actual humans. Maybe that says more about my lack of interest in people than anything, but there it is.
posted by dg at 12:46 AM on December 17, 2008

Best of luck to you, allkindsoftime.

Between this and my Secret Quonsar, MeFi has made me go all smooshy this evening. Too bad I couldn't go to the Beantown Meetup for a triple play.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:40 PM on December 17, 2008

So, I never quote poems. Never. But I've read your words about your friend, Lexi, and in reading your title, "Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?" I was reminded of this poem, "Death is nothing at all".

Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I and you are you,
Whatever we were to each other, that we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
Put no difference in your tone,
wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow,
laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Pray smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort,
without the trace of a shadow in it.
Life means all that it ever meant,
it is the same as it ever was.
There is unbroken continuity,
why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you
somewhere very near
just around the corner.
All is well

(Christina Georgina Rossetti 1830 - 1894)

May your time in Africa be joyous, allkindsoftime.
posted by anitanita at 8:54 PM on December 18, 2008 [2 favorites]

Aw, fuck. You made me cry.

No, seriously. This isn't some postironic bullshit. That poem, especially in this context, just made me cry.

Thank you, I think.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:44 PM on December 18, 2008

Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling into at night. (Edna St. Vincent Millay)
posted by allkindsoftime at 9:48 AM on December 30, 2008 [3 favorites]

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