Saturday, October 8, 2011

Imaginary Friends and Real Friendships

Andy and I have jokingly referred to my online knitting friends as my "imaginary" friends, as I've never actually met any of them and only know many of you via blogs and Ravelry.  Friends all the same, but friends I wouldn't actually recognize in person, and when people ask me how I know this or that person, I have to say, "Well, I haven't."

Tonight I realize how very real these friendships are to me, as I found out tonight that one of my online friends passed away last month.  I knew Janet had cancer, and had been undergoing chemotherapy on and off for as long as I had known her, but she always seemed so upbeat about it that even though it sounded serious, part of me hoped maybe it wasn't.

And it was.

I suspected she was sick early this summer because I hadn't heard from her for a while, and no matter how sick she probably was, she seemed to spend as much time as she could posting encouraging comments on other knitter's blogs.  I sent her a couple letters, and didn't ask what I was afraid to ask:  are you okay?

She died on September 3 at the age of 49, and tonight I am mourning an online knitting friend whom I never met but sorely miss.


Debby said...

I am so sorry. I know exactly how you feel. I have many knitting friends that are as real to me as my friends and have never met. Losing one would be a cause for mourning. Take time to grieve.

tinebeest said...

Sorry to hear this. It hurts to lose a friend- whether you ever met in the real world, or only in the virtual one. Strength to the family and friends of Janet.

(Online friendships are real, and online communities can move mountains when they decide to. I have seen plenty of that happen, and it restores my faith in humanity on those days when you wonder if we are all going to hell in our own individual hand baskets...)

Ella said...

So sorry to hear this. Donne was so right: "No man is an island, entire of itself." We're all connected in ways that might not be obvious at first sight but are as real as they can get.

Mereknits said...

I am so sorry, that is all I can say. I think blogging friends are a special gift to us, and for one to leave so early is just so sad.

toni in florida said...

People who accept and value you as you are, who share in your joy/pain/successes/challenges, who encourage and support you, who share in-jokes with you... these people are your friends, whether or not your physical paths ever cross. Of course you mourn the loss of Janet from the world and from your life. (( Hugs, "Other" Toni. ))