It is hard to explain to people who are not in the internet/blogging world, the friendships you can develop with someone you have never met in person. This is especially true for people who read and write personal or journal style blogs like mine. Writing these blogs, you open yourself up to the people who stop by and are for some reason interested in your pedestrian life (I mean my life is pedestrian, not yours). Reading these type of blogs, you get a small window into who they are, their ups and downs and the little stories that make up the threads of their lives.
One such friend was Greg. Greg was a fellow blogger back in the early days of blogging. He found my first blog way back in 2003 (holy cow 10 years next year!) through the H-Town blogs website (any old timers remember that place? If so you are an old blogger). I took that site down for a while, tried different blogs and names and reappeared a few years later with Photine. Greg remembered me from the first time around and became a regular commenter on my blog. We exchanged emails, had late night chats on Yahoo and even talked on the phone on occasion. Greg was a musician, he was very funny and he was sweet.
Personal blogs have somewhat fallen out of fashion (although I stubbornly still love mine and love doing it) and life gets busy so Greg and I hadn't talked as much lately as we did a few years ago. Our conversations and quick comments moved to Facebook (the killer of blogging in many ways). Greg was one of those people though that always had a special place in my heart.
Today is Greg's birthday as Facebook was so kind to inform me. I will admit that sometimes I skip sending birthday greetings and sometimes I just plain forget. But I did not want to skip or miss this one. I clicked over to his page and saw the flood of birthday messages, all of them with RIP at the end. I started scrolling down and my brain started doing that thing where it is shouting at you but you don't want to hear what it says so it just becomes white noise. I finally hit a post from his brother in law that explained all. Greg was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer this summer and passed away about 5 weeks after he found out.
My heart breaks and I cry tonight for my friend. I cry because I didn't know, I cry because I won't get random posts or comments from him anymore, I cry because although we lived in the same city we never had the chance to meet. This may only make sense to people who blog or are on the internet a lot but friendships you make here are as real as the flesh and blood friendships. The pain of loss is just as real.
Happy Birthday to you Greg. I'm going to miss you.