This morning, I read an article in the newspaper entitled "Death Often Leaves Online Lives in Limbo". Did ya'll read that article? The article pointed out that when people die, often the family does not know about their internet "friends", or the family does not know the passwords to get into the places on the internet where their family member had made friends. One man was in the middle of an on-going, on-line game, and suddenly he wasn't there anymore. His on-line buddies thought they had made him angry. As I was reading it, I kept thinking that this could happen to me, and maybe it has happened to some of you. I could be in limbo, wondering what ever happened to someone whom I had considered a friend. We have all "talked" in blog postings about how many friends we have made in Blogland. As I read the article, I kept thinking "maybe I should do a post about this; maybe there are some bloggers whose families would not know that their cyber friends should be contacted in the event of a sudden hospitalization, an accident, or their death". It's not something we like thinking about, but we all know it is going to happen. Does your family know how to contact your blog readers, or your Facebook Friends, or your email contacts if something happens to you? It doesn't have to be because of death. If you are suddenly hospitalized for some reason, would your family let me know, so that I could pray for you.
I THINK my children would know they should contact Blogland. After all, they constantly whisper about me being on the computer almost every time they come in my house (I think they are planning an intervention), and I don't think they'd have any problem getting onto my blog to post a message for other Blogland citizens. After reading the article, I decided that I will talk to them to make sure that they could and would do that. My friend, Susie, knows how to post a comment on my blog, so I have asked her to be the backup in case my children don't remember to let you know. I just don't want anybody to be left in limbo wondering what ever happened to that blogger -- what was her name -- the bargain hunter?
I had decided that I did not need to post about this, because my blog readers are all much more computer savvy than me. Most of them have been at this blogging a lot longer than me, and they would have the good sense to know there should be a plan in place in the event of their sudden illness, accident, or death.
Now, you tell me, is this a coincidence, or was God telling me to do a post about this?
This afternoon, I received an email from the email address of a former blogging buddy of mine. When I saw her email address, I was so excited, because I had not heard from her in months. Do any of you remember Nanette at A Tale of Magical Memories? She always left such lovely comments on blogs. Her blog disappeared in January. Her husband had been very ill (he had an infection in his brain), and had been in and out of the hospital a lot. I knew that he had come home from the hospital right before Christmas, so I assumed that he had become ill again. Her last post was a post of appreciation for all who had helped her through the tough times she had while he was hospitalized. After that post, when I clicked on her blog name, a message from Blogger said this site is not available, but this blog title is available. I tried a number of times to contact her through Blogger, but never received a response. I asked a few other bloggers if they knew anything about what happened to her, but nobody did. I left her blog on my Blog list (it's still there), and I added her name to my prayer list (it's still there). It took a couple of months for me to remember that she had once left her email address in a comment on my blog (you know I'm not the fastest car on the street). The beginning of this month, I went back and searched my comments on previous posts and found her email addy. I was very concerned that her husband might have died, and that she was grieving, and I wanted to offer my sympathy. Today, almost 2 weeks after I sent that email to her, I received an email from her daughter. Nanette died of heart problems in January, and her family did not know her passwords for her emails or her blogs. I was so shocked and completely heart broken to read her daughter's message. It had never occurred to me that Nanette could be gone. I kept thinking that, when she was ready, she would respond to my email. After a couple of emails back and forth between me and Nanette's daughter, I learned that Nanette had not previously had heart problems, and that her death was unexpected for her family too. I feel such a loss, and I know some of you who visited her blog also feel that loss. She was such a kind and loving person, and I'm going to miss her so much.
After receiving this email on the same day that I read the article in the newspaper, I felt that I had to post about this problem, and I am asking each of you to please tell someone what to do about your Internet connections in the event of a sudden hospitalization, accident, or your death. The internet may be an impersonal place to some, but I feel very close to our community of bloggers. Please don't leave us in limbo, wondering what happened to you.
I'm sorry to post such a "downer", but I just felt I needed to do it. Thanks for reading this, and thank you, in advance, for talking to someone about letting your friends know if something happens to you.
THIS POST IS DEDICTATED TO THE MEMORY OF NANETTE, A LOVELY BLOGGER AT A TALE OF MAGICAL MEMORIES. Nanette, you left me with some magical memories. I'll miss you! laurie