Venturing in alone

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Nov 092013

I logged in tonight, the first time since last Wednesday or Thursday. I wanted to say hello and get hugs from friends, and pick up some notes that people had left for me. I thought maybe it would be good practice, to be around a few people, because I’m going to be faced with a crowded memorial on Sunday. But I never realized how hard it would be to stand there, on our little island in the sky, and look at the things my husband had made. It’s just a little virtual house, but we’d taken so much time to set everything just so, and he was so proud of how he’d landscaped it, and arranged everything. We couldn’t afford our dream house in real life, so we were building our little dream in SL and making it our perfect oasis.

And it is just little, silly things that made me cry buckets… the new benches that I’d bought because they had cute couples poses that I couldn’t wait to get him in world to try out with me… the little hat he’d put on my flamingo that was a mini version of the one he was wearing around…
Then I went down to the sim to sit by the campfire and express my thanks to my friends for being there for me, and of course I’m surrounded by more of his things. His hand was everywhere, and I wanted to turn to him and say how nice something looked, or show him an avatar or just ask him to log in for a little while and listen to the music and sit next to me, but of course I can’t do that.

One of our good friends, Kannonji’s founder, put my hub’s photo on the altar in remembrance. If my response to this is anything like how I’ll respond to the memorial on Sunday I hate to think what a mess I’ll be. RL has been almost impossible to face for the past week. I realized tonight I don’t know if I can face SL without him.


Nov 032013

I lost my husband on Friday night.

That is the most awful start to a post I will ever make. It might even seem odd that I’m making a post, except I’ve realized that for the past day, while I share memories and respond to messages, writing about him helps. Talking does as well, of course, but sharing memories with friends online, writing about things we’ve done, it helps. I find myself wanting to leave little tributes to him everywhere. And it was only a few weeks ago that I blogged about him, my best friend in Second Life. My fellow explorer, my building partner. Now here I am talking about him again, but this time with a heart that has broken into a million pieces.

His passing was beyond unexpected, sudden cardiac arrest, no history of heart trouble. He was 49, not an age where you usually begin to worry that you might lose your partner. I’m still in total shock, I can’t believe he’s gone. He was really and truly my soul mate, the love of my life. My knight in shining armor. That always sounds so sappy, but for us it felt true. I have been overwhelmed by how much support I’m getting, but the world feels very empty and lonely and dark. People tell you that you do move beyond it, people who have faced the same devastating loss try to share that you do begin to heal. It takes time, but it will happen. I try to reassure everyone that yes, I will be strong, yes, I will take care of myself. Yes, I know things will not always feel like this. But right now, in these first few days, that really doesn’t seem possible. I can’t see the light.

My husband was a big, big part of my Second Life. If not for him I probably wouldn’t have joined, I might not even have known about it. He gave me an extra push to do things, to create, to play with SL photography and have fun and explore. He always loved Second Life and would talk about it to anyone who would listen, and do his best to persuade people to sign up. He never cared about what Linden Lab was doing, or how many scandals or TOS changes came and went, in fact he never followed any SL news at all unless I shared it with him. He didn’t care, his time in world was pure enjoyment. He loved SL for the creativity it offered him, and for the people we met. In recent months he hadn’t had a chance to log in much because his career was keeping him swamped with work, even at home, but he’d slip in sometimes, and we’d play with the house, or drop a new tree here and there on the sim to see if anyone noticed. And even though we were usually never in world at the same time he was always right there in the room with me when I was wandering around, and he’d look at all the screenshots I’d taken and comment on them, and encourage me to do more. I think most of the shots I took were for him, I wanted to share what I was seeing. Now he won’t be there to see my adventures, or parachute off the Eiffel Tower with me, or tease me if I happened to be in a store… “OMG, are you shopping again?” I am afraid my Second Life will feel as empty as my first.

I haven’t been in world since this happened. I’ll log in sooner or later, even though I’m in touch with my SL friends in RL, I still don’t want to lose my connection to them in world. But it will feel so odd to do this all alone, to wander through builds that he contributed to. There were things he’d bought that we never even had a chance to build with. Things we still wanted to create. So much left undone.

Sometimes I think I’ll want to log his av in and sit him on a couch, and cuddle mine up to him, and just pretend for a few minutes that he’s there with me. And I know I will, eventually. I know it won’t be him, but it will be a tiny comforting fantasy. A little memory of how wonderful and loved he made me feel.

Goodbye my beloved, beautiful husband. I will love you forever, in all worlds.