Love

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Jun 152014
 

I’m still lost in memories.

Eight years ago tonight we were making the last preparations for our wedding. We were getting things ready, picking up my maid of honor from the bus station, and looking forward to the big day. I was a nervous wreck, but he was calm. He was always calm. Tuesday will be, or would have been, our eighth anniversary. Thinking about that has been extremely hard, and this is going to be one of the toughest days I’ll face, but I’ll try to make the day special, and maybe try to get out and do something we enjoyed. And maybe I’ll go in world for a bit, and tour some of the places we liked to visit together.

Now and then I entertain the idea of logging his avatar in and just sitting with him. I’ve logged his av in a few times to do some account maintenance and if I have need of his inventory, and a couple times I’ve logged Raven in to stand beside him, or cuddle on the couch for a few minutes. It’s one thing to do that with one of the alts, but when it is his own main avatar it’s a strange feeling. Strange and lonely and sad. It’s quite surreal to watch his av standing there, moving around on screen, while knowing that he will never be the person behind that avatar again. I still haven’t completely grasped that he won’t be a part of my real life again either. I still think I’ll hear him come in the door, and everything will be normal again. Full acceptance is a long and hard journey so far, I’ve still barely gone more than a few steps.

Amidst all my musing about love and memories, I noticed that the weekly blog challenge that went up this past Monday over at Strawberry Singh’s blog, is about love. It comes courtesy of Edie Sedgwick, who is keeping the lights on while Ms. Berry is vacationing. Edie asks us to grab an avatar we love, a friend, a partner, a colleague, and take a selfie. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m not terribly social in SL, I never have the courage to friend people and I rarely get friend requests, so any of the “grab a friend” memes have been a bit challenging.

(As an aside, I thought I had actually added a new person the other day, after a brief pleasant chat… I would swear to you that I clicked ‘accept’ on the friend request… but when I logged in there were no new names on my friends list. I don’t know if the other party thought better of it after I logged out and unfriended me, or if I just somehow manged to mess it up, and I’m too embarrassed to send an IM asking if it was my mistake. Oh well.)

There were actually a couple of people I could think of that I might have grabbed and photographed, but as always my thoughts go straight to my husband. You’d think that since I have another blog created just to work through this widow thing that posting there would be enough. Nope, I still must talk to anyone who will listen. He will always be the first person I think of when I hear the word “love” in any context. He was and will always be the love of my life, so I thought I’d answer the questions and gaze at his pictures.

  1. How did you and the person in the photo with you meet? • Via match.com. Sometimes the online dating things work. Or, at least they did several years ago when we tried them. I’d never have the courage to do it again.
  2. How long have you known each other? • Next week would have marked our 8th anniversary, and about 9 years together.
  3. What do you love about this person? • His creative spirit. His calm. His confidence. A million other things.
  4. What place in SL do you love? • I always seem to fall hardest for the scenic, natural landscape sims.
  5. What clothes or shoes in SL do you love? • L&B jeans, they just have such nice butts! Looking through my inventory, I probably have more clothes from Sn@tch than any other individual designer, especially when it comes to texture clothes. I also used to love Artilleri a lot. For mesh clothes I like Cold Logic, and I’m trying to branch out a bit and learn some new designers.
  6. What does love mean to you? A shared joy in each other’s company. Or a particular attachment to something, like nutella. No really, I love the stuff. 😀
  7. What is your biggest regret? The past seven and a half months have been filled with “What if?” moments. What if I’d done this differently? What if we’d been more in tune with our health? What if? What if? What if?  It’s hard to shoo the what if’s away.
  8. Which is the one event that has had the biggest impact on you and your life? Meeting my husband.
  9. What do you love and hate the most about the human race? We have such capacity for compassion and joy and friendship. Sadly, it seems many also have a great capacity to be cruel.
  10. What color is your underwear? • Blue ^_^

Thanks to Edie for the meme! 🙂

Memory Lane

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Jun 052014
 

I’ve found that when, in RL, I start going through too many old photos I begin to get too depressed to function for a while. That’s been happening to me lately, and I suspect it’s worse because my RL wedding anniversary will be in a couple weeks. It would have been eight years this month, but on that day instead of eight years of marriage,  I will have been looking at almost eight months of widowhood. I don’t want to think about that, so I dive into the old photos and try to relive happier times, but I think I just miss my husband more with every photo I see.

I sometimes find that it’s just as hard to look through my old SL shots of his avatar, or the two of us together. It may not be the RL us, but for each shot I can remember what we were doing, whether it was some fun little random moment at home, or out exploring. And for each shot we were together, a few feet apart, in RL. We were constantly looking over each other’s shoulders to see what was going on. I miss that terribly. Every time I go in world I miss him. I want to take him to fun new places, and watch him find spots I never thought of exploring.

Given that I’ve been feeling sad for the past few days you wouldn’t think I’d want to dive into nostalgic photos of our early days in Second Life, but I just felt like doing that today. Maybe it was the idea of “Throwback Thursday” that inspired me, I see people on blogs, or Facebook, or Twitter, posting with that theme every week. so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon. So back I go to those thrilling days of yesteryear, when particle clouds floated in non-Windlit skies, and ad farms were cultivated all over the mainland.

4-JUNE_002

The old home site. Looks a bit empty these days.

Every now and then I like to go back to the first parcel we ever owned, just to see what it looks like these days. I should have thought of this last month, as it was right around the first of May in 2007 that we decided we really needed to own land. Technically the first land program was still in effect when we joined, but it was never available so we went shopping for a suitable little 512 parcel and eventually found one that wasn’t too pricey, and was bordered on one side by what would eventually be a Linden road. These days there’s nothing there and it has been abandoned to Governor Linden, but back in May of 2007 it was a little green patch amid flashy nightclub supply places, resorts, and big stores.

05-MAY-07 HOME SWEET HOME_002

Almost the same angle as the pic above…

Still, it was all ours and we loved our little patch of land. We happily rezzed a cottage from the library, moved it around a few times, eventually built a privacy screen at the sides and back, then finally moved up into the air, where my hub re-textured the cottage and built a turret, with a little library inside.

16- June b_005

But the best part was the giant flexi earthworm hanging out under the platform

We kept the first plot for about five months before selling it off to the guy with the giant store across the road, and moved to a larger spot. At first I just rezzed the old house, then we began building our own hobbit hole, and I kept trying to set up garden spots with just Linden trees and freebie landscaping items. It may be a little cheesy by today’s standards, but at the time I was just excited to be building stuff and I didn’t care how bad it looked, it was all wonderful and fun.

03-SEP-07 hobbithill_001

In a hole in the ground lived two avatars

We spent tons of time in world in the early days, just building anything and everything we could think of, then deleting it and trying something else. Part of it was because the ability to make stuff was just so much fun we couldn’t resist it, part of it was we were super stingy. If I wanted something to decorate with we hated to spend money on it, at least in those early days, so we tried to make things ourselves. Some of the biggest joys of my second life were watching my husband get absorbed in creating something.  As he started experimenting with making sculpts he decided to build a tree house. I actually quite miss the little tree house, I think if I had my own land I’d be tempted to fish around in his inventory and rez some of these things, just for nostalgia’s sake.

7-OCT-07_015

With fab particle clouds, and spinning ad signs too! Woot!

Much like the first, the area around our second land is mostly empty these days although a large build sits in about the middle point of where our land was. I looked around for a bit, but I didn’t want to loiter too long because there were people about on their own property and they were probably wondering what sort of trouble I might get up to, just standing around on the road, so I flew away.

A lot of the land around where we had the second home was up for sale, though some was at a steep price for a landlocked bit of mainland. Part of me considered the cheaper parcel for a little while, I’m not premium anymore but I’ve contemplated going premium again to get a little plot of my own. I’m not really sure I’d want to live on either of our old sims again, though. Too many memories of the things we built, and all the fun we had there. I have enough trouble wandering through my city in RL and finding spots that remind me of my husband, I’m not sure I want to have that be any more of a thing in SL than it already is.

Still, it was fun to look back, and remember how excited we were about everything in those early days. It was a nice little trip down memory lane.

If only First Life were as easy.

 

 

 

 

Nov 112013
 


I still had a number of photos hanging around that I was going to blog around Halloween, or throughout November. A lot of them had a dark, foggy theme, with attempts at dramatic clouds, moody windlights, and a haunted feel.  Too many had my av standing alone in a misty, faded landscape, looking sort of lost. That is far too close to how I feel now: alone in the fog, completely lost. There is an emptiness when I look at them, knowing I can’t turn to my hub and say “Look! What do you think of these?” and he’d give me feedback, or tell me to post it on Flickr. Sometimes he’d tell me that he  showed my Flickr to people when he wanted to introduce them to Second Life, and he’d talk about how creative SL was, and how much we both enjoyed it, and how he thought I was such a good photographer, and to keep taking pictures. Continue reading »

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…
flamingo
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.

altar
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.

Best friends

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Oct 082013
 

The meme this week from Strawberry Singh was in two parts, the first of which I did in my previous post. Because part one of her meme was an idea from a good friend of hers, in her second option she asked if we’d like to blog about a close friend in SL as well. I usually bypass any blog challenges that ask us to talk about our closest pals in SL, not because I don’t know anyone – I count some really wonderful folks among my friends  – but because I’ve never really gotten to know anyone well enough to become close. I often regret that, but I suppose it’s an expected side effect of being too socially anxious to attempt to go beyond just exchanging greetings and small talk now and then.

So, while it’s probably cheating to count him as such for the blog meme, I think I’ll gush a bit over my husband because he’s most definitely my closest friend in SL, RL, and any other L we can think of. And I think his avatar is a cutiepie too, so I just like to share his pictures.  😀


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