I have had this blog for about three years. Or is it four? I like it. I am not dedicated to it. It has never been my dream to be a writer and I more or less started it on a whim. Sometimes I just don’t feel like I have anything to say, so I disappear for a while.
That, my friends, is not something they recommend in the good blogger handbook. It is not how you get followers or comments or views or any of the other things that the statistic page makes you care about when previously you had not been aware that they were even things. I don’t get a lot of views. After however many years, I have 99 followers, and maybe 10 who interact regularly. (Love you guys!)
It was months before I got my first follower who wasn’t a friend in real life. It was a guy who was really supportive and lovely. He commented regularly and thoughtfully. I checked out his blog sometimes, which was not the kind of thing I follow, but was quite beautiful, nonetheless. Then he disappeared. I chose not to take it personally because it’s the internet, which is basically infinite, and if I took any of it personally, I would probably take all of it personally, and it could easily destroy me.
But a little while ago, I thought about him fondly and decided to check in on his blog and see what he was up to.
He’s dead. His wife has a message in the comments.
I have no idea when this happened. I didn’t know him, but he was sweet and he made me smile more than once. He said things that made me feel good about myself, because while it’s nice to hear such things from friends and family, it’s also nice to hear them from strangers, who have no vested interest in making you happy.
I didn’t know him at all, and he left my blog ages ago, and yet I feel a little bereft knowing he is no longer on the planet. Even though that might have happened a long time before I knew about it. The internet is weird like that. You connect with people in ways that don’t feel real but that do have real meaning.