The world is much smaller and the ability to connect with people a lot easier these days.
Making friends online is, in my opinion, akin to making them in real life. We share our thoughts, our words, our lives, often in a way that is more intimate and in no way less meaningful than were we to meet face-to-face.
Although I had never "met" Jamie Eyberg, he was a friend. We shared chit-chat, jokes, commiserated over the push & pull of life on our writing time; bonded over music, encouraged and lent an ear, a shoulder or just a friendly 'hi' throughout the day.
As many of my readers are fellow writers and friends of Jamie's as well, we were all shell-shocked and devastated to hear of his & his wife Ann's passing in a tragic accident on their farm last weekend. It took me some time to gather my thoughts for this post because I was literally blind-sided, almost winded, when I heard the news, as I know everyone else was. It's still difficult to believe.
To the outside observer, we may be considered as "only" online friends. To me, "only" doesn't matter. "Only" denies the importance of these friendships and the impact virtual friends can have on our lives. There is still a hole in all of our hearts as we all miss a wonderful, funny, creative, loving friend and mourn for the loss of his wife, ache for the pain his children are feeling and feel deeply for their families and friends.
"Only" doesn't matter – to me or to those who never had the pleasure of meeting face-to-face with Jamie. We miss him all the same.
If you want to get involved:
- Aaron Polson is donating the proceeds of this year's 52 Stitches Anthology to Jamie & Ann's children
- Doc Pus & Kody Boye are collecting donations & auction items whose monies will also go to the Eyberg children
- Doc Pus & the Library of Horror will donate proceeds from the Witches Anthology to the fund
- You can sign the book of condolence & find out more about the Memorial Fund here