For those of you who have been around a very long time, I am sad to report that we recently lost one of the originating spirits of our forums, Maddman, aka Patrick. He passed away from a pulmonary embolism at the age of 43.
First, the forum threads where this is being discussed:
Second, some words from those who knew him well in this virtual life:
Patrick was a servant to the community, that much is recognized by the fact that he was a Senior Member of the community.
“Patrick was a good member, a good leader, and a good man. When things were unsettled around here and we were in need of some direction, I got a PM from him offering some pointed suggestions on ways to make things better for the members. I responded by offering him a Moderator position, which he accepted. His leadership, publicly and privately, was welcomed and appreciated.
“In all of his time here, he showed the knowledge, poise, and strength of character that he was known for, and he dealt with adversity with aplomb and grace. When he became ill, we all prayed for his health and recovery. Alas, it was not to be. He will be sorely missed.”
“He was one of those people you couldn’t help but get along with. His spirit seeped through the keys.”
Life is a circle…some are smaller than others. This one was too damned small…
Anyone who wishes to make a donation to help pay for funeral expenses or otherwise send condolences to Maddman’s parents, may send this care of Lutawicasa.
His email address is Lutawicasa@comcast.net.
His snail mail address is:
Lyman D. Gaines
4969 N. Kolmar Ave.
Chicago, IL 60630
Death In Virtual Life
Unfortunately, death, even early death, is no stranger to any of us.
What may be a little strange, at least to those a bit older, is how virtual life affect death and rememberance.
First, the Internet gives everyone who wants it a wide stage. It used to be you had to be famous to be known throughout the world. No more. The Internet bans geography from one’s circle of friends, as further evidenced by the recent funeral service for a Chinese gamer.
Second, though the stage is wide, it is shallow. Virtual relationships are more fleeting and ephemeral than those based on geography, simply because you can go away without moving. “Stop the world, I want to get off,” becomes not only possible, but normal. The real world is old, but cyberspace will always be new in the sense of endless frontiers. People create, maintain and abandon their presences in these worlds by sheer will; no one is ever stuck anywhere.
Finally, though the environment is transient, it always leaves a trace, a human trace frozen in iron oxide. The past exists until erased.
True, all these characteristics and realities were present in the human condition long before the Internet, but, as in so many other areas, cyberspace broadens and accelerates and intensifies the experience.
So when time pulls the plug on all realities, viewing a life through cyberspectacles, one feels the evanescence of human life all the more, as better said by this final comment:
People come here and most don’t stay long; most of the rest stay a while and then come in and out periodically, as life allows…
All those who have come and stayed a while and are now gone are missed.
Those who can’t come back are missed more.
Goodbye and thanks, Maddman.