Today I’ll write this post, one I wish I wouldn’t have to write. In the past two weeks, two people from my Plurk timeline have died. They’re Thorn and Amy, the former I knew only superficially, and the latter I knew a bit better.
Thorn (Greg Thornhill) died two weeks ago, rather unexpected. He had an untreated ear infection, ended up in the ER. From what I’ve understood, his infection spread to parts of his brain and eventually claimed his life. It may been different if he’d entrusted his infection to a doctor, but alas, things have happened now.
I wish I could make this section about him longer, however, I did not know him well enough. I never met him on the grid, only exchanged words on Plurk. He was always kind and others speak well of him. Ironically, one of his last plurks was a replurk for an action set up to cheer Amy, who’s the other subject of this post.
Amy (Amy Nauman) was a young girl, 26, who was faced with returning cancer. In-world she was known as Scarlet Chandrayaan, owner of the store called Alouette. I only met her late, around the time she announced that she was going to die on a short term. Which I now realize was only three weeks ago—it seems like ages ago. I knew her store, but not her story. Four days ago, she passed away after cancer got the better of her.
Her death is a bitter one. She was clearly full of life, kind, glass half-full, in no way ready to die. Her life turned unfair, when instead of going to move out and live with her boyfriend, she had to undergo months of treatment. On Plurk I saw just how many people she moved and what kind of attitude she had. I can only conclude that we need more people like this lady in the world.
I’m gutted by her death, because of so many reasons. I’m sure those we knew her are also feeling it. She was strong till the end, carried her disease and impending death with grace. I don’t know how she did it, but it’s left me in awe. Only in her last week or so (might be a bit earlier) she started mentioning she cried a lot. Maybe because she felt that this time she wouldn’t win her battle with cancer.
What broke my heart was not only her own determination to live, but also reading what concerned her. First there was story about her brother, who was gutted when he learned that the doctors only gave her a short time to live. Then her being so relieved she managed to arrange insurance, so she wouldn’t leave her family in debt due to her medical bills. Finally, her being present to show on a gorgeous picture with her brother and his prom date, despite this being a physical challenge. She clearly cared much for her family.
In the last weeks she shared these things about what she liked. Cooking, decor. A couple times I saw her mention “when I get stronger”. I never could suppress the thought that most likely she’d never be able to do these things. I’m not sure about everyone else, but there was no doubt in my mind she was going to die, not even hope. Since she had these many crying moments, I wonder if she didn’t feel that too.
It’s been only three weeks since I actively started following her and I didn’t think I’d be hit so hard by someone I hardly knew, and only for such a short term. Yet to me she’s a symbol to strength and I admire her enormously. I’ve also realized she’s only two yours older than I am and about the age of my BF too. Way too young.
She never got to move out properly. She’ll never complain about “becoming 25 for the fifth time, geez I’m old”. Never become a mother (not sure if she wanted this, but still). She’ll never have to bury her parents, as is the natural order of things. She won’t finish these items she still wanted to create, cook the recipes she wanted to make, move aside her collection of mugs and convince anyone there really is enough room for more. She’ll never enlighten us again with her positive attitude.
To stick to Amy’s spirit, I’m pressed to add a positive spin to this. and this is hard. I don’t know Amy well, but I think she wouldn’t want us to be sad. I think she’d be happy that she got her medical bills covered and that she had so many people who cared for her. And maybe also, that her battles and pain are now over. And in the latter, those of us who stay behind, can hopefully find a bit of peace and solace.
Tonight, about 2PM–4PM SLT, there will be a memorial service for Amy at her store Alouette. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to join, but if you’re able, please go there.
- Related links:
- Amy’s last plurk
- Announcement of Amy’s passing on Plurk
- Amy announcing her short life expectancy on Plurk
I’ve been an atheist all my life. To me, there is no “rest in peace”, no “(s)he is in a better place now”. For me there’s only the knowledge that one’s body will be returned to the earth and recycled by nature. This is my take on the afterlife and resurrection. I therefore cannot use these words to comfort those left behind. I can only hope that everyone finds a healthy way to deal with his or her loss.
I’m sure those who have passed would not want us to mourn their deaths forever. In the end, we all must move on, hopefully with good memories in our thoughts. We might not physically be able to interact with a person anymore, but their being in our lives have affected us. It’s up to us to keep the memory alive and keep their spirit with us.
I wish everyone, especially family and close friends of the deceased, much strength in dealing with your loss. May your combined strength help you through the hardest days, and may your combined memories strengthen the bond you share.