Remembering Life

Last night the news of MMO blogger River’s passing (A High Latency Life) rolled over my twitter feed like a dark cloud, wrapping up a large portion of the blogosphere in shock and grief. River had been on twitter just a day before.

Syp suggested to post a picture of a scantily-clad “being” (thanks for that leeway, Syp!) on one’s blog today, in honor of a blogger with a particularly high appreciation of the female form. Over the years, I only had one or maybe three fleeting encounters with River; I wasn’t a close follower of his blog but our paths crossed nonetheless as is bound to happen in a neighborhood as cosy as ours. Hearing about his sudden death was both unreal and saddening.

(There was a bunch of naked people just behind that rock to the right)

Death is the great equalizer. It doesn’t matter who we are or where we came from and no matter our differences. In death we are all the same. Losing a member of this community that in many ways is less of a happenstance than the communities we are born into in our real lives, cuts deep. The blogosphere is full of opinionated and also polarizing individuals – yet on a very basic level I have always believed that many of us, maybe most of us have ended up in this corner of the internet for similar reasons. We’re gathered here from different timezones and even hemispheres, having so much more in common than with the person next door.

All the reactions since yesterday’s news are a testimony of how strong the bonds among us can become; internet friends and online buddies, fellow bloggers who we’ve never met in real life but who have run with us and alongside us for years. Sharing daily quips, putting a smile on our face, making us angry or thoughtful. When they leave so suddenly, they leave an empty spot behind.

Death is utterly futile unless we claim something of it. I believe the only value in death is to honor life. I value this little corner of the internet. The thought of the daily voices being silenced tomorrow fills me with dread.

But not today. Today, I am happy and glad the blogosphere exists. Mach’s gut, River.


  1. I recently tried explaining the social blogging phenom to my wife. It’s one of those things that just doesn’t translate well for people who haven’t experienced it. It’s an honestly strange feeling to be more affected by someone I never met in person than by members of my wife’s extended family that I see a few times a year.

    I guess it feels like we knew River a bit more. That we all took time to share. It’s a sad day indeed.

    1. I’ve always been a fan of the neighbourhood analogy that Wilhelm likes to use. There’s your close neighbours, with whom you interact on a regular basis, and the more distant ones… but even the more distant ones contribute to making the place what it is, as you see how they live and interact with other people. River was definitely a distant neighbour for me, as I only followed links to his blog occasionally – but knowing that his voice has gone silent still saddens me.

      1. That analogy fits my own idea of the blogosphere perfectly too. There are bloggers I don’t read much or at all but they’re still part of the greater community and at the very least, we are united by our love for this medium.

  2. I’d second Shintar. I never read River’s blog but I knew its name and his. This is a neighborhood and as such we all feel a change when someone moves on.

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