I find myself shedding a few tears at the news that a woman I have never met IRL but have known through a forum for about 12 years passed away on Monday after a 2 year battle with lung cancer. We were not close friends but long time acquaintances and part of a shared community.
She was a strong woman, life handed her a lot of setbacks and yet she never gave up. I saw her find a way to do so many things that seemed impossible, to buy a house, to get her nursing degree while being a single mom, to fight for her daughter to get the best education possible, to fight for her son to get the help he needed for bipolar disorder. And finally she spent 2 years fighting the cancer that finally took her life. She was a non-smoker who was diagnosed with lung cancer and she fought bravely to live and to educate others that sometimes you cannot avoid lung cancer and not to assume you are safe if you don't smoke.
I know some would find it odd that hearing of her passing would make me cry since I really did not know her, but this virtual world that we live in these days allows us to know people we would never have known otherwise. I love these virtual friends and the input they have had on my life.
At the same time I am thrilled that another forum/blog friend who I have known for more than 10 years and I may finally meet IRL next month. I'll save that for another post as it is a much happier subject but the point is a friend is a friend even if you've never met face to face, you can laugh with them, cry with them, and mourn their loss. Today I am mourning Laurie.