Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Virtual World

The other day I found this article about the virtual world.
And what happens to our virtual lives after we die.
Or really what does not happen to our virtual lives after we die.
Roger was always online.
But usually just on email and IM.
It was a nice part of our relationship actually.
I still cherish the emails and IMs.

Roger never had a facebook.
And he only had myspace after I finally convinced him to join.
He was excited about it for about a month.
Then he was bored with it.
He barely updated it.
I had to remind him to update his relationship status after we were engaged and then after we were married.

I was able to break into his main email account.
Which I plan to keep for a while.
And his myspace.
But not his AOL email.

And now a year after his death, I am not sure what to do about the myspace.
Sometimes I log into it.
Look at his wall.
See if anyone has sent him a message.

But now...
It has been over a year.
What do I do with it now?
Do I keep it up?
For how long?

A part of me thinks it might be creepy for others to still be his online friend.
I know I feel weird when I have to forward something from his email to mine.

But then it feels so final for me to take it down.
So much like the last step.
Like he is really really gone.

And then part of me feels like what if someone wants to know.
Some ex-girlfriend or high school classmate.
It gives me a way to explain to them.
A way without having to actually talk to them.
Or say the actual words.

But I know, if I am honest with myself, it is really the first reason.
It is the finality.
It is the closing of a part of him.
A part of his life.
He still exists on some level if he is on myspace.
His virtual life.

When does he die virtually?


Split-Second Single Father said...

I've kept my wife's e-mail account active so that I can print off e-mails we exchanged when I get around to it. (She wasn't on MySpace or Facebook). I think that after that I will likely close it. But it's been two and a half years, and I still haven't "gotten around to it", so who knows?

It's sort of like changing the outgoing message on our answering machine. I waited a year and even then I mostly did it so her mom would feel comfortable calling our house phone again. Changing it just seemed so final.

You have to do these things in your own time and only you will know when that time comes.

netekay said...

David was a Systems Engineer so his life was mostly virtual. The day after he passed away, I had all of his email addresses forwarded to me--and they are still that way one year and four months to the day later.

His web page is still up. He didn't have a Facebook or MySpace page. I found a Google chat we had a few months before he died. I go and look at that when I am really down.

I'm not ready to let any of them go yet. And if you aren't ready--don't worry. It is all just fine hanging out in hyperspace.

((HUGS)) Lynette

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

Really interesting article, summarizing a bunch of questions I've had.

Gavin was not very active on the computer, with only an AOL account, and I didn't feel comfortable going into it.

He did, however, leave years and years of handwritten diaries, which I skim every now and then, finding an occasional surprise or new question.