I thought I'd write a short blog post to introduce myself to the community here. I'm a fiction writer and poet primarily, but what seems to fill my time most is my blog, Navigating Cyberloss, which is dedicated to providing a community for people who are grieving the death of online friends. (That alongside my English degree, which is occupying me four days a week.)
I hadn't intended to start Navigating Cyberloss originally, thinking that there was probably already a source of support that people who had been through that particular type of loss could cling to. Two years of intermittent Googling didn't turn anything up, so I took it upon myself to start the blog, and coined the term 'cyberloss' to describe the phenomenon.
I'm not qualified for it in any professional way, but life experience has furnished me with the skills that I need to be able to share my story with others, and lend a hand when they need it. My first experience of cyberloss occurred on Easter Sunday 2007, when an Argentinian woman I had communicated with for a year through the official George Harrison forum, instant messaging and email sadly passed away from breast cancer at the age of 39.
I spent the next two years in a sort of fog, and searched endlessly for support that would help me to deal with the loss. I tried the conventional counselling route, but didn't find it that useful, ultimately. It was like reading tea leaves every week, trying to find a way to say something that I hadn't said many times before. How many different ways are there to say 'I miss her'? Plenty within the realms of country music, I suppose, but fewer in everyday English.
I've recently been offered the opportunity to have some work I wrote for a charity and website called Trauma2Art published in a book which will be distributed across hospices in the US, and sold to benefit the charity. I'm pretty happy about that, but I just want to be able to use this experience for the greater good. I've written a number of poems on the subject, which I can link to from my Navigating Cyberloss blog if anybody is interested.
Thanks for reading,