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Monday, 4 April 2011

Good Bye

It was the usual thing.
She did it all the time:
she'd post it on her social network time and time again
that she would overdose.
She'd post "Good bye" to all her friends -
the whole one thousand plus of them.
All that was usual,
the usual thing.

Only, that day was slightly out
of what we might term

she had come of age.
Her special day.

All in good time
someone had found her.

Someone far away
had wondered
been uneasy
spoken out...

and so it was that
someone found her

but too late.

(Based on truth, but with details changed for obvious reasons.)


Anonymous said...

Very moving.

David Cranmer said...

Very moving indeed, Dave.

Jim Murdoch said...

I have to say this is one aspect of online life that I don’t like. I don’t like it so much that I incorporated it in my latest novel as a metaphor, the fact that people can just vanish from our lives and there's nothing we can do to find out what has happened to them; it’s happened to me a few times and the sense of loss is very real. Any one of us could drop dead and how many of our spouses or children would think to upload a message to let the world know? If they’re like my own wife and have an active online life then I know she’d do that but I’m not so sure my daughter would think of it. I should bring it up in conversation.

Gerry/Strummed Words said...

"So sad, so sad...
It's a sad, sad, situation."

Thanks for the honesty...

Rachel Fenton said...

Very moving without a trace of sentimentality - quite clinical in fact - but really cuts at the heart with that scalpel. Sad.

Following on from Jim's comment..I wonder if blogs could be set to time out if we didn't post on them for a set period...self-delete as it were...imagine how many echoes there are already, young as the internet is, of lost bloggers...

Louise said...

Such an awful thing, somehow the sadness is even worse, when you think of someone calling out on line. But great poem Dave on a very difficult subject matter.

Tabor said...

I have heard of several versions of this story. So sad, but perhaps a new tool to help.

Carl said...

Sad poem... hauntingly crafted.

Gerry Snape said...

to take such a dark subject and make such a tender work!!...thankyou.

Isabel Doyle said...

A very sad tale, Dave. I think it must have taken some courage to write this poem and even more to post it.

angryparsnip said...

Very sad poem but so well written. And like @Rachel Fenton said without a trace of sentimentality.
Well done.

@Jim Murdoch mentioned blog life...

Once I was so upset at a post where the writer was in such a depressed state (she lived an ocean away) that I was looking up how to send some help to her.
Thank Goodness I checked her blog again and found someone else had posted his concerned and we all found out it was just one of her stories.
The only part that was true was she had indeed broke her leg and she had a dog.
I never believe anything she writes anymore it is all fiction to me now.

Blogs are strange but also wonderful at the same time.

Cheers, parsnip

Corinna said...

sadness. i'm so sorry.

Linda Sue said...

WOLF! wolf! The poem is exceptional- the subject of the poem slightly annoying.I appreciate how you have written it with a sort of what - can- you- do shrug.

Anonymous said...

David, this resonates on many levels, spoken above in other comments. But having known of a small town where two girls committed suicide in one month, and knowing they were both "on the Web," I wonder about the aspect of drama that is also a cry for help. I never ignore anyone's thoughts of suicide expressed, since so many eventually act on it. They just rehearse the message online. Sad.

A poem I wrote about the two girls, for your consideration:

Windsmoke. said...

I found this poem very moving, sad and haunting :-).

Elisabeth said...

This is a terrific poem, Dave. Jim alerted me to it in part on the basis on Parsnip's comment above. Jim wonders who could Parsnip be referring to?

We both guessed it was me. I'm not sure how I feel about the idea that someone doesn't believe a thing I write.

Sorry Parsnip, reading these words in your comment here they sound sharp but I suspect they're not intended that way.

I have read things in people's blogs that alarm me in the way your poem describes, Dave, and yet I always reserve judgement, take it with a grain of salt, which is a healthy thing to do within the blogosphere. It's probsbly a healthy thing to do in life generally.

I tend to believe people when they sound authentic but not in absolute terms.

I now feel unsettled by your poem and these thoughts, but that's a good thing I think.

Thanks, Dave.

CiCi said...

It sounds like you are very moved with the loss. We can't control what other people do with their lives but we can control how much we care about them no matter what they do.

Dave King said...

Thank you.

Much thanks.

I take your point. The same thought has occurred to me. Seems to occur more and more frequently. Maybe leave it in our will or envelope to be opened after?

It is sad. I read this story in the paper way back. Somehow, couldn't write it until now.

Oddly, I was reading the other day about the dark internet. Apparently it's like the iceberg, more out of sight than you and I know about. The submerged part uses defunct websites as portals to a whole new universe you'll not find on Google. A very unsavoury place, it sounded.

120 Socks
That's what struck me: all those friends and yet it still could happen.

I wonder if all the versions refer to the same event.

Thanks Carl.

And thank you. Much appreciated.

I had it as a draft for some time before I felt I could post it.

It's always difficult in these situations I think, knowing whether to intervene or not. Either way, you can get it wrong - as almost everybody did in this case.
Thanks for your comments.


Linda Sue
Ouch! It wasn't meant to be a shoulder shrug. I was thinking of all those friends who just thought she was crying wolf again and wondering what, if anything, they might have been expected to do. The one who did act was oceans away and presumably may not have known the situation so well.

Thanks for the link to your poem. I like it a lot, particularly the way you've widened it toconsider its effect on those who are left.
As to your comments, I, too, wonder about the drama side of it, which the web amplifies, of course, and which can on occasions encourage the act.

Much thanks for that.

I think I take your drift. It is one thing, it seems to me, to deal with a situation like this when you know the person concerned, quite another when you do not. But maybe not knowing helps at times - helps not to just dismiss it as crying wolf, for example. That said, if a person does what they genuinely believe to be in the other person's best interests, then they have noting to with which to reproach themselves. The thing is not to be afraid of looking silly, I suppose. I'm sorry my poem unsettled you. I tried to avoid that.

Two very salient points. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

horror! how could this have had happened? this is bad david! really bad and so sad.. my potluck-- http://fiveloaf.wordpress.com/2011/01/21/remain/

Dave King said...

Horrible. I found I quickly used up all the adjectives.

MuseSwings said...

Wonderful poem on a sad subject. Happened to a blogger I followed. The signs could only be seen in retrospect. She was already gone before anyone knew.

Parsnips remarks about truth on the internet reminded me of a movie I recently enjoyed. It's an independent film called Catfish.

Dave King said...

Muse Swings
Your comment about the blogger you knew gels with thoughts I have had since reading about this incident - a while back, now - and wondering how common it really is. Thanks for the response.

Helen said...

Though I'm hoping to be around for quite some time ,,, my children know to post something on both of my blogs in the event something unexpected happens.

This is a profound piece of writing.