A friend of mine died yesterday.
I’d never met her in person, and I didn’t know a lot of things about her that we usually consider givens about people we call friends.
But I know she was a fan of both Bones and Castle, and that she was passionate about the San Jose Sharks hockey team.
She was unwavering in her support of all three. I knew her at Bonesology as well as being pals with her on Twitter, and I never once saw her complain about the shows or her team. People would be going nuts about whatever the fanic of the week was, and she’d be there, a calm, serene presence, steadfast in her pleasure and ability not to let the critics (in her honor, I’m choosing a kinder term than would normally be my wont) affect her enjoyment of what she loved. (Truth: I envied that at times.)
She was also unfailingly kind. Over at the forum she was often the first person to greet new members, and watching the comments on Twitter today (search @Dianne0985) it’s clear that she touched many more lives than even the ones I saw in our shared fandom.
I also know that, at age 28, she was far too young to die.
She was diagnosed with colon cancer in July, and was told just a few weeks ago that it was terminal. I never saw her complain about that, either. Between the day she shared her diagnosis and the day of her last tweet (October 3) she remained gracious, kind to everyone, and supportive of her shows and teams.
Social scientists worry about the effects of the internet on intimacy in a world when the word ‘friend’ means ‘someone whose name I know on Facebook.’ I understand their concern, actually, and know that what is often called friendship really isn’t.
I also know that genuine intimacy can be fostered online, as some of the truest relationships in my life began with the Stargate SG-1 fandom sixteen years ago.
I didn’t know Diana that well, and now I never will, and I mourn that. In an increasingly hostile, uncivil world, I grieve for the loss of a woman who never had a harsh or critical word to say about anyone. The world is truly a poorer place today for her loss.
RIP, Diana, and may all of us honor your memory by being a little kinder today.
At Bonesology, we’re making a contribution in Diana’s memory to the San Jose Sharks charities. Please click here for more information.