My life has two parts. Carbon-based and digital.
Or does it?
When I got home tonight I had a note in my personal email inbox from the contact address on my blog. It was from a fellow named Darren. He informed me that someone I knew had died.
In and of itself that’s not, perhaps, all too unusual. But in this case, the person who had died is someone who I never met – at least not in person. His name was Craig Manganello. He was a member of the Seesmic community.
Through his online world, Craig divulged deeply personal things – from his commitment to launching a technology venture to his passion and talent with music to the considerable struggle he had with his health. He engaged in debates. He encouraged and inspired. And through his music he shared his fears and the essence of who he was.
Looking at his MySpace video page, you see a concert his did in June. If you look at his Twitter feed, you see as recently as early August a trip to the beach, an outing for steak dinner with the family, and then the return of health issues that he’d thought were, perhaps, under control.
And now, he’s gone. Just like that.
The marvelous thing is that he’s not really gone. Far from it. Just look at the links listed through this post. Every one of them points to a place where something that Craig created can live on. His carbon print may have moved on, but his digital mark remains – a deeply inked tattoo to which we can all continue to link, refer and connect.
So it is for all of us. While our physical time in this place has a structured in and out point, the radiating connections we grow as we pass along in life remain.
In the Jewish faith, when someone passes the family and friends sit shiva for a week. The process of this experience and the stages through which the mourners are guided are such that when the process is finished, you can move on. Though Craig wasn’t Jewish, there is something I think to be said for giving people an opportunity to express their grief, share their stories and process the loss.
It seems fitting that this process has begun in a place Craig enjoyed. I’ve included this conversation below and even if you didn’t know Craig, hope that you will feel free to share your condolences or, if you wish to share your own stories of coping with loss with the group, please introduce yourself and chime in.
NOTE: IF YOU WISH TO PARTICIPATE, WHEN YOU CLICK ON REPLY YOU WILL BE PROMPTED EITHER TO LOG IN TO SEESMIC OR TO CREATE AN ACCOUNT. CREATING AN ACCOUNT IS VERY SIMPLE – JUST ENTER NAME, USERNAME, PASSWORD AND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS AND YOU’RE OFF TO THE RACES!