You remember when I wrote about My Naked Truth? I had originally written it for FetLife, before deciding to post it here as well.
People liked that post, one person in particular not only commented on it, but also messaged me privately. We started chatting for a bit and became friends. Not just FetLife friends, but real friends. There was an instant connection. It happens, not as often as we'd like, very rarely, but so much the sweeter when it does. Feeling that affection, that closeness, when it is all effortless, sharing jokes, talking about emotions freely, flirting, feeling the love, the kindness, the warmth.
Every morning, after starting up my computer, checking his feed, seeing what he has been reading while I was asleep, following his breadcrumb trail to the writing of others. Such a delight. Reading what he has read, liking what he likes, befriending his friends. And then messaging with him, back and forth, for hours on end, until it is his bedtime. The web is an awesome place to connect with people, but different time zones suck. By the time it is late at night in New Orleans, it is not even the end of the afternoon here. But we always have tomorrow.
Saturday night I had my play party where I was suspended. Mm, rope. Sunday morning Tom was ready to hear all about it. While I was describing my experience, he urged me to write it down and to share it with others. "Wow, you described it so well you ought to cut and paste that into a journal piece about that experience." I had already been thinking about that and his enthusiasm made sure I followed through. I shared that with you as well: Floating Peacefully. He could not that day give my story all the attention he thought it deserved, because he was talking with another friend of his who needed his support at the moment. We did chat some more, about everything and anything, and he went to bed.
Monday, Tuesday, I messaged him, no answer. Well, that happens, life gets in the way of chatting with our friends. No big deal. Disappointing, but no big deal.
On Wednesday I got a message from someone I did not know: Subject "Good evening", message "My name is ******, I'm a friend of Tom's (********). I have sent him several messages over the past couple days and he had not responded. I just called his cell to check on him and his neighbor answered. With great sadness, I'm sorry but our Tom has passed away. They think he may have had a heart attack."
I started crying and I have not stopped yet. It has been 2 days, I had only known Tom for 2 weeks when he died, and I can not stop crying. I cry big heavy sobs, tears running down my face, I stop, blow my nose, have some water, keep myself busy, and start to cry again, and again, and again.
I felt sucker punched, kicked in the gut. It hurts so much. I am raw, as if I have been skinned alive. This man, this wonderful, vibrant, loving, caring, sharing, sexy, funny, kind man, so full of life, had died? He is no longer here? I refuse to believe it and I will not. He is not dead. No one really dies until they have been forgotten and I still remember him. The friends I made through him still remember him. We write about him and share our writing. We talk together, cry together, remember him, reminisce, laugh, share, care. We are his legacy.
He has touched our lives, our hearts, our souls. Us meeting him has enriched us. His leaving us hurts, but it is better than to never have known him. He made this world brighter for having stopped there, he has made this world better through his love and care.
Even know he is bringing people closer together, even now he is forging bonds that would never have been forged had he not been here.
I love you Tom, I will always love you, do not ever leave me.