RIP Alan Jobe

The other day, I saw a bunch of headlines about the death of Boris Berezovsky. I guess he was some important Russian who fled to England, and I mourn his death the way I mourn the death of any person. To quote John Donne,

Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.

I looked through the local obituaries to see if there was a recent death around here with which I could compare Berezovsky's death; the death of an important person to those close to him, to those involved in mankind, but stripped of all the intrigue of a Russian Oligarch. Each obituary seemed both too close and too distant at the same time.

There is enough going on in my life right now, so I didn't write anything. Then, I found out that my boss' wife's grandfather died on Saturday. It was not unexpected. He had been in hospice. The family had gathered around him during his final hours, unlike Berezovsky who appears to have died alone. The wake is today and the funeral tomorrow, but I couldn't juggle the schedule to be there.

So now, it is evening. Kim is off at an event. Fiona is working on homework, and I am checking in on my connections on social media.

On Alan Jobe's Facebook timeline, I see a message,

Alan passed away 3/25/13 of a stroke at 7:50 PST.
I know he told me a lot how he loved having so many friends on here.

Alan and I have been friends for a long time. We were friends on Facebook, Twitter, Empire Avenue, EntreCard, and I suspect several other places. We had a lot of friends in common, mostly people who explored EntreCard and Empire Avenue. Yet, I never met Alan face to face, just as I haven't met many of our mutual friends face to face.

On the 21st, Alan put up a blog post, Gay As Hell or Where’d My Audience Go?. He reflected on how he has had more interaction at other times, and how things like 'mission inflation on Empire Avenue' may have affected his traffic. Several people stopped to write saying they were still there, still reading, but not interacting as much for one reason or another. Others stopped to write about what was going on with Empire Avenue.

So, I pause to say yet another goodbye. I'm too late for him to have read my comments while he was still alive, but I hope these words will mean something to the members of my online community that were friends with Alan.

I continue to keep my connections with Alan on all the social media sites where we were connected. It is the right thing to do.