In the event of my demise…

A close relative is in his last days and we are dealing with all that entails in both emotional and practical terms.

This morning I had to begin to tell others where things are at, to spread the word quietly that the time is near.

(Before I go on to my topic for this piece, I just want to say that these are the times when you are very aware of just how beautiful your friends are and why they became your friends.)

When I completed my calls and email, I sat down for a cup of tea and a stare out the window at the gray day.

Lots of different things were going through my mind, all having to do with death. A memory came up of the first time I heard someone refer to a “virtual will.”

ISC Chat is the group chitchat channel of Caledon in Second Life. (Independent State of Caledon) On my RP blog I sometimes refer to it as if it were a radio station.

I was tuned in one morning a few years ago when I heard someone pass along the news that the typist of a citizen of Caledon had passed on.

It was a friend of the one who died who was making the announcement. She said she had been authorized to do so in the man’s virtual will. He had left instructions about how to contact his friends in Second Life and inform them of his passing.

At the time, the question… “If I dropped dead tomorrow, all my friends in the real world will get the word but how will my friends in the virtual world know?” …had never even occurred to me.

Later, I heard other death notices given in Second Life because the person had included in their real life will, provisions to contact virtual world friends who could then, in turn, spread the word.

Each tine I have heard something like this, I have thought: “Yeah, I should do that. Write something down so my virtual world buds can be contacted when I de-rez.”

Still haven’t done it yet. I mean, who wants to sit down and think about that? Seriously think about it.

But I should do it. I am at an age where one thinks of his own death from time to time.  But really, anybody of any age – who has any friends – should do it.

Unfortunately, it’s not easy. Right away, there are questions.

The obvious one is who to notify. Then there’s how to notify. I can’t expect someone to learn how to login to virtual worlds and send notecards to my friends. Especially when I am involved with so many grids that my friends are scattered across the Metaverse. Should it be announced on my social nets or my blogs? Email? Do I say to a friend now, “Hey, I named you in my Virtual Will as the contact person for when I kick the bucket.” Or do I ask them, “Would you be the executor of my virtual estate?”

I don’t know the answers because I haven’t wanted to think about it. When I do, surely there will be additional questions.

We should all think this through and do it because we owe it to our friends. They are good people who care about us. We can’t just disappear one day without a trace. It wouldn’t be right.

I’m not going to conclude this with a declaration that: “Therefore I shall do this today! And so should you!” Because I don’t know that I’m going to do this today or tomorrow or next month…or at all. It’s not fun to think about it.

But I should.

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About Danko Whitfield

writer, explorer of virtual worlds. semi-retired time traveler.
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4 Responses to In the event of my demise…

  1. Nara Malone says:

    You make a good point. So sorry to hear about your family member. I know what a rough time this must be.

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    • Mera Kranfel says:

      *huggss* i know what u r talking about as my friend and virtual partner passed away suddenly this summer. His brother came online and gave us the message… im so grateful he did ♥ I agree we should all try to plan for the unthinkable….

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  2. I simply have a note in my personal effects that says in the case of an accident or my untimely death, please contact these people…. What follows is a list of email addresses of friends from my virtual life. I trust my best friends to spread the word in the appropriate way.

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