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When A Cyber Friend Goes Missing March 9, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Mindfulness, People.
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Andalib (Andi) Marks is MIA. 

I met Andi while writing on WEbook.  Last year, we sailed into the cyber sea to start our own blogs ~ Spirit Lights The Way and A Nightingale’s Blog.

Now, Andi’s disappeared . . . at least from cyber view.   

None of her WEbook friends has heard from her in weeks.  Her next to last post, First Date = Hospital, is dated January 28th.  Her last post, Reliving the Past, is dated February 2nd.  Her last comment went up on February 3rd. 

Since then . . . SILENCE.

There are two ways to interpret her silence.  We can assume the worst (as most people seem prone to do) OR we can assume the best.

When we assume the worst, by picturing her lying dead or dying at the foot of a jagged rock face, we grow concerned.  

What do we do with that concern? 

* We share it with others so they can be concerned too: “I’m worried. This isn’t like her.”

* We speculate about what might have happened, still assuming the worst: “She was going rock climbing. That’s so dangerous.”

* We interpret her actions through our lens: “If I was OK, I would WANT to let someone know.”

We question and ponder and wonder and worry,  robbing ourselves of peace of mind by making her disappearance about us, instead of about her.  

Andi is not robbing us of our peace of mind . . . we are doing it to ourselves.

The other option?  

We can assume the best and wish her well . . . wherever she is.  Instead of imaging the worst case scenario, we can use our imagination to create a best case scenario:

Andi, a young widow, recently embarked on a romance with her rock climbing instructor, Nick.  That relationship is new, exciting, and fun.

Now that her life is filled with joy and promise, she no longer needs us as a life-line.   Seeing us reminds her of the past, and what she lost when her husband died.  

We are her past.  Nick is her future (or, maybe, just her present). 

We’ve served our purpose . . . helping her to scale the jagged rocks from past life to this life.  She no longer needs us as a safety net.  Since she knew we wouldn’t let go of her . . . she let go of us by going missing.

She’s not dead or dying.  Just the opposite.  She’s returned to the land of the living where happiness resides.  She’s having a blast as she explores, dreams, and discovers the infinite possibilities residing around every curve of the coastline. 

Hanging on to us would hold her back.  We remind her of the storms she sailed through before her sun reappeared.  Now that the clouds have parted, she’s looking for her silver lining.  Since she doesn’t need us to do that, she cut the bow-lines and set sail for new horizons. 

My take may be correct or incorrect.  Or a bit of both.  It doesn’t much matter. 

Whether or not I’m correct, I have reclaimed my peace of mind on the issue.  

If something has happened, Andi’s family and friends in the real world are there to look out for her.  If nothing has happened, worrying won’t improve the situation one iota.  

If she is not “here” because she is having fun elsewhere, we have two choices:  

We can accept her departure gracefully and wish her well . . . or we can keep trying to make this about US by calling her back and dragging her out of her “happy place” to make us feel better because “we miss her.”  

If you love something, you must set it free. 

If you set it free and it returns, it is yours. 

If you set it free and it does not return, it is not yours and never was.

Rather than wasting time in idle worry, I shall wait in the cyber garden, listening for the whisper of a Nightingale’s wings to signal Andi’s return. 

And, if she never returns?  

I’ll picture her happy . . . somewhere over the rainbow.

No rules.  Just right!

How about you?  Have any of your cyber friends gone missing?  How did you respond?  Did they return?

Related posts:  What’s The BEST That Could Happen? * The “It Could Be Worse” Game * The Serenity Principle * Silence the Mind

Comments»

1. phrogmom - March 9, 2011

ooooh, the best case scenario sounds awesome, i am going with that one!!

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

Good choice. Actually, most of the best case scenario is true . . . or at least it was true in my last cyber chat with Andi.

I’ll assume the best . . . and hope one day to hear her knocking on our door.

2. James - March 9, 2011

Bravo!! (though I do wish she’d reply to our calls.)

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

We grow attached to others and don’t let go without a fight.

If Andi had said, “I’m leaving. I must do this for me. You must let me go.” . . . how many of us would have said, “Yes, you must!”

Not many.

We would have made it about us. We would have asked her to stay among us instead of heading out and conquering new vistas.

Andi knew that. So she left silently when our focus was elsewhere.

And someday, if we’re lucky, she will return to tell us of her exciting adventures, travels and experiences.

Til then, we must patiently wait and accept that we were there when she NEEDED us . . . and that’s what matters.

James - March 9, 2011

Good point, Nancy. But still I wonder…

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

When I want to know something that is beyond my reach, I remind myself: “In uncertainty, lies all possibility.”

And then I consider what a few of those enticing possibilities might be. Hmm . . .

It gives my mind something to think about so that I don’t waste time worrying. As they say, “Worry is the interest we pay on a debt we do NOT yet owe.”

3. Shannon Sullivan - March 9, 2011

Yes … right now many people are going through some pretty big changes … we can’t always know what is happening but our best intention for those who we care about regardless of cyber friendship or live friendship is always to continue to send images of well wishes and love. Thank you Nancy for “writing” Andi’s story of well wishes.

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

Wonderful point, Shannon.

Whether our loved ones are near or far, we can imagine them embraced in our virtual hugs.

4. kateshrewsday - March 9, 2011

It’s hard when a character we know and love isn’t there any more. It’s a demonstration of how every single different personality has a part to play in the universe: no-one else can fill their shoes. But if her priorities are in her immediate life I can only applaud and ask for a masterclass.

A writer like Andalib is sure to pop up eventually 🙂 She won’t be able to resist writing…

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

I expect that Andi will keep writing . . . though she may adopt a new moniker to avoid announcing her presence.

Time will tell. We must wait patiently to see how the future unfolds.

5. oldancestor - March 9, 2011

Well done, as usual.

I am not familiar with Andi, but it’s probably fair to assume that most of us have a cyber friend who has gone MIA. Worry is useless and, from a practical standpoint, our lives are increasingly being pulled in different directions at once, so you can’t devote worry to everything you COULD be worried about. You’d have a breakdown.

Blogging may have served an emotional purpose in your friend’s life that she no longer needs to fill, so perhaps she’s made a break from it.

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

That to me is the best of all possible worlds . . . she’s let go of her “safe harbor” to sail the seven seas!

Bon Voyage, Andi!

6. Greg Camp - March 9, 2011

There’s also a middle of the road interpretation–people get busy and don’t have time to write. If that’s the case, she’ll be back when life calms down. I know how that goes. . .

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

Good point. Even if she’s not busy with Nick, she may be busy with other things.

7. Piglet in Portugal - March 9, 2011

You are right of course…but when someone who was a cyber friend disappears it’s easier if you know why. Then you have closure.
PiP

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

But most of the angst when someone goes MIA stems from the fact that our Egos want to believe that we were important enough to merit a “real good-bye.”

If all Andi’s WTF friends read her last post, they would see her thanks radiating out to them ~ I think that was her way of saying good-bye.

In any event, I don’t think it’s Andi’s job to give US closure . . . that’s our job.

Closure is nothing more than the return of our peace of mind. We can wait for someone else to alleviate our concerns and give us back our peace of mind . . . or we can alleviate our concerns, and reclaim our peace of mind by picturing the best case scenario instead of gravitating to the worst.

And that’s why I wrote this post.

8. classyrose - March 9, 2011

I agree with PiP, it would be nice to know why they’ve disappeared. 🙂

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

Of course it would be nice. But it is not necessary.

9. SuziCate - March 9, 2011

I’ve seen many come and go. Most either close their blogs or make them private. Some leave them but announce they are not writing any longer. I had one friend who had made the commitment to post daily and hadn’t posted in two weeks and showed no FB activity. I was a bit concerned and alas, she posted the next day…she’d just been busy with living. Before blogging, I had no idea of a cyber community…now, I am pleasantly surprised with the friendships.

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

I’ve had a few blogs close their doors, usually proceeded by an announcement of impending departure, but not always.

But Andi never played follow the leader. That’s what we liked best about her . . . her lack of convention appealed to us.

We loved the freedom she exhibited as she scaled stiff cliffs until her fingers bled, and her freedom of expression at the keyboard when insomnia struck.

Fly High, Freebird!

10. Lisa - March 9, 2011

The strange thing about cyber friendships is that we almost become accustomed to daily interaction with those cyber friends. But, when you think about it, friends come and go all the time. I have many friends out there in the world that I don’t interact with regularly, but hey have gone on to live joyous lives. They come back sometimes, they go again. I come and go too. Life takes us many places, and that is not always a bad thing.

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

I agree with you, Lisa.

People come and go. Life ebbs and flows. All things must pass. We must not hold too tightly to the past if we want both hands available to embrace the future.

Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.

11. Paula Tohline Calhoun - March 9, 2011

Concern for Andi is not necessarily self-interest. We can miss a cyber friend, desire to know where they are, and even have that concern be momentarily alarming – all that – without it being just for our own ego’s sake. I had genuine concern and I expressed it. It doesn’t mean that I don’t wish her well, and hope, pray, and imagine her in a happy and fulfilling place wherever she is. I’m quite certain that is what all her friends want for her.

That said, it is important to let go of worst-case scenarios quickly – epecially when they have not been confirmed, and move on as you say, to thinking the best. Dwelling on the worst is not good for anyone; but having initial concern is human nature and an expression of love for a friend.

We all would like to know that she is doing as well as we can possibly imagine, and her last e-mail to me expressed the gamut of emotions that she was going through, but ultimately I do believe that she is and will be fine. It just would be nice to know rather than imagine!

Good post, Nancy! Three cheers for the Nightingale!

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

Thanks, PTC.

In my experience, Spirit never jumps in to assume the WORST because it knows that the challenges we face and endure end up for the BEST.

So, if we CHOOSE to be an alarmist, and allow our thoughts to envision the WORST, that IS our Ego taking the reigns, and screaming to be heard.

It is up to us to take the reins back from Ego, “Whoa, Nelly!”

When we have reclaimed the reins from Ego, and our peace of mind is restored, we can calmly send our love, compassion, concern and good wishes to Andi wherever she may be.

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

Not convinced?
Go read your last comment to Andi:

I, for one, am sick to death of waiting . . .
I miss you!
I’m worried.
I’m not asking much . . .

Sure sounds like Ego talking to me. 😛

Paula Tohline Calhoun - March 9, 2011

I understand what you are saying, except that comment was written tongue-in-cheek! (Hence “kidnapped by aliens,” etc.) But I think we’ve found another area to agree to disagree on, because I don’t feel honest concern is an expresion of ego. But then again, we could have another semantical dicussion on the word, and ramifications of, “ego.’

But, I’m pooped – having taken my 15 minute declutter break, I must get back to folding, putting away, hanging clothes, doing laundry,dusting, sorting trash/recyclables, &c. So let’s not, OK? 😀

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

Happy Clutter Busting! 😀

12. Tilly Bud - March 9, 2011

People who lose loved ones always say that it’s the not knowing that’s the worst. Better to have closure, however awful. In a similar way, cyber friends are as powerless to know what has happened to one who goes missing.

I’d have thought Andi’s friends or family would be aware that she blogs, and would have posted something if it was bad news. Either way, you are right to choose not to worry; it won’t do anyone any good.

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

From the entries that Andi posted on WEbook and on her blog, I suspect that her family and “friends in the real world” did NOT know about her WEbook account, or her blog.

In any event, I never saw any of her family or friends comment on any of her posts.

As much as she shared, Andi carefully kept her cyber life distinct from her life on terra firma. I expect that we were a sounding board for topics to tough to discuss face to face with her family and friends.

13. Pooja - March 9, 2011

Wow, thanks for introducing me to Andi’s blog. I loved her writing and her candidness. I read couple of the last few posts.

I hope she’s at her best at the point, what ever that means.

Also, Nancy, would you please let us know if you do hear from her? Thank you. 🙂

-Pooja

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

Glad you enjoyed her writing ~ she is quite the candid writer.

If Andi makes a reappearance, I’ll definitely spread the word, Pooja. Wow! It feels odd calling you that instead of BrownEyed. 😯

Pooja - March 9, 2011

Haha I know. I recently decided to go with the real name instead. 🙂 And thanks!

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

I liked “Pooja” as soon as I saw it on your Think Simple Now bio.

Making the switch is like calling someone “Mrs. Sandman” for years and then being asked to use her first name, Agnes, instead. It takes a bit of getting used to.

Pooja - March 9, 2011

Definitely does!

Pooja means prayer in Hinduism by the way 😉

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

Love that!

And thank you. I meant to ask if there was a translation.

14. viviankirkfield - March 9, 2011

Thanks, Nancy, for speaking out honestly. Friends (cyber or otherwise) become part of the landscape for us. It is normal to miss someone or be concerned…your imaginings of what might have happened are part of the process, I guess.
The Bible addresses this I’m sure when we read, “When one door closes, another opens.” Like birds who go south for the winter, our favorites may return…or not. But others fly to our windowsill and peck at the seed we have put out…hello new friend. 🙂

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

Thanks, Vivian.

My intuition tells me that Andi is happily engaged with life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. Even if I never hear from her again, it’s been a blast exchanging cyber thoughts with her.

15. Paula Tohline Calhoun - March 9, 2011

Busting will not be completed tonight, I’m afraid. There will be a tomorrow, I’m confident, in which I can complete the task. Zero sleep last night, Zero sleep so far today, and only 4 the previous night leaves this girl dragging her sweet cheeks!

But, before I sign off for the night – and without having put up tomorrow’s post, mind you – I will close with one of my favorite sayings, vis-a-vis worry:

Don’t tell me not to worry! Worrying is one of the most effective things I do, because nothing I worry about ever happens!

G’night! &
Peace enough from
Sweet Cheeks! 😀

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

This isn’t exactly right, but it’s close to a Celtic Prayer my mother has on the fridge:

There’s no reason to worry.
Either you are sick or you are healthy.

If you are healthy, there is nothing to worry about.
If you are sick, you will either get well or you will die.

If you get well, there is nothing to worry about.
If you die, you will either go up or you’ll go down.

If you go up, there is nothing to worry about.
And if you go down, you’ll be so busy shaking hands with your old friends you won’t have time to worry!

Sweet dreams!

Paula Tohline Calhoun - March 10, 2011

I love that! Think I’ll co-opt it for my wall! But until I’m shaking hands, I’ll probably continue to prevent the worst very effectively by worrying about it! Works every time! 😀

nrhatch - March 10, 2011

Good thinking!

16. Booksphotographsandartwork - March 9, 2011

So you are saying we are all gathered here together because we have no other life? 🙂 Ok well in my case right now that is true. Wait a minute why can’t this be a life? It’s my life right now. It’s a new kind of life. Different than the empty nest my grandmother and mother experienced but still life. Maybe more.

nrhatch - March 9, 2011

Nope. That’s not what I’m saying at all.

I don’t think that Andi stopped blogging and answering our e-mails just because she now “has a life.”

I expect that Andi has gone “walkabout” without saying good-bye because we remind her of a very sad period in her life.

For all I know, she’s already started a new blog to share her new experiences with new friends. 😀

17. linda - March 10, 2011

I think it’s rather odd too just dissapear like that. If you don’t see your neighbor one day after seeing them every day as per usual then you would wonder if they are lying dead on the floor woudn’t you? And you would go check? Knock on the doors, windows? Ok well thats what my neighbor wants me to do for him since he lives alone. Our backyards and sideyards are together so it’s kind of hard not to notice if one or the other isn’t stirring. These are the things one things about as they get “older”. 🙂

nrhatch - March 10, 2011

We did go check, Linda. We knocked on the cyber door by leaving comments on her blog. No answer. We knocked on her cyber window by sending e-mails and messages on WEbook. No answer.

As soon as we noticed she wasn’t stirring, we tried to check up on her. But she isn’t answering the door, or picking up the phone ~ and her failure to answer may be by choice. She may see us standing there and be choosing not to answer our call because that chapter of her life is over.

If anything is really wrong, I’m certain that Andi’s friends and family in NYC are looking out for her. If nothing is wrong, we must find closure on our own and reclaim our peace of mind.

18. DO WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO OTHER BLOGGERS? « The only Cin - March 10, 2011
nrhatch - March 10, 2011

For those who want to pursue this topic further, I highly recommend Cindy’s post, Do We Have A Responsibility To Other Bloggers (link above).

When Cindy posted it, I responded:

Interesting post, Cindy. I know that I appreciated knowing the reason for your absence yesterday.

If I decided to stop blogging, move to another blog, or just take an extended break, I expect that I would post a last post with a brief explanation . . .

“I’ve run out of words . . . and gone searching for more”
“The well’s run dry and in need of new experiences”

If I came across a blog that was dead in its tracks without explanation, I’d probably post a comment (“Hey! Are you all right? Come out, come out, wherever you are”) and click the notify me of follow up comments.

That way the blogger would know that at least one person on the planet missed them.

19. Cindy - March 10, 2011

It just plain freaks me out if someone just disappears, I worry like hell about them 😦

nrhatch - March 10, 2011

I used to worry about anything and everyone too, but as I gained control of my thoughts I realized it wasn’t a good use of my limited time on the planet.

“Worry is the interest we pay on a debt we do NOT yet owe.”

If Andi is OK, there is nothing to worry about. If Andi is not OK, imagining the worst just to give myself something to worry about will not help her one iota.

That leaves me more energy to deal with issues over which I actually have control.

20. eof737 - March 10, 2011

I have a friend who disappeared in real life for a few months. She was even featured on the national news, on TV, everywhere… We all worried about her, set up a facebook page, prayed a lot and then one day, she returned home. I wish Andi love and peace wherever she is…
Eliz

nrhatch - March 10, 2011

Oh, I bet that was quite the reuinion ~ happiness, relief, and QUESTIONS.

I’ve been doing just that ~ sending Andi love and peace as I picture her having the time of HER life somewhere out “there.” And, if we’re lucky, she’ll come back some day and tell us all about it.

Thanks, Eliz

21. Alannah Murphy - March 10, 2011

There’s 3 bloggers whose blogs I used to visit who have pretty much dropped off the face of the earth.
One, pulled their blog, but she had spoken of going to school to get a degree, so that at least gives you a clue as to where she went, but the other two, their blogs are still there, and have been for months and months, and nothing. I even emailed one of them to ask if they were okay, and got no reply, so I can only hope something good in their lives happened and that’s why they’ve got no time to be around.

nrhatch - March 10, 2011

Oh, your comment just reminded me of Fiona Larson. She stopped writing one day. I sent her a couple of messages with no reply. I went back months later and her blog was sitting right where she left it.

I didn’t “know” her as well as I “knew” Andi so she had slipped my mind.

Alannah Murphy - March 11, 2011

I find it peculiar behaviour, to just leave things hanging, but that’s just me, as I tend to always explain myself to others. Like when I changed blogs, or was too busy to be around but everyone does things differently. I just wish them well and hope they’re safe, wherever they are…

nrhatch - March 11, 2011

I don’t think it’s just you. It’s most people. Instead of practicing the art of non-attachment and allowing things to ebb and flow, we give ourselves *gold stars* for attaching ourselves like barnacles to anything and everything that crosses our path.

Then, when something or someone goes missing, we give ourselves another *gold star* for spending time searching for the missing object.

If Andi (or Fiona) wanted to appoint one of us as her guardian ad litem, she would have given us her full name, her address, her place of employment, her parents’ names and address, her phone number, her cell phone number, etc.

She didn’t do that because we are minor players on the stage of her life. As far as I’m concerned, she was free to exit stage left without a backwards glance.

But that’s just me. 😎

22. Tammy McLeod - March 10, 2011

I know the feeling about a blogger falling from view. I’ve emailed sometimes to learn that they’re having a rough patch. I love the way you wrote through it Nancy – i’m just learning about how much that can help me with nearly everything.

nrhatch - March 10, 2011

Thanks, Tammy. These days I seldom have to do the actually writing. I thought I would share my thoughts on the subject because so many people have been worried about Andi . . . and other missing cyber friends they’ve know.

When a thought arises with a strong emotional pull, I examine it as it arises, turning it over in my mind and asking:

Is it true?
What action required?
If no action is required, can I let this thought go?

In the past, I would latch on to a thought (OMG, Andi’s missing!) and get all worked up about it . . . creating dramas in my mind and expending energy that wasn’t helping anyone.

I now see that as the type of non-productive thought that leads us no where. It just creates unnecessary suffering.

Now, instead of jumping to concoct the WORST CASE scenario, I pray for the BEST.

23. William D'Andrea - March 10, 2011

Instead of just wondering what happened to andalib, has anyone thought of contacting any missing persons websites? None of us have enough information to think that there may have been foul play, or an accident; so we can’t go to the police, we can still ask around.
I’m going to start checking out those websites, and posting all the information I have about andalib, that I believe is pertenant.

nrhatch - March 10, 2011

No, that thought never crossed my mind.

I don’t think she’s missing. She is exactly where she wants to be, doing what she wants to do.

And, if I’m wrong, her family is on the look out for her. They should be the ones to contact missing persons websites IF she’s really missing.

24. Debra - March 10, 2011

I have not read this person’s blog. So I cannot speak of it.

When it comes to cyber persons…which I consider REAL as much as I am real…there are connections…and compassion and a love (for those I am close to).

So I will be concerned for their well fare and will give them a ‘Hello I hope all is well. And i do miss you.’ comment. This allows me to express my concern and love/compassion …thereby moving past whatever entangling thoughts would occur if I did not express my concern.

Then I try…to take the middle path…that this person(s) are busy in their ‘off-world’ life. I do hope it is a ‘good’ busy…but if it is or is not….my spiraling thoughts will not help anyone.

So here goes…for you Andi and all those we have not heard from for whatever reason(s)….May peace be your life…May you and yours know happiness and the causes of happpiness…May you and yours not have suffering nor the causes of suffering.

And for me and everyone who has not heard from ones we care for…May we have peace of mind and the causes of peace of mind…May we have happiness and the causes of happiness.

BTW, great story Nancy…it made me go….awwww:)

Thank s everyone and Namaste _/!\_

nrhatch - March 10, 2011

Love this comment, Debra. Cyber connections are “real” and give rise to love, caring, and compassion.

When we first feel concern for someone’s unexpected absence or departure, it is about THEM. “Oh, where’s Andi?”

But, very quickly, if we are not mindful, it becomes about US: “I’ll miss her.” “I want to know what happened.” “I need closure.”

When we notice our thoughts drifting from what Andi needs at this moment to what we DESIRE (claiming we need it for OUR peace of mind), that’s the cue to take the reins back from Ego and say, as you’ve said:

May peace be your life . . . May you and yours know happiness and the causes of happpiness . . . May you and yours not have suffering nor the causes of suffering.

Thanks, Debra.

25. William D'Andrea - March 10, 2011

I’ve done some checking, using a missing persons website. All I’ve found out so far, is that there is an Ingrid Marks living in Corona, New York. That’s a neighborhood in the New York City Borough of Queens. That’s all I’ve been able to learn so far. All keep you advised about anything else that I learn.

nrhatch - March 10, 2011

I expect you’ll find that she’s right where she wants to be.

But maybe doing a bit of detective work will make you feel better than if you were just sitting on your hands.

26. William D'Andrea - March 10, 2011

This is not making me feel better. The independently owned missing persons websites all charge fees. The government agencies’ websites are very difficult to figure out. I’ll keep going, who knows if I might get lucky?

nrhatch - March 10, 2011

Good luck then.

27. Jackie Paulson 1966 - March 11, 2011

Oh How I love that saying, “if you love something.” It always reminds me of a butterfly. Butterflies are free to fly. If paths are meant to be that is where they meet. Have a great day. 🙂

nrhatch - March 11, 2011

One of my favorite movies in my teens . . . Butterflies Are Free starring Goldie Hawn.

A mother smothering her blind son. Goldie encouraging the mother to let him go so he could fly, or fall, on his own.

28. William D'Andrea - March 12, 2011

Since I really have no idea what to do when it comes to learning anything about andalib, I have decided to pray.

* * * * * Amen.

nrhatch - March 12, 2011

Thanks.

I deleted the text of your prayer since (1) prayer is personal, (2) you’d already posted the same prayer on FB, and (3) SLTW focuses on the Spirit within us, rather than the teachings of any specific religion.

29. Former blogger - June 15, 2011

I wrote a blog for 10 months and then one day just deleted it. I decided that I didn’t want to share my personal life any more. The blog and friendships had served their purpose. But I needed to move on to the next phase in my life. I was at a cross roads – keep the blog and I wouldn’t spread the wings I had grown. So I clicked delete. Everything was gone …

I will always be grateful for the people who shared my journey while I needed to write but hope they understand that deleting the blog was not about them – it was about me.

Why not just leave it there or say goodbye? Leaving it there would be like leaving a chapter unclosed – everything would still be there and I’d still be that person I was when I was blogging. Saying goodbye would be asking for attention. No – it seemed more appropriate to click delete and move on.

I am rarely online these days but found this post through a link on the blog of the only person among the people who read my blog who asked where I had gone (I had 50 – 200 readers a day depending on what I was writing about). And I just wanted to share a comment that I’m sure Andi is living the life. And I’m sure she’s touched by your post – to know that someone cared enough to worry for a moment or two.

nrhatch - June 15, 2011

I love your reasoning. Sometimes we have to “erase” the past in order to move forward.

Cyber technology records bits and pieces of our lives . . . but not the full story. If we decide that our blog has become a lopsided image of who we are, deleting it may make sense.

When I picture Andi, I picture her happy . . . somewhere over the rainbow.

30. Ann Best - August 1, 2011

I saw your comment on Christine Grote aka CM Smith’s blog just now, and replied to it. Then I came here to read this post.

There are some of my blogging followers whom I would really miss if they suddenly disappeared. But most followers don’t feel that three- dimensional to me.

How attached DOES one get to blogger friends?

It sounds like Andi was one that you got very attached to. I can feel your loss. But I agree with your decision to think positive thoughts about her, that is, that she’s well and happy. I see no reason NOT to do this, especially since you don’t know what DID happen.

There may come a time in all our lives, we who blog, when we need to “delete” that old blog and move on. I remember a dear friend (deceased) who once said: “Don’t ever get attached to a car.” For me, the same thing could apply to a blog. Though we do have blogging friends, a blog isn’t real life. Real life is taking care of someone physically; real life is family and friends we literally visit and talk to on the phone; real life is reading and writing.

Coming over here as got me seriously thinking about priorities, about what’s important to me; about what I need to keep and what I need to let go.

Thanks!

nrhatch - August 1, 2011

Thanks, Ann. Wonderful perspectives. We can get caught up in the daily dramas on TV, in movies, and on our blogs . . . losing sight of what’s right in front of us.

It’s so easy for our imaginations to conjure up the worst when someone is not where we expect them to be. In cyberspace, it makes far more sense to picture them enjoying themselves somewhere out there.

31. MrBillyD - August 2, 2011

I have just heard from andalib! She’s left a message on her blog:
http://anightingalesblog.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/eh-eh/

I truly thank God to know that she’s all right! It’s a true blessing. Tomorrow, August 3rd is my birthday. I will be 66 years old, and hearing from her is a much greater present than I’d ever expected; the finest birthday present I’ve ever received!

I truly thank the Lord for such a great blessing! Amen!

nrhatch - August 2, 2011

Happy Birthday, MrBillyD!

Like you, I’m delighted that Andi has re-emerged. I’ve missed her.

32. andalibmarks - August 4, 2011

WOW!
I really caused quite a stir, didn’t I?
Sorry about that.
My deepest thanks go out to everyone who was worried about me.
Nancy, thanks for picturing me having a great time.
You guys are truly, truly awesome.
Love ya!
*#*

nrhatch - August 4, 2011

Creating “best case scenarios” is what “Tiggers do best”!

Much better than wasting time worrying. As they say, “Worry is the interest we pay on a debt we do NOT yet owe.”

Glad to have you back. 😀

33. When A Cyber Friend Dies « Spirit Lights The Way - October 6, 2011

[…] * When A Cyber Friend Goes Missing  […]

34. Horcruxes & The Deathly Hallows « Spirit Lights The Way - October 8, 2011

[…] * The writer who created Andalib caused her to go missing last February. […]

35. Andy - November 15, 2012

Thank you SO much for your blog post. I am going through a similar thing myself and knowing that someone else is experiencing the same thing brings me some comfort. Your words brought comfort and laughter as well.

I am on an online dating site and I started texting this guy, we have literally talked every single day pretty much (24/7 except when we are sleeping). AND then randomly he just stopped replying, we did not have a falling out, he was not acting distant or anything like that. So his being MIA is just freaking me out a little (it’s been 3 days)

BUT while reading your blog I laughed because I too have been thinking the worst scenarios in my head. Maybe a car accident, etc etc etc. aand I’ve also been telling people “this just isn’t like him”, lmao.

BUT you’re right. You have two choices why not be positive. Everyday I wake up check my phone and when theres not a text I automaticaly think of something terrible. Instead I’m going to just accept his random departure and choose to believe something good happened to him.

Maybe he made up with an ex girlfriend and that’s why he doesn’t wanna text me anymore, maybe he’s on a trip somewhere maybe he just lost his phone and he can’t afford another one right now. Either way I’m going to choose to believe he is fine and if he comes back then he’s mine. If he doesn’t then he never was.

Thanks so much for your blog post- you can’t believe the piece of mind I have now thanks to you and your words.

nrhatch - November 15, 2012

We are all so good at jumping on the “worst case scenario” bandwagon . . . and it does us NO GOOD.

As much as possible, I try to use my imagination to picture the “best case scenarios.” They are equally likely (especially for MIA cases in cyber space) and far more soothing.

Glad you enjoyed. (Hope you hear from him soon).


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