To My Friend Ben

Being on line has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have met some incredibly wonderful people here. I have laughed and cried and held people through their personal tragedies. Unfortunately, it has also brought me face to face with my first death of a friend.

I found out that Ben Fanjoy passed away on February 16th, 1999. I miss him so very much. The grief I am feeling would be the same if he had lived next door to me, not hundreds of miles away.

I take solace in the fact that I know I made him smile. I have brought some small ray of light into his life. I can sit here and think of all the things I could have done, or maybe even should have done, but I will just have to look for the things I have done, and take comfort in that. Death is never easy.. but to happen to one so young, I break out into fresh bouts of tears every time I think of things that will never be.

I am just thankful that I also know one of his local friends who had the foresight to let me know. I can't imagine never finding out. To have to sit and wonder what happened to my good friend, who when I last talked to him, promised to write. I can only hope, that one lesson is learned from this. If you have on line friends, make sure someone knows who they are and how to locate them in the event that something happens to you. A spouse, a sibling, or a friend.. someone you trust to notify people. Keep the information current, and keep them informed. You never know when something may happen to you.

If I had one last chance to talk to him, I would try to make sure he knew how much I care. I had to go to work the morning after I found out, and I heard these words on the radio. I thought they were very fitting..

Thanks for the times that you've given me,
the memories are all in mind.
And now that we've come to the end of our rainbow
there's something I must say out loud:

Ben, Thank you for coming into my life. You made me laugh smile, and love you. You made me appreciate my life, just that much more for your having graced it. I truly had hoped to meet you this summer, but now that will never be. I have to believe that out of every bad, comes some good. I can't imagine what that could be at the moment, but sometimes we are not destined to know. I wish you didn't have to go, but can understand why you felt the need. I can only pray that one day we will meet.. God willing.

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