Saturday, June 29, 2024

Funeral for a friend

 XO has shuffled off of this mortal coil. He was one of my influencers and friends in the KC blogging community. I admired him, and he I. His passing is saddening and his voice on this vast internet has been missed for quite some time. 

His original blog has been taken over by some wanker redirecting to parts unknown, so I won't be linking to that. His work can still be found on the internet archive and I'd suggest rolling through his posts like this one or the war on terrorism if you have some time. 

Those of us in the KC blogging community did our bits of writing online to connect with other people in this daring new online space. This was before epic monetization, and the branding of individuals so they could be influencers. It was a way to self reflect, and share our thoughts, such as they were with people who were in the same area seeing our shared community through different eyes. XO is not the first of this small group to pass, but his friendship and personality were well-regarded by (most) all of us.

There was a small gathering at GTO's place a week ago and it was good to see people and see the cross section of XO's life gathered to remember him. I'm going to quote from one our members in group chat we were having on the news of him passing.

I am feeling oddly positive about [XO]'s departure from life. He most likely would have chosen to die in privacy - he would not have wanted a bunch of people crying around him. He knew he was loved by a crowd of people he wouldn't have known or even been exposed to if not for the bloggers world. He had friends who were nothing like him - he was a prickly person who most likely would have been left alone to be a hermit in a less caring world. He was cared for up to the end by friends and hospice - and he knew he could post something online about needing a package moved, and someone would help him out. In return, he took us along his ride toward his final destination. He described the fear of almost toppling down the stairs recently. He let us know what it is like to know that your days are numbered and that there won't be any more big adventures, but he wasn't self-pitying. [XO] was his own person, and he died peacefully in bed. His greatest worry was to be found in a broken and bloody heap at the bottom of the stairs, or found after several days in a heat wave. Over the years we knew him, he transformed from a deeply cynical guy into someone who felt love and gave it more freely that he could have dreamed fifteen years ago. 

 XO was unique and it was good to see him and remember him in the presence of all of those long-time friends. XO wasn't a hugger, but being with all of those friends felt like a warm hug. 

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