All things end.
Sometimes they end loudly, sometimes with a whisper, and sometimes without any notice at all. The neighbor’s 14 year-old cat suddenly isn’t making his evening rounds, scratching against your porch door anymore. Your favorite sitcom, in its seventh season, suddenly disappears. Your sweet grandmother passes away in the night.
At one moment, these things are an integral part of your life … in another, they are simply gone. How it effects us depends entirely on the energy we invested in these things or these relationships. In RL, I have wept openly over the loss of a kitten, and yet have been completely unable to shed a tear at a relative’s funeral.
Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross proposed the infamous Five Stages of Grief in her book, On Death and Dying. Primarily aimed at the emotions one goes through when faced with their own death, many have applied to other aspects of loss in our brief human lives … the loss of functionality, perhaps … the loss of a career, the divorce of a spouse.
In Second Life, the events, the creations, the relationships we enter into are often derisively referred to as “moves in a game,” but too many of us know that our real world emotions can get caught up inside it just as easily as they can in the Real.
Commitments are made.
And where the end can come simply by someone’s decision to not log in anymore, life can be just as devastating in our cosmos of pixels. The end of these attachments are often compounded by the awareness that we may never connect with a particular individual again. There aren’t the forced connections like shared custody, alimony, or sharing the same gym or mall can bring. No accidental butt dialings. No driving by the house you shared.
It can all be gone in less than the time it takes to clear a sim.
In honor of this type of loss many of us have known, I wanted to share a series of poems that I wrote recently after the loss of one of my attachments (yes, a romantic one). I tried to emulate the iambic pentameter style of the great romantics of Elizabethan times, but only to etch in the emotions of grief rather than to color the pink hues of new love.
There is one for each of the the five stages … and if you’ve kept up with this blog, you’ve already read these.
Denial – “Lacquered Floor”
Anger – “The Scorned”
Bargaining – “The Jeweled Box”
Depression – “The Cave”
Acceptance – “A Glimpse of You“