Friday, February 09, 2007

Sad Legacy

I was reading an article in the newspaper here about two young travellers who died in a youth hostel fire in Punta Arenas, Pategonia. The two girls, one Aussie and one Canadian, were forced to spend an extra night at the hostel because their bus transport didn't arrive, and during the night a kitchen fire destroyed the hostel. The two girls were amongst 10 people who perished in the blaze.

The other day I mentioned how I thought abandoned websites have a sad feeling about them. As is the case with this story, the websites left behind by people who have passed away are even sadder. Both girls left behind travel blogs, Lauren's Around The World In Havaianas and Emily's Long Lost Longworth. The family of Lauren have bravely written a last blog entry, and both blogs have received lots of messages on their Message Boards from family, people they met during their travels and strangers who were moved by their stories. Very sad, but I guess the families and friends of both girls at least have the legacy of reading about the fun and adventures they were having, even though it was ultimately to end tragically.

I remember way back when, when 'blogs' as such didn't really exist (or not in any great number). There was a journal I used to read quite frequently. A beautifully designed one that I discovered in 1998, one with a really unique feel, design and point of view to it. It was called Dreaming Among The Jade Clouds by a woman who went by the name of Ginko. One day the blog just stopped, and I stopped reading for a while, only to then revisit it and find this very sad closing entry written by her partner, after she had taken her own life.

Ok, this entry is starting to sound morbid. My point though is, for a while at least and for as long as hosting fees are paid and web servers stay in business, these people have left behind legacies. Themselves. Their thoughts, fun times and bad times. Maybe that is solace for those loved ones they left behind. I've enjoyed going back to revisit Aveline's mySpace page, just to enjoy 'hearing' her voice again through the things she wrote.


Tyson said...

That's spooky, and dramatically changes the way you look at their photos and the like.

I'm sure I'll find an internet connection when I get to hell... or is having no broadband the very definition of hell?

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

spooky stuff TOA, but I had been thinking of exactly the same thing in regards to Aveline... I visit to make sure it's still there. I know you can cache these things - or whatever you call it - but I don't know how... I saved her site by a series of screen shots as jpgs in photoshop. because I am a bit silly that way...

she was here too -

tracey said...

I feel the same with sa_ku_ra, on flickr. We're all leaving notes for her still, I'm not sure whether her flickr account will be up forever

I've left hints with Regan for all my accounts that I have, just in case. Morbid, I know, but my net-life is important to me.

q60sgirl said...

Remember as i wrote from that book and left on your fridge.

"We never touch people so lightly that we do not leave a trace. Our state of being matters to those around us, so we need to become conscious of what we share so that we can learn to share with intention."

Enjoy hearing her voice through her writings. A special girl Aveline.

Sunshine said...

This is a brilliant post, Andrew. I feel so sad after reading about the two girls who died in the fire and the lady who took her own life.

But I kind of like the idea of leaving fragments of our thoughts behind in cyberspace even after we have ceased to exist. The spirit lives on that way.

Not so Single Guy said...

wow..that's a sad story.

Mate...I am organising a Sydney Bloggers meet up for next Sunday Feb 18 from 6:30 at the Tilbury. Hope you can make it!

The Other Andrew said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. It is sad isn't it? I like that there is a positive side though, that people can sort of feel connected to the person by going back and re-reading. It's truly a legacy.

Hey welcome "not so single guy", thanks for the comment. Sounds good, if I can make it I'll definately be there! Thanks for letting me know!