I just found out that Gharlane of Eddore died.
Gharlane was a flamer, but one of those articulate, knowledgable, educated, and literate flamers that USENET thrives on. As long as I have been on-line (nine years), Gharlane was a right of passage. He was often accused of being a sock puppet of Harlan Ellison (which he obviously wasn't). He was railed against, argued with, chatted up, and pen-palled by thousands of SF fans on-line for as long as anyone can remember, and he died in early July and I never even knew his real name.
It's possible that I'm shock-y right now not because Gharlane is gone, but that this news comes mere days after learning that a friend of the family died very suddenly Monday night from a cerebral hemorage. He was an only child and father of two small sons, age 2 and 8 I think, and it is just horrific for his family right now. His mother is sort of my sister Deirdre's Fairy Godmother, and one of my mother's best friends. I never really knew him, not like my folks and Deirds did. But the news came Tuesday just as I was about to give my Judy the tour of the new digs, and I held her hand while she called Sherrill (J.R.'s mom) and for many hours afterwards.
So I'm feeling particularly aware of my own mortality right now, as well as sensitive to the grief of family and loved ones.
It's been a very very odd week. I feel the need to step up to the chalk line over at The Place and make a toast.