By now if you knew her, you will probably have heard that Melissa, of 'Melissa's meanderings' fame, has passed away following a fight against cancer. I'm not very good at writing tributes because I always have the feeling that anything I write sounds trite and hollow, but others have penned eulogies for her that both celebrate her life in this sphere and express the sentiment of our community. Rest in piece, Melissa.
As is so often the case in our world, Melissa kept her female life and her online life separate from her family life. As I understand it her sister was quite accepting of her but her mother, while aware, was not. Thus when the end came none of her online friends were aware she had passed away, and now the news has reached us there is no way for any of our tributes to reach her family, or for her family to be aware of how she was respected in our community and perhaps gain some comfort from it.
Following a conversation on this theme with the other bloggers behind T-Central, later today I'm going to have a word with both my wife and my sister. I'm going to give them instructions that in the event of my untimely demise, they are to both announce it here and introduce both this blog and my wider involvement in this community to those among my scruffy bloke friends and wider family who are unaware of them. In that way while my oversized girl might come as an unwelcome surprise to some of them, my writings and the friends I have made here might also bring them some comfort.
Of course, it's easy for me. I'm quietly open about all this. Anyone close to me already knows about Jenny. I appreciate that those of you who are deeper in the closet might not have the luxury of a handy person to have that conversation with but I urge you to think about it, would it be worth telling someone and leaving instructions for the handling of your dual lives after you have gone? Because once the unthinkable has happened, it will be surely too late.