When an Online Friend Dies

Facebook has been around long enough that we are facing a new dilemma, online friends that die.

My online Facebook friend Deb Walker won’t be the first, and surely not the last.

But, how does the online community handle the death of one of their members?  How do people living around the world deal with the death of someone they never met, but feel they knew well?

Online of course.

Deb’s journey in life was never an easy one.  She dealt with poverty, illness and just trying to get through day by day.  However, she had a lot of good things going for her in her life.  She was rich in her love for her husband Ric.  Also she was a talented craftsperson.  I would go to craft shows and think “Deb could do better than this stuff.”

Deb also always had the love of her family.


When she and Ric took what they knew would be a big chance to move to beautiful rural New York state to help open a restaurant they knew the odds were stacked against them.  Deb believed in Ric’s recipes and abilities as a cook.  She was willing to give it her all.

Sadly it did not work out, but I admired her ability to take a chance, to have hope to make a better life, and the bravery to travel to a new place to try to do so.  A lot of us are not nearly so brave as Deb was with that move.

Also, she loved animals. There always seemed to be a few that needed a home and that home was with her and Ric.  While the job didn’t work out,she feel in love with the beauty of her new surroundings.

My last chat with her online was full of hope.  What she was crafting for others.  What she was crafting for herself, just personal inspiration.  She also said she was sending me a gift. I received some beautiful ghost earrings, they glow in the dark, and a fabulous cat bookmark.

She told me she was making a bookmark just like it for our mutual friend Ellie.  I told Ellie I would send her the bookmark, because I know Deb wanted her to have one. I have the earrings.  Many of us have wonderful creations by Deb that we will treasure forever.


many are lucky to own one of her many works….

Also Deb was feisty.  Being often poor, she was a fighter for empathy for everyone.  She probably should have been a Trump voter, but she wasn’t.  She was a fighter for equality and fairness for everyone.  Women, Native Americans, any minority, and the poor.  She often upset and challenged the white males that posted on my Facebook posts.  She didn’t let them get away with much.  I admired her calling people out, that thought they were liberals from their safety of good jobs, paid up insurance and white privilege.  They didn’t get away with the false belief they were truly full of empathy… but really THOSE PEOPLE should just calm down.  She was such a supporter of liberal causes not because she was safe doing so and could pat herself on the back, she supported liberal causes because she was living the consequences of inequality herself.

Thank you Deb for sharing so much of yourself with your friends on Facebook.

We know how truly rich you were with friends and with talent and artistic ability and the love of a good man that you were so proud of.

You will be missed.

Categories: Art, crafts, Friends, Travel, Women

Tags: , , , , , ,

5 replies

  1. Such a lovely person. That fits my little sister Carole, too. (We lost her suddenly in June.). Thank you.

  2. Thank you from the bottom of my broken heart for this lovely tribute to my beautiful sister.

  3. A wonderful tribute, Beth. Thank you!

  4. Thank you for this beautiful tribute to my friend, Barbara Reynolds’ sister. I didn’t know Deb personally but like you have indicated, I appreciated her for her online posts and she shall be sorely missed. I liken our relationships to our online friends to be that of an old fashioned pen pal. We get to know each other so well through words, and for some of us, those words are more meaningful and deeper than would be in person. Some of us may not be as capable as saying what we mean in person yet we can express ourselves in writing. I’m not particularly one of those people but I am capable of discerning an intelligent and succulent post, and that is what Deb was capable of doing! I did not realize she was such an artistic talent; thank you for sharing that about her. I know Barbara is a very talented person so Deb’s ability does not come as a surprise. What does come as a surprising shock is her untimely death which is so very, very sad.

  5. Thank you so much for writing this. It’s so beautiful. She’s my momster. I miss her so much. She gave me more than I could ever dream of.

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