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I Lost a Close Online Friend


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Two days ago I learned of the death of a man who I never knew in person, but we were very close online. He died suddenly and unexpectedly- he fainted and hit his head in the shower due to medication changes. He was in his late 30s I believe (I don't remember his exact age). He didn't have any life-threatening chronic conditions as far as I am aware. You hear of this kind of thing happening to much older people, but rarely someone his age. When he was alive he was always kind to me, even when I was pretty much a nobody on social media, and was in a way my first true online friend. He really helped me come out of my shell and express my opinions online. I often did livestreams and video collaborations with him (both of us were on Youtube), and he closely followed me on Facebook (as did I for him). It's such a shock to me and feels so surreal... just two weeks ago before I took a break from Facebook he seemed happy and active online, and the first thing I heard when I returned was that he was gone. The part that really broke my heart was everyone on his private Facebook posting about what a great guy he was. A person who had met him in real life said he was a really great guy in person, and that he had spoken of me very fondly when they met. The way that he died scared me too because I have POTS (a low blood pressure and high heart rate) which is affected by certain factors, including medication, so the way that he died could in the future be a reality for me. It's been difficult to sleep and I just feel hollow inside. I feel weird, as if I'm appropriating other people's struggles, because he was an online friend and not a "real" friend. I never expected I'd feel grief like this. All I can do is wish he wasn't suffering at the end. I'm going into grief counseling after the holiday break is over, but for now I'll look to online support. It's a tough situation when it's an online friend because it doesn't feel as genuine. Many of my other online friends who were close to him online are grieving as well and many of them have been very supportive. I've only really briefly dealt with loss before- I lost my grandfather about 18 months ago (my reaction was more anger than grief because he was a manipulative narcissist), and I lost my 2 beloved cats when I was much younger. But I wasn't prepared for grief to hit me this hard.

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