A man died yesterday. A man who I shared many mutual friends with, but rarely saw in person… I saw him online though… One of my most regular supporters was he. So many sweet little ‘Likes’ came from him. I knew he’d been sick for a while now, but there was a little ‘Like’ sitting there not even a week ago. Less than two weeks ago, he posted this little message on something I’d written, ‘You are a true Woman of Light Miss Gabriella Salmon.
aloha xx’. Days ago. Only days. I’ve been sitting here reading all the things that people are sharing about him in this online space that so many of us are a part of. (Yes, I’m talking about Facebook.) I’m sitting here reading these beautiful messages, tears rolling down my cheeks, and I see that it’s not just me. I’m not the only one who he ‘Liked’, supported, and shared the online love with. I know he was having dialysis at one point and wasn’t very mobile… He kept connecting and supporting and encouraging the world in the ways he could. Small though they might seem in the scheme of things, these things mattered.
I let web stats influence the way I feel about my work and my sharing way more than I’d like to. That red percentage on my Facebook page that tells me how much my readership has dropped in a week feels discouraging. When only 10 people read something I put hours and hours into, I so often make up the story that it is less valuable than something read by 100 people. But, the truth is, I would have written it all for him. Had he appeared a little while ago and said ‘I will be dead in two months, will you write me some stories please? Something to inspire me, to amuse me, to let me into your expanding physical world while mine is rapidly shrinking.’ I would have written it all for him. To share our living with the dying is such powerful magic… And vice versa. To know that I brought something beautiful into this man’s space, to know that I gave him the realest glimpse into my world that I could muster… This, this makes every piece I’ve ever created priceless, and utterly worth the times when I have had to drag myself here… Not just because a dying man read them, but because it reminds me that I too will be dead one day, and that my words will live on. You who read this after I am dead and gone, know that I thought of you. Words are time travel, words are time travel.
So I write this letter of thanks to a dead man, for you to read even after I’m gone… And we shall change worlds with our fingertips, and reach across time with our small acts of love and support. Every act of loving support changes everything. Your ‘small things’ matter, sweet child of Life, your ‘small things’ matter.