In Memory of Mabb Dilweg

A couple of days ago I learned that the typist behind the SL avatar known as Mabb Dilweg had passed away suddenly.  This news hit me far harder than I ever imagined it could.

I’ve known people from SL who passed away before, but for some reason this one really hit home.  It most certainly can be credited to Mabb’s bigger than life personality, her compassion, her charm, her warmth, the way she could bring joy to any situation, her infectious laughter but in truth I think it was the story of her and her partner Shane Fairlock that really made this an additional tragedy for me.

Only a couple of weeks ago Mabb shared this with us:

The other night, Shane and I were being all gooey and lovey-dovey because our anniversary was coming up, and well, we were being geeky-lovey-dovey and saying thank you to Tesla, and Turing, and Bill Gates and of course, Al Gore who invented the internet because well, otherwise we’d never have met!

Then it struck me. Seriously. The ONLY person to thank is Philip. If Philip hadn’t dreamed up SL, convinced people to fund it and used connections and whatever to get it hyped up all over the press, we’d never have known about SL… and well, the amazing, serendipitous set of circumstances that led to my friend throwing a 3-day old n00b at me while I was DJing three years ago today, would never have happened.

So. Thank you Philip. You made it possible for me to meet the most wonderful man I have ever known.

-Mabb Dilweg 02-22-2013

It was Shane who shared the news of her passing with us, he had been on Skype with her when it happened.  I’m tearing up even writing that.  My heart is breaking for him.

This really brought home to me that the feelings and bonds we form shouldn’t be diminished or limited because they are “online”.  In this case, and many others, the venue isn’t a limiting factor, the distance however is.  Not only for those who are in those relationships, but for those of us who wish to lend our support during these times.

I felt helpless and useless while talking with Shane that night.  There are no words to comfort someone at a time like that, in any world, but at least in person I would be able to hug, or hold hands, or cook, or make phone calls for him, or … well something, anything.

Out of the blue he said to me “Panks, can you do me one favor”.  Of course my answer was an immediate “Anything”.  Then he asked me to go photograph their home in SL.  He didn’t feel that he could return there, that it would be too hard, but he asked if I could take pictures so that later he could remember and celebrate how they lived, how they loved.

It was the least I could do, but it was something, so I did my best to capture it all for him.  In looking at the pictures I feel it isn’t enough, worry that I missed something.    When we look at our own homes in SL each little thing has a memory.  The significance of a picture on the wall, the times we sat on a certain piece of furniture, the reason behind displaying a certain accessory.

 

I have my own memories of Mabb, the way we first connected over our shared love of Melody Gardot.  It had become a bit of a thing between us, we’d sometimes make a nod to Melody knowing only the other would get it.  One of her last posts on a forum we both belong to was in fact exactly that.  She recently got a new computer and was really enjoying taking pictures and sharing them.

And I ADORE this dress… hopefully the angles show off the fact that it has a sweet transparent layer

Also – for Pancake – rockin’ my Melody Gardot look

-Mabb Dilweg 03-03-2013

Over the last few days I’ve seen a community come together to share it’s memories of Mabb, in support of Shane and her friends and family and it warms my heart.  I know she’d be pleased, that if circumstances were any different she’d be the first one there with hugs.  I’ve also noticed many who didn’t know her personally feel the weight of this loss.  For some, that’s an uncomfortable feeling, as if they are intruding or somehow shouldn’t be grieving.  I can relate to that feeling, it’s one I’ve had a twinge over the last few days.  There are so many who knew Mabb better or for longer than I did, who know her offline or outside of SL, who am I to be this upset?  I remind myself though that it’s not about who is more entitled to be hurting, it’s yet again a testament to the type of woman she was that her loss is felt amongst so many across the world.  If I have learned one thing about pain or loss over the years, it’s that pain is a burden that is lighter when shared with many hands.

Shane, reluctantly and with more than a few prods, has agreed to accept assistance during this time.  He made this request

i want to go to australia to say my goodbyes with our dear friend Mayden, who is like a sister to us. i want to be able to sit on the grass where she lay and feel the world she lived in, touch the things she touched and hug the ones we love. play with her grandsons who adored her and excitedly talked to me on skype when they visited, hug the wonderful women who she brought into this world and their families who loved her so much. kiss the hand of the mother who brought brought mabb into this world and thank her for my chance to experience one of the worlds most precious gems. for mayden to be able to share in those moments with me, that we may support one another in a hard time where not many would or could understand the intense love that people can have over so great a distance. our love was like a story book story. and to her request for me to carry on i want to in person say “as you wish”

-Shane Fairlock 03/08/2013

http://www.sluniverse.com/php/vb/general-sl-discussion/81487-all-who-wish-help-have.html#post1735533

Fundraising has begun to help Shane with travel expenses so that he can say his goodbyes in person.  You can get his paypal information in the thread linked above.

There is also a yardsale here http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Apocalips%20Shinano/139/100/23 where you can put items out for sale or shop with 100% of proceeds going to this cause.

You can also contribute directly to the SL avatar banking account set up for this https://my.secondlife.com/shibari

UPDATE – SHANE HAS ALSO SET UP AN INDIEGOGO DONATION CAMPAIGN.  YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE HERE

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-divine-miss-m?c=home

For someone who apparently has the gift of the gab, who loves to talk more than just about anything in the world, I’m finding I’m at a loss for words here.  I type and I type and I type, but it’s still not right, and no where close to enough.

My heartfelt condolences go out to Shane, Mabb’s family, daughters, grandchildren and all her friends around the world.

Mabb, you are already so very missed.

11 comments on “In Memory of Mabb Dilweg

  1. thank you, Panks, its all so beautiful. and please never be concerned about how you should feel, just feel it. everyone has their own for a reason and i am no one to say they cant feel as strongly as they may, because i know how amazing she was and she would be a person who would send ripples through a community, so that every corner of it would feel and be touched by her presence. so please, everyone, feel away. feel all you will feel and hurt all you hurt. talk about it and sing about it and create, let her memory inspire you as it does me. in any way, shape or form, in any amount, or for any reason. no matter your familiarity with her. She and i both are honored by it, and never should you feel worried that you would step on toes.

  2. So beautiful, Pancake. Just like Mabbs. It fills me with such unresolvable melancholy to see the photos of her dream home and to think of how her laughter will never again fill the grid. But someone like her – so alive and fierce and loving – always leaves behind ripples of their love in the people they knew. Mabbs will never truly be gone as long as she’s remembered like this.

  3. in tears and so sad to hear this news she was a wonderful person she made me laugh many times and a wonderful dj a sister at heart allways and you shane a big brother to us all i wish i could help and it kills me i cant i would in a heart beat if i could i send as much love and comfort as i can she will be missed so dearly
    love elizabeth aka lizzy

  4. Im at such a loss i knew her for a short time
    but she never had a bad thing to say
    and always had hugs for me i will miss her terrably and Shane hugs to you

    • Absolutely. It’s a good question.
      I copied a portion of the request Shane originally made on our forum where he talks about hoping to bring along one of their mutual close friends Mayden. She was like a sister to them both, and he felt that she not only would benefit from being there, but they could support one another in this time.
      Shane isn’t quite himself, as you can imagine, and must have left that off the Indiegogo campaign, but here are his words from the original plea on the forum

      “i want to go to australia to say my goodbyes with our dear friend Mayden, who is like a sister to us. i want to be able to sit on the grass where she lay and feel the world she lived in, touch the things she touched and hug the ones we love. play with her grandsons who adored her and excitedly talked to me on skype when they visited, hug the wonderful women who she brought into this world and their families who loved her so much. kiss the hand of the mother who brought brought mabb into this world and thank her for my chance to experience one of the worlds most precious gems. for mayden to be able to share in those moments with me, that we may support one another in a hard time where not many would or could understand”

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  6. When I heard the news I cried. Mabb was one of my oldest friends on SL. She and I have had some awesome deep conversations, and I will miss her greatly. Peace to you, dear Felicity, may you rest easy, knowing you are so loved. xxx
    Susan/Dracona

  7. Oh that is so lovely Pancake. Thank you so much for writing this. I am a ‘RL’ friend of Flick and knew her for about 15 years. I spent many happy hours sitting on the sofa with her, talking about life, the universe and everything. But I think some of her closest friendships were in SL. She would talk about you all and sometimes show me things you all made. Occassionally she even let me ‘walk around’ in her avatar. She made another self in SL, that was both like and unlike her physical being. That self was, I think, more like the real Felicity in some ways. The grief both of us feel is certainly real. I’ll be thinking of you all at her funeral on Friday. Peace.

  8. Pingback: What I learned from my friend Flick | The Thesis Whisperer

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