“The largely artificial Internet life is all too often detached from real life, and we lose sight of the real-life humans we’re interacting with. Yet the Internet can also deliver connections we’d never have had otherwise.”
That was something Arthur@AmeriNZ wrote about me upon the passing of my mother in 2011. I’ve almost certainly have mentioned him more than any other person on this blog. I catch his typos and he catches mine; we’re both mortified.
In his blog, you read how the kid from Chicago traveled all the way to New Zealand in the mid-1990s and found love with Nigel. I think I get along with Arthur so well because he marks all of those anniversaries: when he came to Kiwiland, when he and Nigel had their civil union (because that was all that was allowed at the time), and when they were married, among many others.
It was only Friday, September 13 when Arthur wrote that Nigel had been in hospital since the previous Monday, originally for an infection. The doctors had discovered that Nigel had late-stage liver cancer. At the very best, he would have around two years.
Of course, Arthur was angry that they were to be cheated out of growing old together. Still, I thought they would have some time to be together for a little while more, something they had worked toward for a quarter of a century.
Less than a week later, Arthur wrote on Facebook. “Nigel left us around 6:59 this morning. I am destroyed.” And I am overwhelmed with a sense of loss for Arthur, who I care for deeply. I can’t explain how you can develop a relationship with someone you’ve never met in person, but there it is.
The funeral of Nigel King will be Monday 1:30 pm, Auckland time, which is 16 hours ahead of New York time. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the Anxiety New Zealand Trust.
To paraphrase Arthur, “I hope that the support and aroha Arthur is receiving from around the world helps comfort him in this sad time.”