I was deeply saddened this morning while trawling my email notifications to arrive at my copy of a June posting allegedly made by the sister of a respected blogging acquaintance/virtual-neighbour, Paul M********, a US citizen believed to be working and living in or around New York.
While attempting to pick up my lingering blogging habit I’d realised I’d not seen anything from Paul’s blog (www.palfitness.wordpress.com) in quite a while. So I’d dredged back through multitudes of links in my email inbox to find a trace.
Paul was a generous creative spirit and as well as posting on fitness he composed poetry and shared lots of interesting reblogs leading readers to other blogs he admired. The notice apparently posted by his sister informed his followers of the very sad news that Paul had died of undetermined circumstances on 29th May 2017. I have to assume that the poster claiming to be his sister was genuine and that the information is authentic. Unfortunately Paul’s blog has been deleted and perhaps that is in keeping with his wishes.
(Personally I feel it’s outrageous that relatives left behind might choose to delete a person’s online presence and remove their traces from the virtual world. I hope no-one is ever legally allowed to do that to my stuff even if it embarrasses the hell out of them! That’s not meant as a jibe to Paul’s family – nor my own – were they even to be reading, which I doubt.)
I deeply regretted not seeing that notification earlier, nor his more recent blog posts leading up to that date. Paul had been encountering very difficult circumstances securing employment and navigating the pitfalls of temporary accommodation and some of his posts had eluded to himself and his friends/associates being victims of crimes including theft and violence against them. Quite sometime before Paul had spoken out against an incident of online bullying among/affecting specific members of the international online community and hopefully those individuals engaged in trolling etc had no bearing on the difficulties he encountered nor his sad demise nor the circumstances of his death as reported in that post claiming to be from his sister. Maybe we’ll never know the truth and that’s a sad reality for so very many peoples suffering the intolerable blights of a troubled world.
It’s four months to the day that Paul last posted to his personal blog. That feels such a long time to have passed before realising he was gone. His presence will be sadly missed but fondly remembered by many of those he interacted with online, even though we probably remain ‘strangers’.
How do you remember Paul?
I can’t say I knew Paul closely at all but I’ll remember him for his poetry and his spreading goodwill and positivity and his good sense of humour.
Below is a screenshot of Paul’s penultimate six-word story found in the backlog of email notifications in my inbox this morning:
Yes, he was known to sometimes occasionally have vented emotionally-vexed rants on his personal blog. Many of us using personal blog spaces and/or social media might be likely to write out our rants now and then. We’re all hopefully human, after all. Better out than in, as we might say. Some of Paul’s posts during the last few months had been deeply concerning and it’s awful to not be able to help people when they seem in need. However he always seemed to bounce back and never gave up trying. New York must be an awfully difficult place to sustain everyday living. I don’t know why anyone would ever choose to go there as a tourist given the problems tourism is causing there and elsewhere.
Yes, Paul once quite rightfully called another blogger a ‘bitch!’ as she undoubtedly was. Yes she was getting away with some hideously insulting and outrageous behaviours. Yes he was condemned by some for his ‘outburst’ and refusing to tolerate such social injustices on behalf of another blogger who Paul had chosen to stand up for in their absence and for using such an innocuous regularly used word as ‘bitch’ in response to a deeply insulting remark made against him that was edited before other readers came across the conversation. That bitch hadn’t realised another online reader was present witnessing her attack in the moment of it happening and that it hadn’t been the first occasion but a repeated deviance preying on the vulnerabilities of others. Maybe I shouldn’t dredge it up here. Paul would worry for my own personal safety in alluding to it, given that bitches’ alleged reputation for dangerous trouble-making. She might also happen to be a well-respected and influential member of blogging communities / professional circuits.
And it might all have been hot air blown cold a long time ago. Murky waters under someone else’s shoddy bridge. So it’s time to let sleeping dogs lie then, maybe, cos bitches like that one might never lose a case they can pay through the nose for and can carry on regardless.
Paul, aka Palfitness, apparently gone, but not forgotten. R.I.P. Sincere belated condolences to Paul’s family and friends in light of their sad loss.