Jim Stanfield was 16 years old. On September 30, 2002, he turned in front of an 18-wheeler and collided with it. He was taken to the hospital and died today, October 1, 2002.

I can deal with my emotions. I always could until now. Now I can't even tell if I'm having one. I talked with this person almost daily over IRC. I knew his hobbies and his sarcastic sense of humor. We wouldn't recognize each other if we passed on the street. I can neither treat his death as I would the death of someone I knew in "real life" nor ignore it.

So now, I don't know how I feel. I don't even know what I should feel. I am left with a null state--the complete absence of emotion. At least, nothing directly created by Jim's death. I'm worried that someone I knew could die and barely affect me at all.

We are separated by geography. We only knew each other as minds. If he ever spoke of me while not on the internet, it was as an "internet friend." I did the same. Does that mean that "internet friends" die, I don't have to mourn them in "real life"?

I haven't been here long. I haven't heard of a popular noder dying since I joined. A lot of you have, and you've had to deal with the same emotion I'm feeling (or not feeling?) right now. How does the internet culture deal with this? There's no correct answer; the conditions for such an event haven't been around long enough for a tradition to be established.

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