When Friends Are Strangers You’ve Never Met.

‘Don’t talk to strangers online.’

That’s one of the things we tell our children. But as with so many rules we impose on the shorter members of our family, this is another one of those do as I say, not as I do. Because I have lots of friends I have ‘met’ online, some of them I have gone onto meet in the real world (another big no no if my kids are reading this) and some I haven’t.


Some became very good friends over time. I have some mates who I met through the love of the same band. These friends live all over the world, and for a while, when I lived in the middle of nowhere, in a crumbling marriage, they were my lifeline and my sanity keepers.

One of them died this week. A man called Ben, but known to us as Gwak. He was 29. He lived in Australia, and I never met him and rarely spoke to him on the telephone, most of our conversations were carried out on instant messaging services or sometimes text message. For a few years we spoke more or less daily, but time and new babies on my part and an increasingly busy life combining work, education and music on his, meant this had drifted to a few conversations a year more recently. And yet I still feel his loss. I still feel sad that this magnificent character, with his drumming skills, massive smile and huge heart has gone way before his time.

I cannot be there to hug his family, or be at his graveside, and neither can many others who loved him. But I hope his family feel comforted by the fact that people all round the world will miss him. The world is a smaller place than it used to be, and friendships can take different forms. It is human nature to create a village around ourselves, and he was part of mine. Rest in peace Gwak, wherever you are now, I hope they have plenty of Green Day on the play list,

Love Miss Cisco XXX


  1. Kim Carberry
    January 23, 2014 / 1:11 pm

    I’m so sorry….
    I have a friend who I’ve spoken to online for nearly 12 years…We’ve never met but I can trust her with anything….She’s one of my best friends x

  2. Older Mum
    January 23, 2014 / 2:04 pm

    I’m so, so sorry to hear this… what a shock. Big kisses. X

  3. Shiv Ferguson
    January 23, 2014 / 7:38 pm

    Oh I am so sorry to hear this. I have grown so close to my fellow fans from all over the world. They have been there for me when noone else noticed I was unhappy. I have only met one of them once but we speak every day. The bond of a shared obsession is so strong. What a huge loss. Hugs to you xxx

  4. Suzanne Whitton
    January 23, 2014 / 8:41 pm

    So sorry to hear this Sonya. I agree that sometimes an online friendship can actually be more intense than a real life one. I think we share more and learn a lot about one another. A lovely post x

  5. Tas D
    January 24, 2014 / 9:52 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss xx 29 is so young and it’s always a shock but its hard when it’s an online friend where you can’t physically reach out to their loved ones.

  6. char
    January 24, 2014 / 12:22 pm

    It’s so odd when you think that a few years ago, it would have been totally taboo to meet up with people from the internet who you’d never met. And yet through blogging, I’ve come to meet some of the people who I’d class my closest friends. Sorry to hear about your loss.

  7. SarahMummy
    January 24, 2014 / 1:43 pm

    So sorry to read this. What a terribly young age to die 🙁
    If you’d told me a couple of years ago that you could have real friends online, I wouldn’t have believed you. But online friends are just as real as people you see physically – in fact I find I ‘talk’ to my online friends far more than my flesh and blood friends.

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