Maybe that is a way to say goodbye.

Avraham's family knew that he was preparing to die, but this was a private knowing. We usually expect that in situations such as this word spreads among friends, one person telling another in subdued tones that maybe it's time to pay one last visit. Things don't always work out this way, but for most of us there seems to be something correct or proper in a script of this sort. It's a ritual that has become a recognized part of our culture. As opposed to this private sort of departure, most people would feel that there's something strange in an online, public, departure. It suggests an extroverted sort of dying which, though certainly not culturally unacceptable, is still on the fringe of the mainstream.

I doubt, however, that Avraham intended anything extroverted when he posted his message. Even though he most certainly wasn't the sort of person who would have asked for, or desired, public acts of sentiment, he no doubt must have known that posting his parting message to a public discussion forum would elicit a public response. I find myself faced with a bit of a pradox: Considering that Avraham devoted only one sentence to the forum in his parting message, it would seem that the forum wasn't particularly important to him. On the other hand, if it wasn't, why post the message to the forum at all. Of course there doesn't really have to be a logical resolution to this paradox. It may well be that Avraham didn't have an answer, but instead that he was still experimenting with the question. There's no reason not to think that he was still trying to figure out for himself what role the forum played in his life - a life that for physical reasons focused more and more on the computer screen. That being the case, there's no doubt that the forum had become an important frame of reference for him, and it thus became a logical place to which he could report to his friends what was happening to him.

Go to: If you knew him like we knew him.