Today I learnt of Theresa L Duncan's suicide in New York on July 10. I'm assuming that if I read it in the New York Times online, then it is in fact truth. And that her lover and soulmate, Jeremy Blake reported missing, has in fact, swum out to sea off Rockaway Beach, also leaving a note.
I came to regard Theresa as a favoured female companion, though I never met her in person. Her blog became my daily fix of intellectual stimulation, artistic inspiration, humour and fabulous links. I was always honoured to find she had posted my comments. All of them. She must have liked me too. We exchanged the odd email and last week, seeing something was obviously amiss, I emailed her to check up on her.
Her blog was the first one I ever read. A fortunate fluke - it was to be the main inspiration for starting my own blog. You will notice that I have reverted back to my original page layout, as a tribute to her. You will also notice, if you visit Theresa's blog, that the similarities between the look of both hers and mine are deliberate. I just thought she was marvelous.
I feel I've lost an ally, a significant and important one.
I have no idea of where to place my grief for the loss of her. I never met this woman but I knew her and respected her greatly.
Selfishly,I don't know what I'll do without her. My brain needs that stimulation and I know many others would feel this as well. Her comments on women, art, culture and politics were always supremely interesting and intelligent. A laugh out loud response was common for me.
How do you reconcile the loss of someone you admired so much - in cyberspace?
My first response was a predictable human one, shock. After a while, I stopped myself from thinking it was unacceptable to mourn for a cyber person, a virtual companion. Then I was able to shed some tears.
The world has lost one of it's greatest female thinkers. At the age of 40. And damn it, I've lost a friend.
So what will I do? I will keep blogging, that's what.
My sympathy and condolences go out to all her loved ones, her real life companions. But also to those like me: her "children and sisters" of the Staircase.