Melanie’s Memorial Shrine

Melanie's Shrine

As Casja said–we’ve lost many people in SL this summer, and many to cancer. I wanted to take this post to ease us back into blogging, as well as talk about how to erect a memorial shrine for someone you love.

These are more tips than a how-to, but I hope someone can use this to build an effective memorial. We would all like to think we would not need this information, but sometimes you do.

Location of the shrine is extremely important. For Melanie, she wouldn’t want to be too far from the water. Think about where your love one always was standing around or visiting in the grid. If you can’t put a shrine in that location, you can attempt to recreate it somehow (a skybox would help, in that case).

Style is the next important subject. Melanie was Hawaiian and Japanese-American. Her shrine is a callback to memorial shrines in Asia, as well as a mix of American style, with many reminders of Hawaii and her life there.

Candles are great, but mementos are important too. Fill your shrine until it’s almost overflowing with things your loved one would appreciate. Melanie liked different types of food, sweets, and drinks. The beer I placed on the shrine is more about her frank nature than it is about what type of beer she liked. There’s cake and sushi, and a dancing cat statue I found at the Okinawa Summer Festival going on right now. Melanie also loved What Next’s surfboards, so I rezzed them behind her shrine as a nice background.

Flowers. Melanie loved flowers that reminded her of Hawaii. We rezzed red hibiscus flowers around the shrine, with single flowers here and there as finishing touches.

Add a little tasteful humor if it’s appropriate. For Melanie, I found a small volcano from Boogers that would probably make her laugh if she saw it. When a visitor touches the volcano, it will display a tiny eruption. Humor may not always be applicable for your loved one, but if they’re a casual person who had lots of jokes, they might appreciate something funny on their shrine.

Stay away from religion unless the person is religious or made references to it a lot. Some friends in SL are religious; I would leave a prayer stand for them, in that case. I was going to do this for Melanie, but I paused in this and rezzed candles instead. If you have to give a second thought about any element to add to the shrine, don’t add it. That means it might not be a good idea and your heart is trying to tell you not to do it.

Guestbooks are a great idea. I’m using this one, which I found on Marketplace. Tell your loved one’s friends about the shrine, let them visit and make an entry. They will enjoy the shrine all the much more for it.

Your shrine can be temporary, or be functional with an ongoing purpose. Maybe build a cafe or a park around it, or turn it into a permanent art gallery. Whatever you do, remember the shrine is a part of you saying goodbye, and take your time in building it so you don’t feel rushed or pressured.

– The last option is a presence of a spirit. I rezzed a butterfly, reduced transparency of it, and set it to glow. The butterfly is Melanie herself.

You can visit Melanie’s memorial at the Juicybomb sim. Take some time for yourself, turn on sound, and enjoy the tranquility and view of the ocean.

And we hope you never have to use this entry’s information, but it’s here if you need it.

The Island In Your Heart

The Island In Your Heart

I started a draft for this entry a week ago and stopped. I wasn’t ready. Instead, I spent the next few days crying, feeling numb, feeling like life was cruel and unfair. Melanie was gone. It took me a long time to process. And still, the fact she has passed away has not fully set in my mind.

She was just here, I had just heard her voice, we were just chatting on the beaches of Juicy one day last summer. Melanie was just talking to me about how her neighbors were driving her nuts by holding choir rehearsal at the church next door in the early hours of the morning, she was just telling me about her new job and how she was happy to leave her old one. She had just introduced me to Gogo. I had just joined the CheLLe design team with her. We were just on the Kuu Ipo sim, a shopping area that sat next to Juicybomb, where she terraformed the parcels to resemble the islands of Hawaii somewhat. When you wanted to travel from one store to another, you were forced to move over the water and appreciate its beauty.

I had just met her. She can’t be gone. We hadn’t even played golf together in SL yet.

Losing a virtual friend is hard, and people who don’t play online games can’t always fathom how difficult it can be to know the person you care about won’t be logging on anymore. Melanie may have lived in Hawaii in real life, but when she was online, the Juicy family were her sisters and our sim was her home. We lived next door to her, we were her good neighbors, we were the ones who appreciated and loved her when something in her other life was missing. And when she wandered off from the game, we checked in with her on Plurk. We kept up with her and welcomed her back with open arms when she decided she missed our virtual shores again.

If I close my eyes and remember, Gogo tells me, she’s in my heart. That’s where she lives now. There is a quiet beach, dotted with rocks and seagulls, and some beautiful island in the distance slightly obscured by clouds and fog. There is a single house and a small kitchen, and a canoe to paddle around in. There is an island connected to this beach, and sometimes, there’s a volcano. Melanie lives there, in my heart, giving me her frank advice, getting excited over the latest k-drama, talking about how she loves Katamari, applying her frank call-them-like-she-sees-it wisdom to everything she comes across, because damn if anyone was going to keep her spirit down and her mouth shut–she would let the world know exactly what she thought. She will wander this beach in peace forever in my heart. And when I die, I will wander on someone else’s.

It doesn’t seem there’s ever enough of a way to memorialize someone you love and miss. The only way to do it in an infinite manner, is to remember who that person was, and keep their personality alive in your mind. Remember what they taught you. Remember how you felt when they told you something, remember the advice they gave you and how they managed to change your life–even if it was a little bit. In this way, they will never die.

What would Melanie say to us now? She’d definitely want all of us to be happy. Enjoy life as you can, while you can. Remember some of her last words: everybody be happy, okay? She actually said that on Plurk when she found out she had cancer. So, let’s follow her advice and never forget her. It’s the best way to show your love for her.

Aloha, Melanie

melanie

Dear Melanie, you were the best friend that anyone could have asked for in SL. Rest in peace, I miss you so much already.

She passed away after a brief battle with cancer. I’m still in shock by this sudden loss, so I don’t really have much to say right now. We’ve been friends for more than 8 years, so knowing that she’s gone, is extremely difficult to process.

If you knew Melanie Kidd in SL and want to share a happy memory, leave a comment below.

Hair Fair 2015

Hair Fair 2015

Hair Fair is here! I found a couple of favorites, but there’s so much more hair that I haven’t seen yet! I’m wearing LeLutka / Monso / Exile / and Wasabi Pills. My friend Aemeth will cover hair fair later with some of her favorite finds from Hair Fair, so be sure to check back for her post.

Hair Fair runs from July 11th – July 26th, some of the proceeds are donated to the Wigs for Kids charity, so be sure to visit and support a good cause and buy fabulous hair!

SLurls and more info below the cut!

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Omg whales!

Omg whales!

Omg whales!

What I’m Wearing:

Pink Fuel Skin
Exile – Quiet Waters
The Secret Store – Madison Romper (Whales)
Ingenue – Ninette Heels (Dove)

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