Dead woman’s Twitter feed inspires blogger
Ottawa blogger Shannon McKarney debated posting an online tribute to a young woman named Amanda, who she never met.
McKarney didn’t even know of Amanda’s existence until after she had died of brain cancer last April.
Still, McKarney feels a connection. A strong one. What makes her connect with Amanda so powerfully is what she left behind by way of her Twitter postings.
“I never met Amanda,” McKarney writes on her blog. “I didn’t even follow her until it was too late.”
So while McKarney didn’t know if Amanda liked “Let Her Go” by Passenger, the song accompanies her story. They include the line “dreams come slow and they go so fast.”
“I debated whether to make this video, and debated even more whether to post it,” McKarney wrote. “It’s not my story to tell, and I don’t know if Amanda would have wanted it told this way. But ultimately, I’ve chosen to publish it as a tribute to her and a reminder to all of us: sometime, we will leave it behind.”
On Jan. 14, 2013, Amanda posted: “My doctor office just called to discuss some test results. That can only be bad, right?”
On Jan. 18: “Results are in: advanced glioblastoma multiforme.”
On Jan. 19: “Deciding what to do for the rest of my life.”
On Jan. 21: “I just resigned from my job. No point when I have 3 months to live, right? I wonder if I’ll get my pension money.”
Later the same day, she posted: “I don’t think the finality of it has sunk in yet. . . . Almost feels liberating.”
On March 25: “i left my iPhone on the kitchen table before I went to Cuba + Central America for two months. The people were spectacular.”
Also March 25: “It was amazing. Beaches, cages, ruins, forest, huge turtles, cheap booze, dancing, learning Spanish, meeting people.”
Later that day: “Tonight I have to get up the nerve to call my mom who hasn’t spoken to me in 5 years.”
On April 10: “Don’t spend time being angry at people. Forgive them. Life is entirely too short.”
Later that day: “Tomorrow, I go back to the hospital for the last time. Thank you all for the good vibes. Be good to each other.”
The final post is on April 15: “My dear little sister Amanda passed away from brain cancer last night.-James.”
“If you are gone tomorrow, or even in 20 years, what are you writing or doing or publishing today?” McKarney wrote. “Someday, someone will read it. What will they learn about you?”