Friday, January 29, 2016

Shady Fox's Memorial Events

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Sunday January 16, Shady Fox passed away from cancer. Shady had been a personality known in a number of places, notably the Giant Snail Races as part of the team and Raglan Shire as a DJ. He had been diagnosed with bladder cancer in early October, and his last Facebook post was a few weeks later. He departed with family by his side. The news of Shady's death was marked by sadness in Second Life, people spontaneously gathering at Raglan Shire to discuss their now late friend and to set up a makeshift memorial. Plans were soon made for a memorial service the next weekend, on Sunday January 24 at 12 PM SL time.

The first part of the events took place at Athen Shire. Arriving a few minutes before Noon, the place was packed. The messages were given out over Voice, so there was no chat to copy-paste. But there was a notecard available which had a few messages.

I'm trying my best, I told you that I always would.

I miss you.

I don't have your good advice, I have memories, and I'm trying to make them work.

I don't have my friend Shady. It's making me sick thinking about it.

I miss you.

Please be happy. I love you Shady

utterly Wizardly

I would count over 160 avatars in the two sims involved.

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.

Richard Bach

DrFran Babcock, who's been taking a hiatus from Second Life, took a brief break from her break to pay her respects.

With the large amount of avatars, some people would crash (including me once). The stream address was given out to help people save a little strain on their viewers.

I keep seeing Shady turn his back when, after Fox's memorial he says
"I don't think I can handle anymore losses. I think maybe it's time to
leave SL and Raglan. So many have gone." I beg him to stay. Tell him it's
not the empty chairs that are important. It's the memories we keep alive
of those who sat in them.
Then I begged him not to go. That I couldn't handle losing another friend.
Would I have said something different if I knew then what I know now?
I don't think so. Even though death isn't a tragedy to God, but a celebration,
for those left behind it hurts and we cry.
We know we will see him again. But, for most it will be a long time.
So, we cry.
We have the best chance of knowing he is with us here in Second Life.
Where he is going is also a virtual Life. I can't imagine him not
sneaking in here to see how we are doing. To listen to us carol at Wootmas.
To listen to us talk about about the funny things he did when we were down.
To be the Biggie Fox in Tiny Land, with the biggest tiny heart of all.
Wootmas will never be the same for those of us here then. It will be
more special, because it is when Shady went Home.

With the lag from all those avatars, most cut back on the number of attatchments they had. Though someone had a breedable pet they named after Shady as their own little memorial to him.

I never knew Shady as long as many, but he always made me feel safe and secure and like i was not intruding, which i feel like i often am(even when im not).

He would come sit and play the frog song while he did stuff. and you were always welcome to come sit and do nothing on his lands and in da cube.

it might not sound like much but to me it meant alot. He gave alot without making much of a deal about, sort of by just being around. you felt in a good place when he was around.

i cant express well my thoughts into words here, but Shady will always be important to me.

Eventually, the first part of the service was done, and people began to leave to another part of the Shire.

Who can fill the sandbox
make it sound real cool
make the joy jump out your legs
down at the swimmin ool

The Shady Fox can

Who can take a sad face
lookin like a clown
put his arm around you
and turn it upside down

The Shady Fox can

Who can fill your heart up
Although he's gone today
because he is a part of you
that never goes away

The Shady Fox can.

The Shady fox can
cus you have to look
no further than inside of you.

Always within me Russ, you inspire and watch my days.
I hope that people see you shining out of all of us.

-Talisman Takaaki

The ceremony continued at Heron Shire.

Yes within our hearts
we shall remember as
we hold on to you

Yes within our hearts
so special so dear a
void that will be there
but filled with memories

Yes within our hearts
you shall remain
always loved always there
So look deep within

Because of the huge number of avatars, some watched the ceremony from the shore at Morning Shire.

I come here not to mourn
your death but to 
celebrate your

You take with you on 
your journey a part 
of each and everyone of

In return we keep a
part of you within our

Luskwood founders Liam Roark, Eltee Statosky, and Michi Lumin were among those there.

During this part of the service, Raglan Shire's estate owner, Zayn Till, officially dedicated Shady Fox's permanent memorial: an ever-burning purple flame.

At one point, those attending were asked to rezz a purple or black balloon on the ground, and touch it to set it floating in the air.

With the second part of the service over, it was time for the memorial concert. So we went to a platform 3000 meters in the air, presumably where Shady previously performed.

"Last train to Awesome Town" prim words above the stage would say.

 Shady was known as the "Baconator," sometimes sporting a shirt "Bacon makes everything better." And in one corner, there was a pile of the "meat candy" that would send any lover of the food into bliss.

In the back of the stage, a line of "Cybermen," a race of Borg-like aliens from "Dr. Who."

As the first performers warmed up, the crowd gathered.

Keeba Tammas and her band of tinies would be the first to perform, starting off at 2PM SL time.

 The audience was a mass of tiny, furred, normal  human, feral, and other avatars.

At one point, one of the band was being a prankster, releasing a bunch of banana peel articles.

It took two tinies to handle the band's huge base violin, but four hands could do things just two couldn't.

The last song Keeba and her band would play was "That's What Friends Are For."

Keep smiling and keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That's what friends are for
In good times and bad times
I'll be on your side forever more
That's what friends are for

It was probably best that Keeba chose this song to be last as some of the audience started getting sad with some crying. Keeba and the band then stepped down from their poses and invited people to come on stage for a kind of group hug, she and the band still singing.
[14:53]  Tormento Sansome: Applause!!
[14:53]  Tormento Sansome: Applause!!
[14:53]  Tormento Sansome: Applause!!
[14:53]  Monty Talbot: WELCOME HAGALAZ
[14:53]  Tormento Sansome: Applause!!
[14:53]  Xerxes Sismondi: Hi MOnty, hi everyone
[14:54]  Monty Talbot: /SERXES
[14:54]  Codeh (cody.hoch): /hugs Kath =D
[14:54]  Peachy Sassoon: Hi everyone
[14:54]  Monty Talbot: OOPS
[14:54]  Peaches (peaches.latrell) shouts: sit with us on stage!
[14:54]  Copper Mistral: ????  APPAWS! ????
[14:54]  Peaches (peaches.latrell) shouts: group hug
[14:54]  Morton Wheels shouts: Shady is in out hearts FOREVERRRRRRRRRRR
[14:54]  karmagirl Avro: ya me too Liam
[14:55]  karmagirl Avro: i told him! he goin to live on in our hearts forever! i said you have to know this shady, he said ya. :(
[14:55]  Morton Wheels shouts: and he dont wanna see us cry
[14:55]  karmagirl Avro: i told him before he passed this
[14:55]  Reign ShadowWalker (reignshadow.walker): ^__^
[14:55]  Copper Mistral: And so, by the way, I thank you
[14:55]  karmagirl Avro: he knew and knows
[14:55]  karmagirl Avro: we talked about death :( he knew
[14:55]  Reign ShadowWalker (reignshadow.walker) hugs everyone
[14:55]  karmagirl Avro: he said tell them how much this is helpin and has helped me
[14:55]  karmagirl Avro: all the love, support, cards
[14:56]  karmagirl Avro: he knew ;)
[14:56]  karmagirl Avro: ok now im cryin
[14:56]     Nariko Stormsong (azusasato): hugs karma
[14:56]  Shadow Marlin: me too Karms -- dang it -- I thought I was done
[14:56]  Rendal (rendal.constantineau): *hugs*
[14:56]  Songbird Bunny Sorbet (songbird1028.sorbet): don't make me cry
[14:56]  Stereo Nacht hugs 'Ti Karmagirl
[14:56]  Shadow Marlin: hard to sing with tears in the voice
[14:56]  Reign ShadowWalker (reignshadow.walker): It's ok to cry. o..o It means you care.
[14:57]  Copper Mistral: YESH
At 3PM Frogg Marlowe took to the stage, singing with is guitar. His longtime partner, Jaycatt Nico, however, was not with him, "He had a vacation planned for over a year."
Other musicians who would perform as the day went on were Songbird Sorbet at 4PM, Shakespeare Shamrock at 5 PM, Shmoo Snook at 6PM, Shandy Stradling at 7PM, Caleb Kit at 8PM, and Copper Mistral at 9PM.

Not far away from Shady's permanent memorial was another memorial. In previous years at Raglan, ten people considered to be part of the community had passed away. With Shady Fox, the total now is eleven. Four others had gone missing, with attempts to find out what happened revealing nothing.

 And so, Raglan Shire and other friends of Shady Fox had their event in his honor. For more pictures, check out those by Wildstar Beaumont and Teal Freenote. One can also visit the memorial at Heron Shire (254, 82, 20).

Bixyl Shuftan

*Addition* Since the publication of this article, the video of the events was made available.

(Click here if the video fails to play)

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