I've learned something from 15+ years in cyberculture: most of the people who "died" haven't at all. Not in our understanding of the word at least. They've left the online world, changed their persona without telling anyone, or staged it for attention. Several have attended their own memorial service to find out what people thought of them or get off on seeing friends sad for them.
Occasionally someone on the other side of a monitor truly passes away. Their family member or spouse logs into their avatar, blog, or Facebook to give enough details: respectful but validating.
Most of us didn't know the RL BlueGin Yifu. It is my way to respect the integrity of a persona: a person is whom they are with their ideals intact when they come online. In some ways you see their true selves here. The most I knew about her offline was what state she lived in and that it was in my timezone.
So BG has always been BG to me.
It's a funny name. "BlueGin Yifu" sounds like a drink: "I'll have a Blue Gin Yifu - with a twist." Her name was so catchy that the moles made it into a drink for the Hau Koda terminal lounge. BG immortalized for posterity, a part of Bay City mythos, and deservedly so.
BlueGin was not someone who started the Bay City Alliance or was the first to make a community group for Bay City. She had very special - very rare - qualities which combined her passion for Bay City with a calm and patience which served to channel the Alliance's dynamic energies - Marianne, Alx, Alisha, myself, and so many more - during events or projects in such a way that the direction of the group or our projects never veered off course. As passionate WE all are for Bay City, I don't think any of us could qualify to replace BG in such a role as objectively as she had.
I know she was under the weather last month, but was not aware of to what degree or in what way. For all I know the cause was flu complications or could even have been cancer. Or maybe a non-medical occurrence like an accident.
We were friends on Facebook. She made a smartly designed eating establishment for Café World, but last month phased out her games. It seems that the loss will linger there, as she will appear on my list with an unfinished catering task several times a day and indefinitely. It is not possible to be removed from someone's catering team.
Through all this pondering, I have to say this: I haven't yet seen the validation. Her Facebook is untouched. BG the human might still be alive somewhere for all we know. If someone has news, I hope they'll share it with me, as well as schedule any memorial services in SL at a time I can attend.