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Death of an Online Friend

Updated on December 13, 2011

Oh Ernest, I wept when I heard you had died

I cursed Facebook for letting me know so late

For six weeks I was going along blissfully

Until I found out that you had left us all alone

Your grandchildren will miss out on growing up while you watched

But will always know the pride you felt for them

Your online friends are less for your passing

But more that we had the honour to know you at all

The forums were such fun when you were here

Even though the religion forum had some of us tearing our hair out

Eventually many of us couldn’t take it any more and left

But you stayed the course and stuck to your guns

Some say you are in a better place and out of pain

But I would rather have you here and of that I am truly sincere



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  • Paradise7 profile image


    6 years ago from Upstate New York

    He really is missed. Thank you for writing this and posting it for us.

  • WD Curry 111 profile image

    WD Curry 111 

    6 years ago from Space Coast

    Okay, I have been processing this experience. I want to join in this memorial, now.

    I had quite a bit of interaction with EarnestHub. Once, when he was on a tear, he stopped and listened carefully when I explained Comanche religion to him. Apparently he had a jag against Christianity. Maybe he was bitten by a preachers dog or something. Anywy, the post inspired one of my first and most productive hubs "Comanche".

    Once, someone started a forum topic, "Is EarnestHub Satan?" I posted something like, "No, satan would not help me to adjust my valves." EarnestHub put hostilities aside and pointed me in the right direction to solve an engine problem. He saved me at least $400.

    I do not regret what I have said or done here. Let's keep it real. I think Earnest would get a big kick out of it. He was not a mamby-pamby, sugar frost my rainbow lollipop type of guy. He would never hesitate to speak his mind or be deterred by the possibility of personal offence or hurt feelings . . . no care for appropriate protocol in a sacred situation . . . kick a little sand and watch the show. He relished a good jump into a snake pit. I think he would enjoy this as a fine send off from a bloke who doesn't even halfway care what the crowd thinks of his antics anymore than Ernest would.

    I have gone and found a song that I thought about every time I talked to Earnest. I think he would really enjoy it. It is apropos in the circumstance. Please listen with his ears.

  • WD Curry 111 profile image

    WD Curry 111 

    6 years ago from Space Coast

    "People usually bring flowers to such gatherings, with some kind thoughts for the mourners as well as the deceased."

    This has become a substitute for the real thing. He left his own legacy . . . if he was real. If he was, I mourn his eternity, not his death.

  • Daniel Carter profile image

    Daniel Carter 

    6 years ago from Western US

    WD, you came to a memorial and mocked those in mourning who found more in Earnest than an "obnoxious, rude jerk."

    If we stripped all the negativity away and we got to know each other under completely neutral circumstances, perhaps we may find some common ground on which we might proceed to form some kind of alliance or even friendship. But at this gathering, it wasn't any of us that threw the first punch, it was actually you. The responses you got were because of what you threw at Uninvited Writer and Earnest, first. And with those facts, none of us will believe that you are the victim here.

    People usually bring flowers to such gatherings, with some kind thoughts for the mourners as well as the deceased. Throwing a first punch is not recommended. Whatever your issues are with Earnest, they probably ought to stay between you and him.

    I hope whatever issues you may have with him can be resolved, but not here. It's not appropriate.

    Kindest and best to you.

  • WD Curry 111 profile image

    WD Curry 111 

    6 years ago from Space Coast

    What kind of person I am? I don't purposely ridicule anyone for their faith, or religious view. In a real work environment, that is unacceptable. If it is acceptable to you, you are deficient in character and taste. Should I post our first conversation? It was my very first experience of interacting with another human being on the internet. Where I am from, I have never encountered that level of bitter rudeness and animosity from anyone that I met for the very first time. He was no friend of mine. He was an obnoxious, rude jerk to me. There was no call for it. He was a bully.

    Friend on Facebook? Whatever.

    Likewise, I am not impressed with ya'll. I thought this was an opportunity for writers. It seems more like a place for hacks to clog up the air waves with recipes. You are being swept along by a diabolical current with this social networking. Instead of Tweeting, they should call it squeaking. That's what lemmings do.

    Do you think life should be so trivial? Eternity isn't a joke. There comes a day when opinion is not relevant.

    I am sorry you are in mourning. My online persona has been shaped by the garbage I have encountered here in you clique-ish little town where it is wrong to judge anyone unless it is me.

  • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

    Cindy Lawson 

    6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

    That is just really nasty WD Curry, and uncalled for. Ernest was a wonderful man, and whether you shared his religious beliefs or not is irrelevant. What you have done with your post here is in bad taste, and only shows you up as the lesser person. I knew him for a very long time, and I know many others that do (including at least one person who was in telephone contact with him and who lived in Australia also). I am still reeling to know people who would stoop so low as to leave a comment like yours can actually sleep at night!

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    Sadly, in your case, WD Curry, it's all to easy at times to "know" a person's true character online. You've proven that quite efficiently with your comments here. Susan was a friend of Ernest's, and may have agreed wholeheartedly with Ernest's religious views. I did not. Oddly enough, I was a friend's of Ernest's as well. Not all of us on the internet are phonies and thankfully, I've come to enjoy the honest ones with all my heart - which is most likely why I've never come to appreciate your forum posts or your general online persona. Go harass someone who hasn't just lost a friend for whom they cared deeply.

  • Daniel Carter profile image

    Daniel Carter 

    6 years ago from Western US

    How sad, WD Curry, that you don't get out much and sit behind your computer screen believing that the whole cyberworld is filled with fake identities. I use my real name. Many others do as well. I made my online friends slowly by getting to know them just as one would in the real world. Hence, I consider most of my online friends real friends. I've skyped with several of my online friends. A few phone calls. That's pretty real stuff.

    Uninvited Writers is one of my best friends online. When we don't have contact for a while, we pick up where we left off. It's as natural as picking up the phone and calling home. We shared a common loss when Earnest passed. We also shared other losses when one or two others passed away unexpectedly.

    If there ever was a test about these kinds of things, I'm afraid you flunked. But thankfully, there never was a test, but only perhaps in your own mind.

  • Uninvited Writer profile imageAUTHOR

    Susan Keeping 

    6 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Sadly, he is dead. He was a friend on Facebook to many of us, his family posted about his passing.

    Thank you for your comments, they say a lot about the type of person you are.

  • WD Curry 111 profile image

    WD Curry 111 

    6 years ago from Space Coast

    Is this one of those clinical psychological tests? You know . . . the kind where everyone is in on deal except for one person. We did one in an advanced course in college. There was a color swatch that was blue/green. It was closer to blue. Everyone was instructed to say it was green when asked. The odd man out was the last person picked to respond. By the time it was his turn, he said green, although he did not really believe it. Group psychology.

    My first contact with anyone on hubages was with EarnestHub. Guess how that went?

    How do you even think you know who he was? This is a masquerade flea market full of flaky avatars. I started bantering about Australian stuff. He was clueless. If he was really in Australia, then he must have been from India, or Norway, or something. He didn't even know who Peter Townsend is, and he was supposedly from Melbourne.

    How did he "pass"? No one says. Was he in pain? Not too much to call sweet little old ladies imbecilic for their heartfelt beliefs.

    He asked me to tell him something about God that he had never heard. I did. I hope he listened.

    My guess . . . he closed that account and started as another identity.

    There are a half a dozen forum frogs around here with the same sentence map.

  • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

    Justin W Price 

    6 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

    touching work. I wasn't familiar with ernest until after he passed, but, he seems to have touched many many lives

  • mythbuster profile image


    6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

    Thanks for sharing this, UW. Ernest is much missed!

  • Perspycacious profile image

    Demas W Jasper 

    6 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

    Thoughts expressed are prayers ascended.

  • Storytellersrus profile image


    6 years ago from Stepping past clutter

    UW, I am sorry to admit I do not know Ernest. I do not partake of Forums, and so I have missed out. Despite this, I find your poem touching and heartfelt. I am amazed that Online friends can have such an impact on all of us- I have met so many special folk here, who have shaped my thinking more than neighbors, in fact. Hugs to you and all who are missing this obviously dear man. You are in my thoughts and prayers; I offer you my deepest sympathy.

  • tlpoague profile image


    6 years ago from USA

    What a beautiful poem and tribute. He will be missed. He was one of the first hubbers I ever started to follow. I didn't agree with him on some things, but enjoyed reading what he had to say anyway. Thanks for sharing this beautiful poem in honor of Ernest.

  • Diana Mendes profile image

    Diana Mendes 

    6 years ago

    A nice tribute - very touching. Well written. God bless you.

  • Daisy Mariposa profile image

    Daisy Mariposa 

    6 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

    I've read such beautiful praise for Ernest. I'm sorry I didn't have the opportunity to meet him online.

    May he rest in peace.

  • phdast7 profile image

    Theresa Ast 

    6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

    A lovely tribute. I did not know him, but clearly he was respected and loved by many of you.

  • Dorsi profile image

    Dorsi Diaz 

    6 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

    Beautiful tribute to Ernest. I just found out yesterday that he passed away. I was never on the religious forums with him but Ernest always had such nice things to say to me and always supported my writing. We will miss you Ernest.

  • blondepoet profile image


    6 years ago from australia

    Oh dear UW can I cry with you.I still am in deep shock. What a beautiful tribute to Earnest you have written, he was also my dear friend, a real true gentleman, who respected and treated his friends so graciously. I loved to laugh with him, he had great humor and time for his hub friends he loved. If he could see the wonderful things you have written for him he would be so so proud. Love u xx

  • mathira profile image


    6 years ago from chennai

    Very moving and touching.

  • Triplet Mom profile image

    Triplet Mom 

    6 years ago from West Coast

    Wonderful sentiment. Thank you for sharing.

  • Daniel Carter profile image

    Daniel Carter 

    6 years ago from Western US

    Bravo, my friend. Sentiments that I share also.

  • Paradise7 profile image


    6 years ago from Upstate New York

    I am very sad at Ernest's passing. At least we know now. Sometimes I wonder where some old hubbers have gone; hopefully to other venues and not passed this life.

    I admired Ernest though I didn't always agree with him. He was strongly articulate, a quality I very much admire.

  • Pearldiver profile image

    Rob Welsh 

    6 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

    Nicely done Susan, I know Ernest would have felt most humbled (in a good way) by the Love that has been shown towards him here and in other tributes. But I'm also sure that he would smile quite broadly knowing how humble, giving that Love, has been for a few... :)

    Thanks for this excellent work.. it really suits the soul! Take Care.

  • Marisa Wright profile image

    Kate Swanson 

    6 years ago from Sydney

    Isn't it odd how deeply this has affected us all - after all we never met. Yet I feel as though I've lost one of my dearest friends.

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    Very beautiful, UW...brought tears to my eyes and I agree I wish he was still with us. I am still in shock that he is gone...

  • wilderness profile image

    Dan Harmon 

    6 years ago from Boise, Idaho

    Thank you, UW, you have set the tone for what so many of us feel. Earnest was a special person on HubPages and will be missed by a great number of us.

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    It's lovely and heartfelt. That matters more than anything else! Thanks for this. I'm sure Ernest would have appreciated it a great deal.

  • Uninvited Writer profile imageAUTHOR

    Susan Keeping 

    6 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    I'm glad everyone likes it. I don't think I'm that good of a poet and I appreciate the comments.

    Ernest would be proud to have so many great friends. I'm sure he knew he was liked but I doubt he would have forseen the outcry.

  • Randy Godwin profile image

    Randy Godwin 

    6 years ago from Southern Georgia

    Thanks Susan, Earnest would have been so pleased with your tribute. I know I am.

    SSSSSS Randy

  • suziecat7 profile image


    6 years ago from Asheville, NC

    This is a very thoughtful thing you did. I also believe he would be honored by this Hub.

  • emievil profile image


    6 years ago from Philippines

    Beautiful tribute for a wonderful person. I miss him and his presence in the forums. I might not have interacted with him that much this past year or so but I always look forward to his posts, especially the religious ones. thank you for the poem UW.

  • Stevennix2001 profile image

    Steven Escareno 

    6 years ago

    Very beautiful tribute to him. I'm sure if he could read this, then he'd be honored by this hub.

  • Lisa HW profile image

    Lisa HW 

    6 years ago from Massachusetts

    What a nice and thoughtful tribute to someone whose passing has saddened so many of Ernest's HP friends.

  • writer20 profile image

    Joyce Haragsim 

    6 years ago from Southern Nevada

    This is a beautiful tribute for your friend.

  • schoolgirlforreal profile image


    6 years ago

    Very nice tribute.

  • robie2 profile image

    Roberta Kyle 

    6 years ago from Central New Jersey

    This is a lovely tribute. I didn't know him well, but I knew his hubs a bit and I am so sorry to hear of his passing. May he rest in peace.

  • calpol25 profile image


    6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK (At Home With My Wonderful Partner)

    Thanks UW the poem is beautiful, we all miss him so much x

  • AEvans profile image


    6 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

    How beautiful! I cried too! Odd how our words can effect so many. It is great to be able to express ourselves through words. What a beautiful poem. This to made me cry. We are now mourning the death of a wonderful friend on HP. :(

  • Uninvited Writer profile imageAUTHOR

    Susan Keeping 

    6 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Thanks to you both.

  • wordscribe43 profile image

    Elsie Nelson 

    6 years ago from Pacific Northwest, USA

    Thanks for this, UW. I think he would like it a lot... I'd rather he be here, too.

  • Cagsil profile image


    6 years ago from USA or America

    Very nicely done UW. He will be missed by all whose life he touched.


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