I think I need to point out something about livejournal. This is my diary. I don't necessarily put the full details of everything in the publicly readable entries, but it's got a lot of stuff that other people might not feel comfortable putting on. I am not those other people. I know, probably better than most, the degree to which this kind of not-anonymous communication on the web can make for astonishing dramatic thrashing, and I'm doing it anyway. This is not a newspaper, and what I put here is not an "article".
An anonymous person was apparently angered by my (now private) RIP post to Chi Dawn, my stepsister's daughter.
Since that anonymous person did not leave anything identifying except an IP address, I cannot tell if this was family or friend, but I know it's from someone who lives in the area because I looked up the provider.
I did not ask the provider to tell me who has that particular IP address; I mostly wanted to ensure that I wasn't being hoaxed, and yes, there are people pathetic enough to try to stir up drama about this kind of thing as a hoax.
I also annoyed one of my brothers by "talking about family stuff in public". I have and will explain to him in excruciating detail about exactly why I have every right to talk about stuff that happened to ME in my journal, but it's connected to the now-private post, so it's no longer out in public. It may still be in the google cache. I am trying to get it pulled but I don't know if I can do that without making it public again.
My deepest sympathies go to Chi's husband and her family.
For any family members who come across this entry in my personal journal... I did not know Chi Dawn well.
I wish I had, but time and distance never gave us that opportunity. I did know her though - about the same way as anyone who's met a much younger family member for short periods of time, and many years ago.
I lost my wife Penny to cancer three years ago, and so I have a pretty good direct experience of the KIND of pain this loss causes to friends and to family, and so I feel that I can offer sympathy and compassion without having to listen to anonymous strangers (who don't leave their names) telling me that I have no respect for those who died, or those who were left behind.
Chi was my mother's first granddaughter even without direct blood relationship, because Leslie (even after Mom divorced her father) remained a part of our family in spirit and as much as possible in practice and I still love her as my older sister, even though we don't talk that often.
I did know, from the family members who DID keep in closer touch, that Chi was a wonderful person, that she had a strong faith, and that she loved her family and friends. I also know from other family members that she, an adult, chose not to get an aggressive medical treatment for the breast cancer that eventually killed her. I was told that she believed that the treatment wouldn't work, I was told that she thought God would heal it by prayer. This is second-hand information but it came from several sources who I trust.
She was NOT a bad person, or in any way to blame, for having cancer; it is not the result of sin, it is not the judgement of God. I do not believe she died because of lack of faith on her part or on the part of any other person. I believe God answers prayers, and that God always heals when we ask him for healing. God does not have always do things the way we expect, thus, God does not always remove the purely physical illness, because if it did, Chi would not have passed.
I also do not think it is possible for anyone to know for sure whether or not any medical treatment WOULD have worked, though I have reason to believe it MIGHT have, so I can wish that she had tried it.
If any family or friends read this and want to add something, please feel free to respond to this entry.
I'll be happy to unscreen anonymous replies, or even replies from people who have livejournal accounts, but only if they ask me to do so.
I will not unscreen anything that doesn't have a signature - if you are unwilling to leave your name, then I am unwilling to provide you a forum in my online diary.