A Second Update: Leaving My Second Life Avatars to Other People Via My Will

Angel Michaela 3 30 Mar 2018
Prayerful Vigil: one of my avatars who needs a good home after I am gone

This week, I have been scheduling in-world meetings with various people in Second Life who had expressed an interest in inheriting one of my SL avatars. (If you want more background on why I am doing this, you can read all about it herehere, here and here.)

One thing that I have discovered, is that most people are not really that interested in taking over someone else’s avatar after the original owner has passed away. The idea probably creeps some people out. It might also be that people are shying away from having to provide a real-life name and means of contact to me and my lawyer (when I select one to draw up my last will and testament).

I do want to make it clear that I will no longer be publishing who gets what avatar on this blog. SaveMe Oh, who evidently marches to the beat of her own drummer, has decided to publish my email to her on her own blog, telling her that she can inherit my drag queen/clown avatar, Velcro Zipper, even though I specifically asked her not to. So be it. She has a habit of posting transcripts of other people’s conversations with her to her blog, so I probably should not be surprised. But she still gets one of my avatars to add to her merry band of artistic warriors and shit disturbers. Maybe the operators of the Linden Endowment for the Arts (LEA) sims might want to add “Velcro Zipper” to their ban lists as a precaution, even though she will not be getting Velcro for many, many years!

But from here on in, it’s nobody’s business who gets which of my avatars in my will. So, if that was a consideration that was originally holding you back from offering to take one, please be reassured. I am not SaveMe Oh, and I will not publish transcripts of our conversations, or our emails/IMs, without your explicit permission!

Here’s my list of avatars. Many are still looking for good homes. I’m actually somewhat surprised that nobody has asked about my celebrity look-alike avatars like Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, or Cher:

If you are interested in inheriting one of these Second Life avatars, please contact me via email at ryanschultz [at] Gmail [dot] com (or via the Contact page on this blog). You can also approach me and talk to me in-world in Second Life, Sansar or another virtual world, or talk to me on one of the many community forums or Discord channels for the various virtual worlds of which I am a part (including my own Discord).

This has been a very interesting experience for me! I have already had some fascinating in-depth conversations with people this week, and I look forward to many more in the coming weeks and months! As I have said before, I do plan on living a long and healthy life, and playing Second Life well into my 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, but you never know what can happen, and it always pays to be prepared for any eventuality. And, as I have said before, It would give me great pleasure to know that the avatars I lovingly created and outfitted will live on after my death. It’s a kind of digital immortality, and I honestly don’t think that it’s creepy at all.

Have a plan in place so your friends in virtual worlds will know what happened to you if you suddenly disappear off the grid! And think about what you want done with your digital assets if you should die. How will you choose to have things wrapped up?

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An Update: Leaving My Second Life Avatars to Other People Via My Will (and Why Cancer Is Still Part of My Life)

By the way, even though my recent cancer scare is over, I am still actively drawing up my list of acquaintances, friends and family to whom I will leave all my Second Life avatars in my will.

(If you have already responded, thank you! And I will be in touch with you before the end of October. So far I have had about a dozen people send me messages, by email or in-world.)

Here’s the alphabetical list for you to peruse. The following four avatars are already spoken for:

  • Nada Nix (my goth girl avatar) I have decided to leave to Jenn (a.k.a. Xiola Linden), the Community Manager for Second Life at Linden Lab.
  • Rose Queen (my Caledon/steampunk/Victorian older woman avatar) is going to Blush Bravin of the Second Life brand Blushed (a.k.a Debi Baskerville in SL and Sansar).
  • Scarborough Fair (my medieval roleplay avatar) I am leaving to Solas NaGealai, co-owner of Silvan Moon Designs in Second Life.
  • Vanity Fair (my fashionista avatar) I have decided to leave to Strawberry Singh. I know that she will take good care of her!

 

And, if you are hesitating because you don’t really know me, except through this blog, please don’t. I still need to find homes for most of these avatars before I shuffle off this mortal coil! Don’t get me wrong—I plan on living a long and healthy life, and reaching a ripe old age, but you never know what can happen! And I would hate to think that all my creative work will go into the pixel bin….

All I ask is that we have at least one good, long, in-depth conversation (via phone, chat, or IM). I simply want to know who you are (and what you plan to do with my avatar) before I leave you one of these avatars, on which I have spent a great deal of time, energy, and (in some cases) money.

And, if you don’t want me to publicize your name, I can certainly honour that request too; just let me know in advance. I’d much rather leave these lovingly-created and outfitted avatars to people who actually enjoy and appreciate Second Life, as opposed to people who never use SL. And I know from my blog statistics that I do get a lot of visitors from SL. Thank you for your consideration. Here’s my contact page.


By the way, cancer is still very much a part of my life. My best friend in real life recently underwent surgery for serious prostate cancer, and he has learned that this cancer has spread and that he will soon have to undergo testosterone suppression therapy and radiation treatment. I feel afraid, angry and sad, and I also feel guilty that I’m OK and he’s not. He was back in the hospital for a  couple of days due to blood clots in both his lungs after his surgery, but he is at home resting and recovering now. Please keep my friend John in your thoughts and prayers.

Relay in Life for Second Life now has a very special meaning for me. Please consider supporting this annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. You can also consider making a donation to the Canadian Cancer Society. Thank you!

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I Do Not Have Cancer!

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Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

Yesterday, I went to see my urologist for the results of my biopsy.

I do not have cancer!

The doctor told me that it was just inflammation, and that I had no cancer of any kind. He wants to check my bladder regularly, of course, so I have to see him again in six months for another cystoscopy. He also ordered a couple of extra blood and urine tests.

I’m still digesting the news. I guess you could say that I’m still in a bit of shock that everything is going to turn out all right, after all the stress and worry of the past three weeks. What I really feel right now is tired. I feel like I could sleep for a week.

Good thing that I decided to take two weeks of holidays from work. I thought I would need that time to fall apart and put myself back together when I got the bad news, but now there’s only good news! So I am going to enjoy my holidays.

Thank you to everybody who sent me their best wishes and kept me in their thoughts and prayers.

I’m going to take a break from blogging for a little while. But I’ll be back!

Just Breathe…

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Photo by Fabian Møller on Unsplash

I’m taking my lunch break at work to write this blogpost. I’ve simply got to vent!

It’s been a little over two weeks since my life was turned upside-down.

I’m still waiting for the results of the biopsy to see if I have cancer. I keep telling myself:

I might have cancer. 

People die from cancer.

I could die from cancer.

I could die…

I am trying to focus on work and the rest of my life, but it’s been hard. Today is my first day back at work since the surgery on Oct. 3rd (the post-surgery course of antibiotics was almost as difficult as the surgery itself).

The urologist’s office said they will call me to come in when they get the biopsy results (obviously, they don’t give that sort of information over the telephone).

Being an academic librarian, who knows a lot of medical librarians, I’ve been tempted to exhaustively research everything I can about bladder cancer, search the bibliographic databases for citations to the literature, read through all the materials on the Bladder Cancer Canada website and other reputable, authoritative websites, and take copious notes. But there’s no sense doing any of this until I know for sure that I actually do have cancer, and what kind.

Second Life has been my lifeline during this time of stress, uncertainty, and worry; it’s been my fantasy escape from painful reality after work in the evenings and on weekends. I’ve kept myself busy in my off-work hours by designing new avatar creations (here’s a recent example) and trying to match up avatars from my Second Life collection with online and offline acquaintances, friends and family, hoping to find someone—anyone—who can take one or more of them over from me when I’m no longer there to operate them.

I’m not wanting to lose what I have spent so many happy hours over the past eleven years creating, styling, tweaking, outfitting, and unleashing upon the grid. And I’m not willing to leave my artistic creations behind, just to be thoughtlessly erased from some file server after I’m gone, all my wonderfully rewarding creative work just evaporating into thin air…I know, it’s a silly thing to be obsessed about when you might have cancer.

This blog is one of the few places I can actually write about all this, in hopes that you, my fellow virtual world citizens and metaverse explorers, will understand and commiserate. Maybe you do. Maybe you don’t. Maybe you think I’m crazy. At some moments, I feel as if I am going crazy. Maybe this is all part of the coming-to-grips-with-it process. I don’t know. I don’t have any answers. I’ve never gone through anything like this before.

As I said before, when I first posted my list of SL avatars:

…I also had a nice long chat with my psychiatrist today, and she made me realize that what I am doing here is simply trying to assert some control in a situation where I am not in control. This is apparently a very normal, human response to a situation like a health crisis.

And that’s what it comes down to, doesn’t it? Control.

The need for control, and the effort to maintain the illusion that you are in control of your own life, master of your own destiny. Things like cancer teach you that you don’t really have control. Shit happens. Things get fucked up. You get hurt, physically and emotionally. Eventually, you die. After all, everybody does.

I want to scream at the universe, shake my fist at God, rail at the unfairness of it all.

But instead, I breathe.

You just breathe. You keep breathing. You live through each moment into the next, breathe through each moment into the next, aware that life is a precious gift. You move forward, come what may.

Thanks for letting me vent. There will probably be more of this (a LOT more of this) over the next couple of weeks as I wait and worry and breathe. Thank you for listening. I’m off to see my psychiatrist this afternoon, and she might have some more good advice for me on how to cope.

UPDATE 4:00 p.m.: I had another very useful chat with my psychiatrist today, who did have some good advice. She suggested that I might want to start doing some preliminary research on bladder cancer to better prepare for that upcoming meeting with the urologist. It’s one way to keep my mind purposefully occupied, and it’s also a way to prepare myself better for any medical discussions with the doctor. So I guess I’d better start reading through all the information on that Bladder Cancer Canada website after all…I also decided to post an introductory message to their discussion forums:

Bladder Canser Canada 11 Oct 2018
Bladder Cancer Canada Discussion Forums