I only knew Ginger Snaps - real name Melissa Hayes - through Facebook. But it still counts as a friendship. I just found out that she died October 5 in a car accident.
Ginger and I had our share of comment-thread debates. Most especially about the issue of Muslim bigotry. Like many hard-core atheists, most notably the big-name atheists like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, Ginger Snaps used atheism as an excuse to indulge in anti-Muslim bigotry, under the guise of defending free-thought from religion. We clashed on that several times.
But we agreed on the issue of atheism. She was a dedicated, unflinching atheist but in spite of that had religionists as Facebook friends - she was interested in a variety of points of view in spite of her own firmly held views. I admired that about her.
Anyway, she was a Facebook friend and she was sharp and cool and young and pretty and only 34 and now she's gone - more gone than defriending, more gone than blocking, she's just plain gone. Another friend of hers posted this tribute to her.
Several people posted messages on her Wall about her being with God and all that, which I think is disrespectful, knowing as they must that she was an atheist. Especially now that she's not here to talk back. Somebody said she now "sleeps with the angels." I replied "fuck angels" because that's what Ginger would want.