Last week, the player behind a beloved kinmate, Shinarra, passed away suddenly. The Kin and, indeed, many on Landroval were stunned and affected by this tragedy and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. In particular, why should the passing of someone who you have never met affect people so?
There are many people who say that on-line friendships somehow don’t count. That it’s not real unless you see each other face to face. They are wrong. It may be a different form of friendship but it’s still valid. Many of the people I have met on-line and, in particular, within LoTRO have enriched my life in various ways. In fact, I have also met some in real life too. You can spend a great deal of time each day talking (either via text or voice) to other players and you get to know them and they you. There are many players who I actively look forward to speaking with to the extent that it is less about playing a game but being within a social environment.
I think my kinmate Byrdie summed it up best: “I didn’t need to know her eye colour to know that I wanted to be her friend”.
Shinarra was one of those people who lit up everyone’s lives. The extent of this has been shown by the hundreds of tributes that have flowed in to the Kin. At an informal concert for her last Sunday, enough people attended to force additional layers to be created. It was quite remarkable. To our joy, we discovered that members of Shinarra’s family were also in attendance and I believe they were touched by the outpouring of support. I should mention that Shinarra’s (real life) boyfriend is in the Kin and the characters recently married in game.
I’m rambling a bit because I don’t know quite what I want to say, only that I need to say it. Like many others, I have been affected emotionally by this and it surprised me. I’m not going to say any more but I would like (with permission) to reproduce a sampling of the tributes for Shinarra.
One of the brightest stars in Middle-earth has dimmed as our dearly loved Shinarra has departed into the West. She was a joy to all who knew her. We admired her elegant dancing with Estellost, the light of her life, and the beautiful music they shared with us when not dancing. Shinarra extended warm, gracious welcomes to all who passed her way and she was a firm friend and comrade-in-arms. The Undying Lands must seem yet more alive today, having welcomed her among them. Farewell, Shinarra, requiescas in pace!
I always remember Shinarra dancing at an Andune concert to our song Walking On Sunshine. And that is exactly how I remember her, walking on sunshine and bringing light to everyone around her. Shinarra, may your beautiful soul find a peaceful place to dance and watch over us.
The dancing, that’s what I’ll remember. The joy she showed when she and Estellost would dance together. It inspired my imagination to not just dance in a line.
When we recorded the LMB anthem and ran out of voices and needed more, Shinarra was amongst those who followed the call. We had that hilarious singalong-event on ventrilo and we had such a good time there and she was a big part of it. Her laughter was infectious and when it came to the singing she did it with a lot of zeal, joy and pride. She was always kind and good-humored and many a bander loved her dearly for that, me included. And to see her dancing with Estellost -which almost always was with close body contact- was ever so enjoyable and brought a big smile on our faces. All this will be missed very much.
Whenever there was music, she was always there, laughing and dancing. She was such a loving soul, brightening and cheering those around her. May she rest in peace beyond the Western Seas.
Thank you, Shinarra. You made our hearts dance with joy. Rest in peace.
I suppose Shinarra had flaws, she was human after all, but if she did I never saw them. What I did see was kindness, generosity, intelligence, wit, a sense of humour and something I can’t quite put words to which made her a much-loved, well-liked all around good friend and pleasant person.
It surprises me: having feelings for someone I’ve never seen. Thinking of Shinarra, I mourn. Kind, generous, funny as can be – I didn’t need to know her eye color to know that I wanted to be her friend. I realize now I did see her, not her face, but her heart. My heart has been enriched for knowing her. My heart will miss her.
Shinarra, you will be missed very much by many people. Our sorrow is only evidence of your worth.
I have only just heard the news and I am truly shocked and speechless. What a terrible loss. I didn’t know Shinarra well but I always loved seeing her at concerts with her fantastic dancing and wonderful friendship to all. The world has lost a special person and I send thoughts and prayers to all who knew her.
Shinarra was always a delight.. like a gentle summer breeze carrying the scent of the flowers and the sweet tinkling music of a brook. I always enjoyed watching her and Estellost as they danced. In fact it gave me the incentive to level enough to get the man 3 dance. The music of middle earth is dimmed without her.
I was so very sad to hear of her passing, but I’m also glad I got a chance to know her just a bit. Every time we spoke she was kind to me, and from what others here have said, I know that kindness must have run deep indeed.
The first time I ran into Shinarra while playing my hobbit Eustoma we started chatting. I mentioned how big her eagle pet was. She put away the big scary eagle that was big enough to fly off with a hobbit lass, and pulled out Supper. She then told me the story of why Supper was so named. She said every time a hobbit saw her rabbit they would yell “Supper” and now Supper wouldn’t come to any other name.