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InMemory

Aff

In Memory Line
A.C. Extarian / [email protected]
In Memory of Damien and Brandon
Line

Note: This was originally composed on the 11th of April, 2015. Only minor corrections to the page have been performed, as I was not in the best state of mind when I typed up the original.

***

As is now public after Shadow's decision to post in the open about the loss of her two children, I have been fielding the same questions over and over again - I am hoping this page will help people to understand who I am, how we met, and what Shadow has had to go through.

The individual you know as Shadowdancer has not had an easy life - a comment many people claim, but few really comprehend. When I met her online, she seemed no more or less remarkable than anyone else. When she said her life had been difficult, I assumed it was simply the usual complaints you get from the majority of the Human race in the developed world.

This page exists because that assessment was wrong.

InMemory

Aff

In Memory Line
Seda / Lineage II
How We Met - Online
Line

From Unknown to Friend

Shadowdancer and her partner Rhain both played a game called Lineage II. So did I; it is a fantasy-adventure MMORPG run by a horrible company for whom their customer service manual is analagous to the repair reference for a cistern. That didn't matter - we all enjoyed the game, and that's why we were there.

Clans dominate most of the gameplay in MMORPGs, and Lineage II is no different. I joined a small clan who had big plans - to join another clan, and become active in castle sieges (a huge factor in Lineage II). What I did not know, is that the clan I was in contained an alliance - with a small role-playing clan that my clan wanted to abandon. I would have left in ignorance had Shadowdancer not greeted me in chat while I was in one of the major trading towns. Once I knew there were more people, I attempted to teach them what I knew so that they would not be left behind.

That was my first interaction with Shadowdancer - someone in an online game who was about to be ditched by my clan leader.

InMemory

Aff

Rhain Line
Rhain / [email protected]
How We Met - Outside
Line

From Clan Leader to Housemate

A few things transpired that are not relevant to this page, but suffice it to say I ended up as the clan leader of a new guild - as I was not satisfied with how people were being treated in the old alliance. Shadowdancer joined me - as did her partner, Rhain. Several other great friends came with us - some of you will know them; Sethstorm, GothPixie, and many more.

And then Shadow & Rhain told me something; Rhain is a serving ADF member, and he was about to be sent to Afghanistan at the same time Shadow was being given permanent residency to Australia. This didn't seem like it was going to be the easiest thing to me - and I thought I could make a difference, so I flew from Adelaide to Townsville to try and help look after her and the two kids while he was away.

InMemory

Aff

Damien Line
2013
Damien
Line

Eyes Never Opened

Rhain fortunately returned to Australia after his tour without a scratch. I don't know for certain, but I'm guessing they celebrated as couples do. Shortly after his return, Shadow fell pregnant.

I can't say I really understood why people want babies at this point. I only learned that later. I only knew she was increasingly excited as the pregnancy progressed. It wasn't long before we knew that something was wrong.

Shadow was under a lot of stress during this period from outside causes. Her health suffered because of it. Whether that affected the baby passing or not is unknown, but on the morning of the delivery, I received the text message nobody wants to get; sometime during labour his heart had stopped.

I remember staring across the kitchen at the two kids who were waiting to hear some news about their mother. She remained in hospital for several days, and I did my best to keep the children busy.

Damien was a member of the family, even though he never opened his eyes to the world. It is often quoted that people aside from the mother do not really view a stillborn child as a person. You never realise how true that is until it happens to someone near you. Damien was very much Shadow & Rhain's son, and they continue to love him as they do their other children.

I remember when I saw him inside the hospital, and he looked every bit as perfect as you would expect a newborn to do - he just wasn't animate. Damien's death affected me - which surprised me more than anyone else - but I was mostly affected by the knowledge that Shadow, Rhain, and the kids would be miserable and there was nothing I could really do about it. I also knew that Shadow needed a baby - not out of some selfish desire to simply have another child, but because she needed to spread her love to another child. This sounds clumsy, but I suspect parents reading this will understand.

I guess the best I can convey how I felt about this was that watching Rhain dismantle the crib was extremely unsettling. I can't fathom how he found the strength to do so.


InMemory

Aff

Brandon Line
2015
Brandon
Line

Happy, but Brief

Brandon was born after some pregnancy complications early this year. It was the first time I had lived in a house with a newborn. Shadow treasured the child from the start. The first I spent time with him was when she needed to use the bathroom - Brandon was placed on a large soft chair in our lounge, and I sat there to make sure he would not wiggle off and roll onto the floor. He seemed content to wave his arms and legs around and stare at me though, so that never became an issue.

He was a very happy child - each day he would be cuddled for hours, carried around to see all sorts of things - and he loved it. He would look around at the sky, us, and anything else around him. It was all fascinating to him; as you can see from the photo to the left, he was quite alert.

The day before his last sleep I had carried him outside to show him the rain. He was very fascinated by that, and held his hand out as he looked around.

The next time I saw him was when I was woken by the horrific screams of Shadowdancer at 11AM the next day. I rushed to her room as soon as I could, and tried as she had to save the child - but it was too late. By the time the ambulance arrived, my mind had given up but my heart had not. It took a phone call for me to get the news, and even then I found it difficult to accept how suddenly he had departed.

I will not post images of Shadow, Rhain, or her other children online - but if you are curious, here are some pictures of Brandon being held by me.

David & Brandon David & Brandon David & Brandon David & Brandon David & Brandon


InMemory

Shadowdancer

Shadowdancer Line
R.K. Modena / [email protected]
Shadowdancer
Line

And Friends

And so the next time Shadowdancer mentions her roommate Aff, now you know who I am.

I'm the other guy (the first being Rhain) who's been there to try and stem the tide as the universe throws everything it can at her.

I also get items from the top shelf when Rhain isn't around. Shadowdancer is not the tallest person around.

- Aff / David

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