The sudden passing of Joshua Goldberg sparked this thought I found from Bookworm at Right Wing News.
Joshua Goldberg's sudden death, at age 43, has really saddened me. I feel as if I've lost a friend -- not a best friend, because we weren't that close, but a friend nevertheless. What's funny, though, is that I never actually met Joshua. I never talked to him on the phone. I never even saw him across the room. Instead, our friendship played out entirely over the internet. We emailed each other. When I needed help, he gave it. When he had something interesting to say, he offered it. I valued our communications, and felt a bond with him. I called that bond friendship.
Just like the passing of snaggletoohie a few weeks earlier, you feel loss at the departure of someone you never knew physically. But you know of them from the internet.