Thoughts on the Passing of Debbie Metrustry

RIP Debbie Metrusty (@debbiemet)

I often joke that Twitter is my only source of news these days, but there is some news I’m simply unprepared to hear. I was absolutely horrified today to learn of the death of Debbie Metrustry, known up and down the Irish internet as @debbiemet.

In our first interactions, I didn’t know her last name was Metrustry and thus the source of her username. In my mental shorthand for people, she was Debbie Well Met, because absolutely everyone who had the pleasure of meeting her loved her. I’m not kidding about that. I know people say it all the time of those who have passed on, but in the snarky, gossipy, tight-knit world that is the Irish internet, I don’t know a single person who didn’t spontaneously smile and have a good word to offer whenever her name was mentioned.

Death is a cheater, but in her case seems particularly perverse. Debbie was young; sure, there was the occasional complaint about arthritic bones, but she was overflowing with enthusiasm and purpose. We all give lip service to the idea that “you only have one life” but Debbie had, in the last two years, really grabbed hold of that reality and made drastic changes to turn her life into what she wanted it to be. She was working through a career transition, was  newly dedicating herself to running, she had started a major move from Dublin, and she’d just bought land for her dream eco-house in Tipperary.

In many regards, she was just (re)starting her life; it seems cruel beyond belief that she will not live out the dreams she was building while the rest of us are left here, free to carry on in our own lives with efforts that seem so weak compared to her heroic mountain moving.

I was looking forward to seeing her again in three weeks, and at the moment I still cannot believe I will not.  I’m quite sure we’re scheduled for lunch in March and quite sure she’ll pop up in my Twitter DMs any moment now. Anything else is incomprehensible; when she’s not there, I know I will think of her as just away, dancing until dawn.

I have called the funeral home but there is still not a date, time, or specific information about services for her and details are below. Regardless of those arrangements, I’ve checked in with a few mutual friends and there will be a BTW (Blogger, Twitter, Whatever) meetup in her honour, most likely on the day of her services. I’ll post more information when it’s available but for the moment, like so many others, I simply cannot believe we’re making plans around the funeral of this woman.

Because really, she’s supposed to be here, dancing into her future.

Funeral Arrangements:
Viewings: Sunday and Monday until 8 PM
Kirwans, 21-23 Fairview Strand, Dublin 3 [map]
Service: Tuesday, 16 February, 2010 at 2 PM
Glasnevin Crematorium Chapel [map]
Burial immediately following

BTW Meetup:

Tuesday, 16 February 5 PM onwards
Le Cirk, 32 Dame Street [web]
Buses from Glasnevin: 140 [map]
Please RSVP at BTW [here] or add your name here.