A woman that many of us knew well enough to call a true friend has been taken from us without warning.
Alpha Dawn Kness, a key member of several online communities who often used the nicknames 'Alla' and 'Amberglas' when she posted to the Internet, died quite suddenly on Thursday, April 27. Alpha Dawn was well-known and well-loved across the Web and around the world, and her passing leaves a void in many of our lives. She will very much be missed.
The news came as a shock to us all. Alpha Kness had been doing very well in recent times, and was very happy with the path her life was taking. After years of struggle and self-growth, she was establishing a new career in the Pacific Northwest, and was eagerly looking forward to travelling and meeting a number of her many online friends in the coming months.
I had known Alpha as 'Alla' for several years as a member of a large and very active mailing list for ADDults that has grown into a true online community, albeit a predictably chaotic and disorganized one. She was a bastion of grace and quiet strength for many of us on that list. Her sensitivity and warmth shone through in everything she posted there, and her ready wit and wisdom was something we could all rely on. She was there for us when we needed her support, and we were there for her when she needed ours in turn.
Two years, ago, I invited Alla to join us in a virtual community called 'Brainstorms', one that is filled with a rich and diverse population of articulate, intelligent individuals. She settled in immediately, and it soon became clear that she had found herself an ideal online home. Her warmth of spirit and intense interest in life made her a welcome member of our community right from the start. She interacted everywhere in Brainstorms, and she freely shared her heart and mind and soul with all of us. She also created her own Life Story topic there, one that she titled "Come Set A Spell". That little bit of cyberspace became just what she wanted it to be, a virtual place of her very own where everyone was welcome anytime.
Alpha wasn't only active in the online world, though. She had many interests and many friends in what she would jokingly refer to as her 'other real life'. Among her favorites was performing as a part of a Middle Eastern dance troupe, something that brought her lots of joy and surrounded her with like-minded companions who appreciated her for what she was -- a truly beautiful spirit with a brightly shining soul.
Alla/Alpha was very special to me, as she was to so many other people whether they had ever met her face-to-face or not. I will always cherish her warm, wise words and the memories of what we shared together over the years. I will always be glad know that I was her friend, and always be happy that she was able to share so much with so many people through the magic of cyberspace. She really did personify the true meaning of virtual community, touching the lives of everyone she met online, and weaving lasting relationships among them everywhere she went.
Those of us who were fortunate enough to know Alpha Dawn Alla Amberglas Kness will always treasure that experience. She was kind and brave and strong and sweet, and she influenced our lives in many ways. She brought joy to our hearts, wisdom to our minds, and grace to our souls. She had an uncanny knack for seeking out the silver linings that lurk within even the darkest clouds, and that is what will remain with us as we celebrate her life, and wish her safe swift passage on her continuing journey to the stars.
Rick Albertson, aka rixter
page last updated May 4, 2000 10:59 pm EST
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