For all the ills and malignancies that can be blamed on the increasing presence of the internet in our daily lives, it also presents us with wonders and joys that wouldn’t be possible without it. Among those is a whole new category of friendship.
And, as is the case with their corporeal world counterparts, our online friendships all too often come at the price of personal pain when they end. And, while the pain may not be quite as searing as the kind we experience in the loss of the friends we speak to and interact with on a daily basis, it is deeply felt nonetheless. And today, I sadly discovered that I have suffered just such a loss.
I had only directly communicated with Joshua Goldberg a few times, and only within the past month, as I sought his assistance in setting up an account to post links at the Lucianne.com sister-site, BlogsLucianneLoves.com. At least I’ve only knowingly communicated with him a few times. Being a regular participant in the news forums at Lucianne.com since nearly its first day online, there’s a good chance I’d interacted with him unwittingly over the years, though I have no way of knowing for sure.
Nevertheless, my years of participation at the web site led me into a treasured friendship with Joshua’s mother, Lucianne. And, having corresponded with her over the years, I can’t help feeling a closeness to her entire family. And, like my interactions with Lucianne, the ones I had with Joshua in the process of getting things set up so that I can share links to this blog on the sister-site were unfailingly pleasant.
What I quickly discovered in my few brief communications with Joshua was that he was a man of a selfless and kind nature. I’d encountered some minor difficulties in the process of posting a link to the blog site and, knowing how busy he had to have been given all the activities in which he was engaged in the course of running the all various sites, dropped him a quick line without expecting too prompt or thorough a response. I figured I’d hear back from him in a couple of days, or so — I wasn’t in any big rush.
By the next morning, his response was in my inbox — a valiant attempt at diagnosing the issue I was having in spite of the lack of detail with which I’d provided him. At the time, I felt a small pang of guilt at not having given him more information than I had — the small regret that I’d wasted the man’s time when I could have easily avoided it. So, I responded with the information he asked for in order to determine what my issue might have been, and included an apology for not having been more thorough in the first place.
His response was telling. Joshua Goldberg treated me with every bit of the patience any person would have afforded a neophyte VIP and major donor to the web site, in spite of the fact that I was none of these things. And, furthermore, he even slightly admonished me for my apology over taking up his time:
“Please, don’t worry about bugging me. I am here to help our posters. So, please, let me know if you have any problems or questions.”
Following that interaction, in going about diagnosing and remedying the difficulties I was encountering, I received prompt and detailed instructions laced with a genuine, attentive concern that seemed to come out of the era that our elders speak of with a sense of forlorn nostalgia. The responses even included screen capture images with figures drawn on them to help guide me through whatever parts may have been proving difficult. I think it goes without saying that Joshua Goldberg was a man who didn’t mind giving his time to help others.
As has been said by others, when the terrorists struck America on September 11, 2001, that call to help struck Joshua Goldberg’s ears as clearly as it did the first responders who lay buried in the rubble. Hearing the call, he strode down to Ground Zero, day after day, and did his part to help recover the remains of those who didn’t make it out. While the rest of us sat shocked into silence and disbelief, Joshua Goldberg did what he felt was the only thing he could do: whatever he could do to help.
The Goldberg family is a precious one to me. Like her late son, Lucianne is as giving and forgiving a soul as I’ve ever had the privilege to encounter. Some years ago, I had reached a low point in my life — when the wheels suddenly seemed to come off. And, despite having never met me, seen my face, or even directly communicating with me, she reached out and offered her assistance to me at a time when hope was nowhere to be found on my horizon.
I was in regular communication with her when her late husband passed away after a protracted struggle, and read with tears streaming down my face Jonah’s incomparable tribute to his father Sidney Goldberg. It seems like such a cruelly brief period of time has passed for this wonderful family to have suffered yet another tragic loss that my heart is broken for them just as surely as if I had lost a dear friend of my own.
There’s nothing that can be said or done to take away the pain that Lucianne, Jonah, and Joshua’s wife Chantal feel right now. I can only hope that one day they’ll be able to take some solace in knowing that the man they lost this week was a good man, and that his kind and giving soul, though it was too briefly with us on this planet, made itself known to countless people, and that those people’s lives are better for it.
I pray that God will somehow find a way to comfort the Goldbergs in the days ahead. It will take some time, but they will undoubtedly one day be able to look back on his life and smile with the reverence of a proud family at the legacy he leaves behind.
Rest in peace, Joshua Goldberg. And God bless your wonderful family.
More Tributes to Joshua Goldberg
Joshua Goldberg, Z”l, John Podhoretz, Contentions/Commentary
Joshua Goldberg, R.I.P., Thomas Lifson/The American Thinker
Joshua Goldberg, R.I.P., Elizabeth Scalia/The Anchoress
Joshua Goldberg will be missed…, Terresa Monroe-Hamilton/NoisyRoom.net
In Tribute To A Man I Never Met, Joshua Goldberg, ER White/Practical State
So sad…. Andrea Shea-King/The Radio Patriot
Joshua Goldberg: Rest In Peace My Friend, Jeff Dunetz/Yid With Lid
God rest Joshua Goldberg, Rick/Brutally Honest
Joshua Goldberg, a “Johnny Appleseed for conservative American blogs,” dies at 43, Paul Klenk/Loud Citizen