A toast "to absent friends" is always (to me) the most poignant part of New Year's Eve. The feeling that somebody is missing and missed and that your world is lessened by their loss deserves acknowledgement and I think it's worth the time to honour the gift their friendship brought you.
We lose friends in Second Life all too often as a result of death and we mourn and vent when that occurs. We also see friends drift away because we've grown apart but they still exist inworld and at least we know they're around even if not part of our "lives" any more. Then there are the friends who leave Second Life voluntarily and just disappear from our radar. I know people who have left but stay in touch through Plurk or Skype or email etc. The ones that just seem to vanish are the ones I include in this toast. The people I care for who left me behind when they found new adventures to pursue.
The photo above is old and represents one of my favourite memories of Second Life. Two of those individuals wandered away and I think about them often - I hope whatever they're doing they are happy and loved and I'm very very grateful they were part of my life as long as they were.
I went through a lot of youtube videos trying to decide on something appropriate for this post. I wound up getting sadder and more maudlin the more I searched and finally decided that it would be better to honour their temporary presence in my life than mourn their loss (and far less emo).
So for Wrath, Dodgy, Pieter, Trayz, Linux, Weeger and Mihai - a toast to you and a thank you for your friendship and all the gifts your friendships gave me. I hope someday our paths cross once again.