Thursday, March 31, 2022

Memorial Service for JasElm Mertel

By Bixyl Shuftan

On Sunday March 18, the Safe Waters Foundation mermaid community hosted a memorial service for JasElm Mertel. JasElm was a roleplayer whom at one point took part in the Inslico sci-fi RP area, as well as Bloodlines. And she had friends in the Jinx roleplay group. She was also a content creator whom had a marketplace page ("Everything Else"), which had many additions for Linden Homes, and stated in her profile she liked creating logos, illustrations, and more.

The event took place under the waters of Union Passage. "Welcome everyone!!" Greeted Chickaboo (JustaChicky Goldshark), one of the Safe Waters' leaders, "So nice to see you all here to Celebrate JasElm Mertels Life!" She pointed out some pictures of JasElm, "Today we celebrate JasElm's Life! I was going to wear black then in remembering her I chose to be colorful , like her spirit." She noticed several avatars that were clearly from the land, "Welcome Centuars. I know she will be glad to see you here as you all were so much a part of her life.

"Seems like just yesterday when we rekindled our friendship. Kindred spirits I think.We shared much of our RL's together. So let us remember who she was/is. Kind, sweet, helpful, funny. creative, Promoted Fantasy Faire & all events to help with the American Cancer Society. Passionate at everything she did. Being a pilot, she sure loved flying people around and meeting new ones. She tried to teach me ....I crashed into Blake sea everytime!! Laughing alot.

"Each of us, Mer, seafolk, Centuars and so many more have had a special journey with Jas. While reading our chats I realized she was so much more than just a friend. She enjoyed Life to the fullest. In everything she did. She wasnt afraid to try anything here!! and she did try everything as you may know.

Chickaboo paused momentarily, "I am trying not to get choked up here..... Jas was a sparkle. a twinkle, a firecracker, always up for a good laugh, a hug.  Jas helped at SWF for many years and just last year she volunteered again, this time to be our photographer. She also wasnt afraid to tell you exactly how she felt! Read her Profile ( and you will get a taste of it.

"Let me share a quote from Jas: 'When you are about to turn your heart into a stone, remember, you do not walk alone.'

"'I was born in the year of the Dog and am a Gemini on the cusp of Taurus, so I am both creative and stubborn. Sometimes bull headed, and sometimes wishy washy. But always a good (SESS-moo-nah): Friend of Mer and faithful to the end...Jas.'  I think that really describes her!

"She was a friend, a sister..a commrade, and so she Lived a full Life. Let us not be sad today, but Celebrate what she was to each of us! She also said, 'Dal', I Dal (DOLL): Want to thank you for living with me on the same planet. You are not alone in this world. And that is about the most generous gift she  gave us all. Always caring for others and willing to be there for you when you needed a shoulder to cry on." "Wonderful sentiment," someone from the audience commented.

Chickaboo went on, "The music you heard coming in was one of her favorite bands , Heilung , she so wanted to see them at the Castlefest one day in the Nederlands. Grace sent me this:

"'I so regret that I can't be with you today (RL demands).

"I'm not a terribly close (SESS-moo-nah): Friend of Mer  of JasElm's but she was a bright light of joy, hope and community spirit. She helped out so many times and was supportive during some of my toughest times.

"She was working on becoming a photographer (**and I put some of her photos of Safe Water Foundation's home sim into the slide show **if you get it working). Thank you for coming to add some joy today in Second Life.'

Chickaboo looked to the audience, "Now if anyone else would like to share please come on up, or type from your seat, share a memory." Kumi Kiyori spoke up, "When our friend Pearl was so very ill she spent so much time suggesting and explaining the many herbs that she took for herself, and where she sourced them. All this while she too was so very ill with this awful disease. Both were strong women and I miss them both."

Adrian Blackstorm (elusiasilverweb) spoke, "When I first started the journey to being a merfolk Jas was there giving suggestions landmarks and he ear. Every time I came with a little more progress, she was there to always help. She embodied the saying 'Mers helpsing Mers become mers.' She always was the light that shined there for everyone and loved seeing our community grow."

Julala Demina would say, "I never once heard JasElm complain. She came to us and she had fun. I will miss her, truly, as I do all those who have left us over the years.  I think I remember last seeing her over the festive period, I remember helping her fit her latest outfit for her centaur.  She always looked her best and joined in with positivity and energy.  She never gave up either, always looking forward.  May your journey be a wonderful adventure JasElm.  Wherever you go now, may it be full of the fantasy and joy that you brought to us all."

Fɪɴᴀ 小霜 (Sapphira Franizzi)  spoke, "So this is going to be really just a few words...

"I don't know Jas well. I know her as an active member of the mer community, but that's about it. Nevertheless, I was still shocked to hear that she had passed on and that a memorial was to be held at SWF in her honor.

"It was a stark reminder to me that those nearest and dearest to us might suddenly, one day, not be there anymore.

"Today, may we not only celebrate her memory, but also remember to hug our loved ones tightly and show them love and appreciation them every day!"

Humormii Resident offered, "I also didn't know JasElm well but her energy was as big as her taur. She was HUGE! She would dash into our wiggles with so much life and joy that she made it. One wouldn't know she was sick if she hadn't told you. That is how I will remember her. Full of life. Full of fight. Full of happiness. She is missed."

Zzri Avian (Zri Portal) would add, "I would just like to also add, that she was a fan of the Grid Drives that the 'Drivers of SL' group would organize; she would participate actively in the 'Drivers of SL' group chat too. Her enthusiasm will be missed."

After a moment, Chickaboo continued, "Jas did so many things! You are all so sweet! Lovely words everyone, wish I'd of thought of those words to describe her. She will be missed. and loved by us all. You know shes watching over us.

"If that's the last share......" Chickaboo waited a little before saying, "A moment of silence for Jas." They waited another moment before the mer spoke again, "Thank you all for sharing - now lets increase the happiness just now.  Let's dance, chat and have a little fun - in honor of JasElm Mertel! I am glad she touched so many lives. I have the Mer dance ball up above me. I hope you all will dance with us. Vlad will you get the music going?" "Wonderful memorial Chicky," someone responded. "Yes thank you so much Chickaboo," spoke another.

Chickaboo would say of the tunes, "Music was picked by Grace as a dedication to her Nulma (NOOL-mah): Love of this music." As the dance started, the DJ, Vladamer (Kristoph Darkheart), commented, "I think I met Jas once when she tried to teach Chicky to fly. (chuckle) That didnt go well, Chicky always crashed (laughter)." Chickaboo just laughted. Another commented, "Stck to sea. Can still capsize though." Still another would say, "I never met her, but she was in a thousand groups: divers SL, passengers, sailors, aviators, etc. And she was very talkative too at times." "Talkative is a good thing," a third commented, "It's how friends are made." Vladamer would add, "She was in SWF group chat one day saying she beat cancer and her test showed good. It was too sudden. She beat one thing and another came in to play. So sad."

Chickaboo would add, "Jas drove a 1972 VW Beetle too: purple. I thought it suited her." Another told her, "Chicka, Jas was one of the reason i am a siren, her love of music." Awwwww, that's great Adrian. She helped so many. She helped me adjust to the 5-joint tails." "She did. If she could see how much more we have grown, she would be proud."

Eventually, people started to head ouot, "I'm going to leave before I turn into a sobbing mess." "I must go. It was a beautiful service, Chicky." "All of us coming together," Chickaboo would comment, "I am sure she is watching us!"

Bixyl Shuftan

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