It Is Safe To Turn Your Computer Off Now

Jonathan Young died tragically in an accident at home during October 1997 at the age of thirteen. He leaves lively memories of an engaging and talented person with a gift for computers and web-sites, for negotiating and for being bold. He is mourned by his family, and by the congregation of St Peter's and the staff and pupils of Nottingham High School for Boys. The following poem was written by his friends, and read at his funeral.

web sites and
gigabytes and megabytes
and love bytes
and hurting bytes
byte-ing hard
and long

and e-mails
and handles
and modems and passwords
and words that passed
and words that never passed
and won't pass between us

open file manager
new format
spell check

it doesn't help
you are gone

sessions settings and
baud rates and
access numbers leading to
and people
and chat
and connections leading to links and links to more links
and links to connections
and connections to

there is no command that will bring you back to life
we cannot cancel
and you cannot press escape

your life is cut
but stored in the memory
always there
never deleted
there, in our random access memory
taking up the space which is you
and will always be yours

you designed a web-site on our minds and hearts
it has your touch
your skill
your mark
it has links to other places
but now links to a place we cannot go
along a path we cannot follow
(even with a 166MHz computer
a two-button ergonomic mouse and mat
a 16-speed internal CD-ROM
and the fastest modem available
and, of course, a sound card
and extra graphics
and memory that even you would find hard to fill)

it lies silent and untouched

the windows have closed
you have made changes to the file we call "our life" - text
we want to save those changes

it is safe to turn your computer off now

The Jonathan Young Trust Fund

Progress report - January 2002

Related web-sites

These Days - Jonathan's web-site about R.E.M.
Jonathan Young - a memorial page by a friend
St Peter's Church, Nottingham
Last revised 1st January 2002