Forever in Neverland – modern day immortality (Melbourne, Australia)

By Ian Cochrane, January 16, 2013


‘Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.’

― JM Barrie


There’s a large page-4 headline and a small picture. His face is olive-brown, tilted slightly towards me, the hand of a close friend across the back of his bare neck. In his early 20s, his eyes are coals with a certain spark; windows to the soul they say. His teeth are ivory white, his mouth wide open. I hear a cheer, a joyous yell. The foreground is blurred; the merriment of happy goings on, a bit of action. Good friends hamming it up. There’s a shock of dark windswept hair above a high forehead, his skin with the unblemished of the ever-young. I’ll call him Peter.

On Facebook I take a peek. I’m prying I know. Peter’s well liked, passionate and loved. There are kisses for all it seems – maybe too many – hugs instead of handshakes. Boisterous? Sure. There’s fun, family, and adventure in Europe.

Linkedin tells me he’s ambitious, hard-working; the outdoor type, full of plans for a bright future. ‘Just do it’ says Peter.

Twitter is spontaneous chatter, a bit of cheek `to keep you on your toes’.



On YouTube I hear his chuckle; outrageous and loud. He’s wearing that shirt for God’s sake!

There are Peter’s posts on the blogs of friends; encouragement, some teasing and some sympathetic.

Flickr has photographs; that’s Peter with his sisters; again with his girlfriend; that’s Peter, larger than life.

I turn off my computer, the coffee cold. Peter’s dead almost 3-weeks now, with no goodbyes. All that’s left is Neverland.


  1. JerseyLil says:

    “All that’s left is Neverland,” is a haunting line. To know that someone as vibrant as Peter is suddenly gone “with no goodbyes” is startling, and something I have experienced. That we can continue to see someone’s aliveness on the Internet and social media after they have passed on freezes them forever in place in time and space, like being in Neverland. Peter will not only be remembered by his loved ones and friends, he’ll be remembered also by the indirect friends who have come to know him in cyberspace. Very thoughtful and perceptive post, Ian. The JM Barrie quote is fitting.

  2. umashankar says:

    Ian, I am speechless to read that. Indeed, it had the The Sixth Sense like effect on me and reading it back doesn’t help. You are an irresistible writer.

    • IanC says:

      The Sixth Sense?
      I’m not sure it deserves such high praise, but shall certainly accept the compliments.
      Thanks US. Very happy you enjoyed the read.
      Cheers, ic

  3. I’ve thought about this so many times, having had friends or co-workers who’ve died, yet there they are, frozen in cyber-space. Always gives me the willies. Great post!

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