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Gamer tries to reconnect with long-lost friend on Xbox, finds out he died from leukaemia

He also asked that people respect his friend's family's privacy.

Jane Zhang | February 23, 02:50 pm

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Reconnecting with old friends can be a heartwarming, but sometimes bittersweet, experience.

Facebook user Lee Fabela shared in a post on February 20 about his experience trying to reconnect with an old online buddy, only to find out that he had already passed away.

Best online friend he ever had

Fabela wrote that when he was around 11 years old, he started playing Halo 2 online with someone named Shaun.

Shaun was in his 40s, and while other players would ignore Fabela because he was young, Shaun was helpful to the beginner.

Fabela wrote that Shaun, who he called “the coolest person ever”, would help him when other players trash-talked him.

Together, said Fabela, they never lost a game as Shaun was an excellent sniper.

“I consider this man the best online friend I have ever had, a true Halo 2 Legend”, he wrote, ending his sentence with an emoji of a goat, likely meant to represent the slang term “G.O.A.T.”, or Greatest of All Time.

According to Fabela, he had been looking for Shaun for years, but had been unable to find him until Xbox recently added a search function for gamertags (online aliases).

Shaun had passed away of leukaemia

However, when Fabela finally was able to find his old friend’s gamertag on Xbox and sent him a message, he received a message telling him that Shaun had passed away.

halo 2 xbox friend leukaemia
Image via Facebook / Lee Fabela.

According to a screenshot of the conversation he shared in his post, Fabela had messaged Shaun’s old gamertag saying, “Ey man we use [sic] to play back in halo 2 days”.

Unfortunately, the reply he received was not from Shaun, but rather from someone who said he was Shaun’s nephew.

Shaun’s nephew informed Fabela that Shaun had passed away from leukaemia a little over a year prior, and that Shaun had given him the Xbox right before his passing.

“It sucks I didnt get to talk to him one last time. I think he would want me to play with his nephew now. F*ck Leukemia”, wrote Fabela.

You can read his full post here:

Importance of online friends

With more than 93,000 shares and around 13,000 comments on Facebook at the time of writing, Fabela’s post about Shaun appears to have resonated with many gamers on Facebook.

In a follow-up post on Feb. 21, Fabela thanked everyone who had reached out to him to make sure he was doing okay.

He wrote about the importance of online friends, and said that they don’t care about superficial details like your appearance, and that they just enjoy playing the game.

Fabela also shared the funniest memory that he had with Shaun, which involved him teaching Shaun how to do “super jumps”.

He said that Shaun was amazed at super jumps:  “No matter how many times he did super jumps, he was always excited. He was a kid at heart, he loved playing Halo.”

Other gamers chime in

Many Facebook users chimed in on Fabela’s initial Facebook post about Shaun with their own experiences.

Some people chimed in about losing important online friends:

halo 2 xbox friend leukaemia
Image via Facebook / Lee Fabela.
halo 2 xbox friend leukaemia
Image via Facebook / Lee Fabela.
halo 2 xbox friend leukaemia
Image via Facebook / Lee Fabela.
halo 2 xbox friend leukaemia
Image via Facebook / Lee Fabela.

Others shared how important online friends truly are to them:

halo 2 xbox friend leukaemia
Image via Facebook / Lee Fabela.
halo 2 xbox friend leukaemia
Image via Facebook / Lee Fabela.
halo 2 xbox friend leukaemia
Image via Facebook / Lee Fabela.
halo 2 xbox friend leukaemia
Image via Facebook / Lee Fabela.

Fabela’s post made some gamers wonder what had happened to their good friends from time past:

halo 2 xbox friend leukaemia
Image via Facebook / Lee Fabela.
halo 2 xbox friend leukaemia
Image via Facebook / Lee Fabela.
halo 2 xbox friend leukaemia
Image via Facebook / Lee Fabela.

Respect for Shaun’s family

And a few commenters encouraged Fabela to play Halo with Shaun’s nephew:

halo 2 xbox friend leukaemia
Image via Facebook / Lee Fabela.
halo 2 xbox friend leukaemia
Image via Facebook / Lee Fabela.
halo 2 xbox friend leukaemia
Image via Facebook / Lee Fabela.

In another follow-up post on Feb. 22, Fabela added that he is speaking with Shaun’s nephew and intends to play with him, but that he has not received a reply yet.

He cautioned against people spamming Shaun’s nephew’s Xbox inbox, as it has only been one year since Shaun’s passing and they would most likely still be hurting.

Fabela shared how the loss of his own grandfather still hurts. Thus, he asked gamers to respect Shaun’s nephew’s privacy and not open old wounds.

He also said that he hopes that his post will be an encouragement to gamers, and for older gamers to be kind to younger ones.

Top image via Facebook / Lee Fabela.

About Jane Zhang

Jane may look like a typical millennial, but she's really a bargain-hunting auntie at heart.

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