After finding this thread a few months back I've been a minecraft fanatic!
I sincerely apologise to you and your loved ones.
And i've also learned never to dig straight down...there's lava down there! Resulted in two deaths trying to get all my gear back!
Also, never dig straight up as gravel/sand/creepers may be right overhead. My first death in the game was due to falling sand.
Anything new with Minecraft? I've not played since a couple of days after the squid update. I'm currently playing The Sims, which I haven't played in many years, and find that it's appealing to me for similar reasons as Minecraft; I grind away at boring activities for days on end in order to obtain shiny new things to put in my home. All it lacks is Creepers.