When a blogger dies

A photograph of a bottle of Spike

I woke up this morning and started my routine as usual. I took off my CPAP mask and grabbed my iPhone and checked e-mail through my presbyopic blur. I noticed in the long list of e-mail senders and subject lines that there was an e-mail notification for a new blog post from “Life in the Foothills” which is Barb. I hadn’t seen Barb post for some months. I wasn’t expecting to read about when a blogger dies.

There had been a recent one updating readers on her health situation. Some time ago Barb had shared that she had been diagnosed with a hæmatological malignancy but it was not an aggressive variety and her oncologist had suggested a reasonable prognosis.

After a short period of treatment it became apparent the treatment wasn’t going to be straightforward and some complications had occurred. Barb’s recent post in September gave an indication that while she was trying to maintain a positive outlook the situation had taken a turn. Up until then Barb had tried to remain regular with “Monday’s finish the story” posts and photography posts.

So this morning at 4.30 when I saw there was a blog post I was happy. In my mind I was hoping it was a positive post with an update. After I’d eaten breakfast and had a cup of coffee in my hand and glasses on I set down to go through my overnight e-mails. When I got to the “Life in the Foothills” e-mail notification my heart sank. The subject line read, “My Life in The Foothills h Passed Away”. Paul, Barb’s husband had written the final post on Barb’s blog letting her readers know Barb had passed on the weekend.

Related post  Breakfast at Silo Bakery Kingston

Paul has asked no one comment on the post. He won’t be reading comments.

I have been sad all day. Barb was one of the first bloggers I met when I started. She was a regular visitor to my old blog and would comment often. Barb would send funny e-mails to her friends and I always felt special being included in that group. I had formed a friendship and bond with Barb. She had a very interesting life. A marvellous history. She was an excellent photographer and by all accounts a wonderful cook.

We shared an interest in food and cooking. Barb was so generous she sent me a bottle of Spike to try on my chicken. I still have some. I may roast a chicken soon and dedicate that meal to Barb.

If you’ve been blogging for a while you will know of bloggers who suddenly stop and then find out they have died. I knew deep down Barb was not going to live long but that didn’t diminish the sadness. It’s awful when a blogger dies.

Life is short. Make the most of it. Share your feelings and love with your family and friends.

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20 Responses

  1. Oh Gary, I’m so sorry, how terribly sad.
    Isn’t blogging a lovely thing, the way we can connect with people we could never hope to meet in real life. I think it is also lovely that there is a beautiful record of Barb out there on the internet. Something very personal to remember her by.

    1. So very true Nicole. Blogging has helped me make so many wonderful connections with people around the world.

  2. i mirror your reactions and emotions, and i also wrote a post.. she was too vibrant and positive of a person and i felt that i owed her a final tribute. one reader just replied that she didn’t know babs but the news had left her sad and crying.

    like you, i knew she had a difficult battle on her hands, but she was so positive.. just like her to try not to worry those who cared about her.

    thanks for your beautiful tribute.


    1. The great thing about blogging is the friendships built over distance but when you lose a blogger friend it hits just losing losing a mate who lives close by.

  3. Sorry to hear about you friend. It really is sad. I have lost a couple of blogger friends and it is much like losing a long time friend. One I had met in a class a few years before he died, so that was even more difficult.

    1. Thanks Timothy. It’s exactly like losing a long term friend. For a blogger who regularly comments and interacts the distance doesn’t really matter. The bloggers Barb spent time communicating with through comments and e-mails have lost a dear friend.

  4. I didn’t know her and the news left me sad.
    It’s amazing how we humans can make bonds with people we haven’t even met, but reading their words makes us feel like we know them. Blogging is not just throwing your thoughts to cyberspace, but sharing them with real people. I’ve been sad because some bloggers I’ve followed quit blogging. I have never experience the loss of a fellow blogger like this. Thinking about it makes me so sad.
    You wrote a lovely tribute for Barb. I think your kind words will reach her through the waves in cyberspace. May she rest in peace.

    1. Thank you very much MJ. I also feel sad when a blogger stops blogging. It is like losing a friend but not in the same way as a friend dying. Thank you for your kind words.

  5. It is very sad to hear such news. I have had the same thing happen several times, including wondering why I wasn’t getting any mail back from them. It is a pity that relatives can’t accept some condolence messages so they can realise the impact that their loved one had.

    1. Thank you Katie. I know with Barb she and Paul shared so much that Paul is aware of how popular Barb was with her readers.

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