Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Blogosphere Turned A Paler Hue

I got my dose of shock for the day.  As I was looking at my Blogger dashboard and scrolling through blogs to visit and read, I decided to click on one I haven't visited in about a month or so.  I've been extremely busy with the move and other things, as you all know, so I've fallen terribly behind on reading and commenting.  Well, when I clicked on the blog and was taken to the actual page, I was shocked to find that the latest entry was about someone's funeral...someone by the same name as the blog author herself!  I wasn't sure at first, thinking maybe I remembered her name wrong so I decided to scroll down and read on.  Unfortunately, it was not a mistake on my part.  

The author, this wonderful blogger, has died.

She has been suffering from an autoimmune disease called Ankylosing spondylitis and though her blog entries have her condition as its context, the most amazing thing is that more than anything, she blogs about faith and choosing joy.  I've always thought of her faith as remarkable as not once did she doubt the purpose of her life or her disease. She has always been an encouraging voice and I feel that somehow, this was partly the reason why I stopped reading her when I was heartbroken and faith-broken after my miscarriage.  It felt like having someone constantly urge you to look in a certain direction you are not prepared for or are unwilling to see.  Her words of faith have always been gentle, nothing too preachy, but I was really just unwilling and too hardened to even hear or see the word G-O-D.   


I still have my scars and know deep down that a part of me still resists God.  But the funny thing is that as soon as I found out about this blogger's death, my instinct was still to close my eyes and say a prayer for her soul.  And I meant it, not just a hollow knee-jerk reaction type of thing.  


Sunset-29
http://www.freephotobank.org/v/sky-stars/sunset-1/Sunset-29.jpg.html

I never met this person.  I only read her words that helped me construct her image, her life, in my head.  But her loss feels real and even if only for a brief moment, I could honestly say that I also grieved.  There will be no more blog entries from her, no more reminders of choosing joy, faith and gratitude, despite our pains and discontent. But I know that her 'voice', filled with grace, will always linger and continue to inspire, with shades of her happy energy tainting countless lives despite her physical absence.  

We take a lot of things for granted.  We take for granted the virtual community that surrounds us, the countless real individuals whose realities intersect ours only in the digital world.  But they are nonetheless important to us and influence us in real ways, some more than others.  I take for granted that my favorite bloggers and blogger friends will always be there.  But the truth is, one day, they can just quit, get sick or for whatever reason, find it impossible to still write and publish online.  This has been such a wake-up call for me to savor the wonderful reads I find in the blogosphere.  Most importantly, I now want to make sure that I tell my favorite writers how much I appreciate them, how much their words touch me and how their insights continue to echo within me long after the tapping on their keyboard stops.  
Words, when well chosen, have so great a force in them, that a description often gives us more lively ideas than the sight of things themselves. --- Joseph Addison









17 comments:

  1. Hi :) I was here as I saw your blog link on Voiceboks. Looking forward for your updates :)

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  2. What a Cathartic post.  How ironic is that? 

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  3. A most beautiful post and thought. Thanks.

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  4. Wow... what a powerful reminder to cherish every moment.  Please don't be too hard on yourself for not being able to read certain posts of hers--it is difficult to hear words of inspiration until you are ready for them.  Sometimes you just need to process through your own grief before you can turn your face to the sun again.  But the beautiful thing about the blogosphere is that no one is every truly gone.  We leave bits and pieces of ourselves online in the ether of the web, and those pieces will continue to be newly discovered by people for years and years.  So even though she has passed, there are some folks who will just be meeting her tomorrow, or the next day, or next year even.   She will be passing on her words of encouragement and inspiration forever, even to those who haven't even met her yet. 

    She sounds like a beautiful person, and her spirit of love, light, and faith will continue to minister to people long after she is gone.  When people pass, we always say that they will live on in our hearts... but thanks to the internet, they will live on through their words too, and people can still hear them speaking directly to them, long after they are gone. 

    I am sorry for the loss of your friend.  I am sure you were just as much a blessing to her as she was to you.

    Sending you prayers to lift your spirit today.

    Love, Jenn @Misadventures in Motherhood

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  5. Joy what a beautiful post! I love this and it really speaks to my heart on so many levels. I'm thinking of how many people I take for granted, online and in the real world, the idea that they will always be there. Thank you for your poingant message that they are not. Much love to you.

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  6. Lovely words Joy and I'm sorry to hear about this loss. xoxo

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  7. Thanks Lalia.  Yeah, it is sad.

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  8. And same to you Kathy!  xoxo

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  9. Hi Jenn!  Well, we were not friends at all.  I just followed her blog to some extent.  That was a good thing you said, reminded me of how the concept of time could be, or is!....everything being parallel. She's not completely gone because for some who will just find her now and read her now, she continues to be 'in the present'.  :-)

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  10. Thanks for dropping by Kenny and I hope you enjoyed the site and will be back!  :-)

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  11. When a blogger disappears your just left wondering.  In this case it's just so sad; it's almost as if you want to do a blog funeral.  Thanks for posting and reminding us that we should all be grateful for each others' words

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  12. It is impossible to know how much our words affect others. Even with feedback I don't think we have a true grasp. Thoughtful post Joy, and something to think about. :D xo

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  13. True Cath.  As writers, we're left to just hold on to the (positive, hopeful) thought that indeed, we made some impact.  If not, then at least it was cathartic for us, haha!

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  14. I think there probably was some kind of blog funeral in this case cos they posted a streaming video of her actual funeral.  So sad...

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  15. Wow! I cannot even imagine how surprised you must have been to discover this, Joy! Thank you for this reminder to never take life and friends for granted. Just a few days ago, a friend crossed the road at the wrong time and got hit by a car. Yesterday, they said he only had a few more hours to live. I haven't heard any more news so far. Death is so real.

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  16. Thanks for remnding us how precious is our time here, that we should cherish and savor our moments, our friends, our experiences. Beautifully written thoughts.

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  17. Thanks MikeB. We really can't take things for granted. Life is too precious.

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