Good Night, Laura B.

laura b

Laura B. passed away on the day after Christmas. We never met, but she was one of my biggest cheerleaders, even by the numbers: Laura B. left three times as many comments as the next busiest commenter.

She was so kind, so encouraging. There were many days that I found myself writing solely for her, an audience of one.

It isn’t supposed to work this way, this faceless thing where I lay it down and you pick it up. Nobody told me that I would form friendships. Nobody told me that I would come to depend on you people; that I would care.

I feel awful for her family, her friends at the library where she worked, and the myriad other people who will have to somehow patch the hole that her kindness always filled. And personally I don’t feel like writing anymore. This really knocked the wind out of me.

Categories: obituary

25 replies »

  1. What can be said to follow up on that sentiment? Except that for every commentator there is a volume of faceless others. Slim consolation indeed. Commentators are what make a blog feel like a story-telling experience — otherwise, it’s a diary under lock and key (figuratively or real). People create to express but also to engage. Without that engagement and knowing you’re touching another, creating is a lonely pursuit.

    While no one replaces another person, I wish for you others who will feel comfortable engaging with you in the same way she did. And that you are able to feel that what you create impacts the many others who are silent.


  2. They say that whenever you get bucked off a horse, you should get right back on. But even the most determined cowboy will take the time dust himself off first.

    Take some time and dust yourself off, and then go for a ride.


  3. Yeah, I only knew her through Twitter and a single comment she posted on my Blog but she seemed a real gentle soul.

    It’s the sudden finality of it that has got to me. She was one of us and now she’s on the other side.


  4. I know a lover of words, and a fan of yours, who would be unhappy if you stopped. And I just realized… the comments, the reading, the camaraderie… I just now realized Why It Matters.


  5. If you were to go through my entire blog, the only comments were left by Laura. I maintained a lasting friendship with her over the past 6+ years. She was my first Twitter follower, my first Facebook friend, my first blog commenter.

    I wish I could say something encouraging here to make you keep writing, but alas, I cannot. The internet less friendly place, a little colder, a little darker these days. Nobody can take her place, but we can remember her for the friend that she was to all of us.


    • I know you must be hurting badly. We’ll all take a little time, lick our wounds, and get back to it. In terms of writing, I was just telling a colleague that I feel like I’ve lost my Tinkerbell who will come and sprinkle her magic fairy dust on my blather.


  6. I admired her consistency and her honestly in her comments – as more people found your blog and started commenting, I commented less, I felt suddenly self-conscious in a roomful of new people who seemed so much more comfortable and articulate than I am. So I started just reading and enjoying what others had to say, and it feels so very odd and jarring to not read a comment from her right now.

    I don’t believe in much, but sometimes I like to pretend that someone who mattered to me who is now gone is sitting right behind me, peering over my shoulder. I think that I can actually feel them, but of course it is just my imagination run wild or the 110 year old house shifting and settling. Or maybe not.

    I guess, we all know we are going to die, but this kind of sudden departure is so hard to adjust to and cope with. Some invisible truck just mowed you down and you were not even standing in the street.

    I am going to miss the comment banter the two of you had – it was funny and sweet and just……special. I am so sorry you’ve lost your first true Tinkerbell. Take all the time you need – your WIM family is not going anywhere, and we grieve along with you.

    And AlienCG – we’ve never interacted, but my heart hurts reading your comment.. I am so sorry, and I wish I had something more comforting than the standard,”I’m so sorry” but…..this kind of sudden loss really just leaves me speechless. It confuses me to my core as to why the kind and generous people seem to leave this earth sooner than others who do not give of themselves as freely.


  7. Thanks to AIDS I’ve had far too much experience losing someone close who left us all too soon. It never gets easier, but I’ve found that remembering loving memories can help ease the sense of loss. I guess it’s because no one is completely gone as long as someone remembers them. Also, it seems that whatever negative memories I may have seem to fade while the good ones remain vibrant.


  8. Laura B. and I met thanks to #fridayreads on Twitter, probably more than three years ago. We had similar taste in books. That led to a lot of chatting about literature and life. She was always supportive and encouraging. She celebrated with me in my triumphs and mourned with me in my sadness. She was just a lovely person. When I heard the news yesterday, I cried, and I’ve been thinking of her continually since then. It’s crazy how someone you’ve never met in person can become so dear to you, but that’s what seems to have happened. She touched a lot of lives with her kind words. I’m grateful to find out that there are others who are mourning her in a similar way.


  9. I must admit this is my first trip to your blog but I am so moved by the emotion and caring shared here I found I could not leave without complementing each of you on your thoughtful words for this wonderful woman who touched many of you so deeply. I’m sure she is touched. I wish I had known her.

    Thank you for reminding me how incredibly caring people can be. I’m deeply moved.
    Thank you.


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