Friday, June 8, 2007

Blogger Tribute

Natalie Rose
December 15, 1973 - June 7, 2007

Some of you know, from my sidebar, that I am hosting a reading challenge starting in August. The idea is to choose five books that somehow represent you. Then, when everyone has listed their five books, you choose some books you'd like to read - either because of the content of the books, or because you'd like to get to know a certain blogger better.

One of the participants of this challenge was Nattie Rose. I added her blog to my blogroll and she became one of my "blogger friends". She loved to read (she was hosting a Newberry reading challenge on her blog), had two small children, was divorced, and was an online advocate for Christian women.

On May 21st, she reported on her blog that she had been diagnosed with cancer, some kind of rare stomach cancer. Things happened quickly. We found out through her father that her cancer was inoperable, and yesterday he posted the above picture, letting us know that she had died. She was 33.

This is a new world of "friendship" now that we have blogging to connect us. How should one grieve for someone one has never met, or should you even? Does this even qualify as a "friend"? I've not commented on her blog, because I was in a dilemma over what one could say that would sound sincere when you've never even met someone. I've a feeling this issue will only continue to grow as we connect with one another cyber-ly, and the emotional implications are fascinating for me.

All said, I'm sad.


kookiejar said...

It perfectly appropriate to grieve for Nattie. I'd only been to her blog a couple of times, myself and only left one comment, but I'm deeply saddened by her death.

More importantly than being a blogging comrade she was a young woman with two little girls who are too young to be without a mother. That's who I grieve.

She was far, far too young.

Total Health Yoga - Kris said...

I, too, am saddened and have never heard her name or seen her blog. Life is precious and my heart goes out to her loved ones, especially her children.
To your point about friends over hyper-space, I find it amazing. I have only been going to and writing a blog for a couple of months--if even--and have "met" folks that have touched my heart and I feel their support and caring through comments they leave (like your comments :-)). It's our hearts that connect us--hugs are nice, but if it's a virtual hug, I'll take that too. So, hugs to you while you miss your friend.

Laura said...

I'm grieving ... like you I had come to know Nattie through her blog, and that only very recently. Yet I am so sad, I keep thinking about her and her family. It is hard to explain to others -- I feel they might not understand how you can grieve for someone you've never met -- so I've remained silent. Somehow I think all of us grieving on blogs is representative of this new way of being in community, and the best way for all of us to support one another.

jay are said...

wow...heavy stuff. I think we do grieve for our blogger friends because they're real connections, we've connected with them on some level for whatever reasons, and that's sufficient to feel sadness and grieve.
Her poor family :) Her children! I can't imagine what this time must be like. Thinking of them all (and I have no idea who they are). There are so many sad things sometimes.

The Harvest said...

I'd never met Nattie except through her blog and her emails on my Yahoo book groups - and yet I felt like I had come to know who she was and found myself devastated when I learned of her death. I cried off and on most of the day, thinking of her young children and her family and how the world lost this bright and shining light. I think grief for our fellow blogging friends is appropriate. Often people share more about themselves on-line than they do "in person." I know more about my blogging friends then most of my co-workers...and I share interests with my blogging friends that I think also strengthens the bond. Grieving for the loss of someone so young who had so much to live for just shows us how human we are - Nattie touched many, many people and that is real whether she was standing in front of them, or on the other side of a computer typing in her thoughts.

Wendy said...

That previous post was ME (Wendy at - I have a friend staying with me who is using my computer and I didn't realize she was signed into HER google account!

Dewey said...

I've had online friends since 2001, and in fact met my husband through blogging.I have met 15 such friends in person after getting to know them online, and I think that our online connections can sometimes be even stronger than our in-person friendships. I think that these friendships are truly valid, and that your grief is real, as real as though Nattie were your neighbor and you had gotten to know her through shared interests.

I read above that you do couples counseling, so I'm wondering, have you counseled any couples who met online yet?

Carrie K said...

I think it's perfectly appropriate to grieve for Nattie, she was your friend. We forget, in our mobile age, how much distance used to be between people and how events could separate people for decades. In those days, letters sent were uncertain to have been received and took months to get delivered.

(Oh! I came from Kookiejar's site - I saw you had gone to the Commonwealth Club & I'm from the Bay Area.)

LK said...

This is sad news. My sympathies to the blogging community who were lucky enough to share thoughts with her.

Bookfool said...

I'm so sorry you lost a friend. Yes, I believe our blog friends are real friends. I've just met one of my blog buddies, this past week, and we had a blast. She talked a blue streak. They're real people at the other end of the line.


Lotus Reads said...

I didn't know Nattie through the blogosphere or otherwise but I do know that relationships that develop in the blogosphere can be incredibly deep. I visited her blog after reading your touching post and it was an incredibly sad visit. Her poor kids, my heart goes out to them.

Fat Fugger said...

I'm sorry for your loss, I didn't know Nattie. It sounds like she will be missed.

AS far as your ques. about whether we "know" people, our online friends. About 4 month ago, I started up a friendship with someone from a message board I frequent. Now, we are best friends. I swear I feel like I've know her my whole life and quite frankly, she's the best friend I've made in my "adult" years. Anyways, yes, we can make connection with people that we've never seen face to face. very strong ones.

Madame Rubies said...

Nattie was one of the best friends I ever had. I knew her online and off and was blessed to attend her Memorial service. Books were a part of that. Many books have been donated to her church library and local library in her name. Some members of are sending a monetary donation to her local library. Nattie was a one-of-a-kind reader.