"Birth, life, and death -- each took place on the hidden side of a leaf." - Toni Morrison. Those are the words that greet you when you visit Dewey's blog. I expected many things when I got up this morning. I expected snow. I expected a pile of spam in my in-box had I hadn't checked my email for days. I expected the bus to be crowded. I expected my feed reader to frighten me as I also hadn't checked it for days. I was right about all of those things. I did not expect that when I was checking the accumulated feeds in my reader that I'd find out that one of my favourite book bloggers, Dewey, had passed away last week. I've written about Dewey often. She and her blog, The Hidden Side of a Leaf were at the center of many wonderful things in the book blogging community. We didn't know each other. We were blogging acquaintances as best, similar to the neighbour that you don't know but nod and smile at when you see them on the street or at the grocery store and you never expect them not to be there. My heart is sad today.
Dewey's energy and organizational skills were well known across the book blogging community. She's the one that created the Weekly Geeks meme. She organized the Bookworm Carnival and the 24 Hour Readathon. She had planned to do more than a month of giveaways this holiday season and that was the subject of her last post - the giving season.
There were occasional references to an illness but I don't think that anyone knew the extent of it until this morning when Dewey's husband posted of her passing. Dewey not only maintained an active blog that was an inspiration to many of us but she did so while she was ill and in a lot of pain.
Just this pass weekend my boyfriend and I were commenting on the impact of online communities and friendships. Every time we go to a new city we meet up with people that I know online, many that I haven't met before and I've only met the teeniest, tiniest fraction of the people that I interact with online. Like many bloggers I did not meet Dewey, but that doesn't lessen the pain of her passing for me or for them. We do not need to meet or interact with people in a "conventional" way for them to impact our lives. I think Andi at Tripping Toward Lucidity said it so well for us.
I just found out as her husband posted about it today, and I'm terribly sad, shocked, confused, and more than anything else, I can feel a big void in the tight knit online world that we maintain. I've thought about it often, how people we may never meet become such a tangible part of everyday life. As odd as it might sound to the outsider, it's true. We share our lives, our loves, our losses, and we matter to each other. This community matters.
Today the book blogger community is remembering Dewey.
Hey Lady! Whatcha Reading? - We Love You Dewey
At Home With Books - In Honor of Dewey
My Friend Amy - When You Lose a Blogging Friend, Farewell Dewey
Books of Mee - Bye Dewey
In Search of Giants - In Memory of Dewey
Maw Books Blog - In Which We Say Goodbye To One Of Our Own
Caribousmom - A Loss Beyond Words
Ex Libris - Dewey
Stephanie's Book Blog - A Terrible Loss
Everyday Reads - Prayerful
Things Mean A Lot - Dewey
The Kea - The Kea
Thoughts of Joy - Extremely Sad News
Out of the Blue - Dewey
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