Dewey’s blog The Hidden Side of the Leaf was one of my favorites and an early addition to my feed reader. I was shocked to find out Monday morning via a post by her husband that she passed away last week. It surprises me that I would feel such a loss even though I had no actual interaction with her. I lurked on her blog and occasionally participated in her Weekly Geeks meme; I doubt if she even knew who I was. I think her energy to organize and participate in so many book blogging events, not to mention her voracious reading, was infectious even to those of us on the fringe of the community.
Dewey’s death is a reminder to me of how it is possible to have a connection with someone in an online community and yet know so little about them. Those of us who knew her only through her blog had no idea that she was so ill, and this is why her death comes as such a shock. Only the day before she died she wrote a post about book giveaways she was going to hold through-out the month of December. I find myself wondering, did she know that she was likely to die before she was able to complete or even start those giveaways? I would think so, and yet she kept up the sense of energy in her blog right to the end. Although we did not know many things about Dewey outside of books, the things we did know were enough for some of us (others much more so than myself) to form meaningful relationships with her and to feel a connection with her. We knew she loved to read and what her tastes in books were. We knew she was a generous and energy-filled person. And we knew that she was optimistic, or at least that she used her blog as a place of optimism. I feel sad that I did not have an opportunity to get to know Dewey better, even if just in the world of book blogging, but I am glad I had the opportunity to read her blog and participate in some of her events.
As much as those of us in the book blogging community feel a loss, I am sure the loss her family and loved ones feel is much greater. My heart goes out to them.