My email archive contains dozens of postings in which Heather Armstrong* and I are among those writing, receiving, mentioning, mentioned, cc’d or otherwise included. Most postings are from the ’00s and between bloggers in the brief age before media got social and blogging was still hot shit. Heather, with her Dooce blog, was the alpha among us, but never snotty about it.
Heather wore her heart, her head, her life, on the Web page. At humorous, opinionated, and wince-worthy self-disclosure, Heather even out-raged Chris Locke, aka RageBoy. Heather, Chris and I might have met for a panel at the 2006 SXSW, had Chris made the trip. Wrote Chris, “I was nearly as bummed as Doc said he was that I wasn’t there in Austin today on the ‘Cluetrain: Seven Years Later’ panel. What can I say? If God had wanted people to fly, he would have given them upgrades.” Best I recall, that panel was the only time I met Heather in person. She was fun.
Her final post was on April 6. It is mostly about, and for, her daughter Leta Louise. The closing line is “Here at 18 months sober, I salute my 18-year-old frog baby, she who taught me how to love.” According to news reports, Heather had fallen off the wagon. Whatever the reason, she fell all the way, and we will be forever lessened by her loss.
*On her Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts, all branded Dooce, she identified as Heather B. Hamilton, her birth name.
She always me feel an obligation to go deeper in my own writing, because she was so good at it. She was authentic before authenticity was a thing. Funny the nostalgia this awakens.
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