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For Dewey

November 25, 2009

Last fall was a rough time for me and my book blog. I was struggling with depression for the first time in my life, while also going to grad school full time and working 20 hours a week. I barely posted in October, and then my laptop got messed up. Since I lived quite a drive from my campus, I was cut off from the internet except when I was at school. I had just begun posting again on November 26th. And then my fibro flared up, so I couldn’t drive. Finally, on December 2nd I felt a bit better and popped into my school library to check my Google Reader. And I saw a post titled ‘Tribute to Dewey,’ which seemed odd. I went to her blog and was horrified to discover that the day before her husband had posted that she had passed on November 25th. I couldn’t believe it; I started tearing up right in the library and had to make a quick dash for the restroom before I started sobbing. Then I just felt numb; I started thinking that maybe Dewey’s site had been hacked and this was a cruel joke. Maybe she’d joined the witness protection program and had to disappear. Anything, other than the fact that she was gone. I got into my car (it was night, so it was dark outside) and just cried until I had no tears left. Then I drove home and cried some more.

I kept hoping there was an alternate explanation, at the same time that I read all of those wonderful in memorium posts. I wrote a pitiful one by comparison: my eloquence flees in the face of such raw emotion.

And now it’s been a year, and I have yet to find the right words. I still sometimes imagine that she joined the witness protection program, and she’s living a good life some place. I imagine that she’s continuing to help teens in some way-she was so passionate about that I doubt a federal marshal could convince her to do anything else. I imagine her secretly reading our blogs, catching up with what we’ve all been up to and wishing she could comment without risking in her life. I imagine her knitting, with her non-wool yarn (she was allergic, and every time I work with bamboo yarn I think of her). I imagine her reading all sorts of books, and leading a book club now that she can’t blog about them. And someday, maybe, she’ll reappear online, perhaps under a different name but with that same wise, hilarious, welcoming voice. And once again, a blogger will suddenly become a huge presence merely for how wonderful she is at reviewing books and making book blogging more fun. I know it’s silly, but it makes me feel better.

And in the meantime, we’ll keep up her spirit. We’ll continue reading books we never would have heard of if it wasn’t for her. We’ll continue talking about her. We’ll continue to shun drama and divisiveness and pull together for fun and games as she had us do. We’ll continue to try to sum up all that she gave to us, and we’ll continue to fail. Because Dewey was larger than life, the role model to many of us, and one of the nicest, most selfless bloggers I’ve ever known. Not to mention the most significant. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her influence on our community. And there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her personally. So here’s to you Dewey: wherever you are, you should know that you made a difference in my life. And you were loved for that.

43 Comments leave one →
  1. November 25, 2009 5:41 am

    Eloquence, thy name is Eva. That was a beautiful post. Made me a little teary. I was just getting to know Dewey, so I didn’t have nearly enough time with her, but I could tell I would have loved her dearly. I know I have felt her influence on my blogging. Here’s to you Dewey! We miss you!

  2. November 25, 2009 6:08 am

    Eva, that was a lovely tribute.

  3. November 25, 2009 6:10 am

    Beautiful. Thank you.

  4. November 25, 2009 6:10 am

    I remember how sad I was to discover that she’d died and I barely knew her. It is so nice to see that her name lives on in the blogging world and that people are continuing to remember the wonderful work she did for us all.

  5. November 25, 2009 7:54 am

    Every time I’ve managed to stop the flowing of tears today, something else sets them off again. Eva, this was beautiful, my friend. Absolutely beautiful. I love you.

    Will it ever get easier?

  6. November 25, 2009 8:00 am

    oh goodness! I just visited Nymeth’s post, too! Dewey still continues to amaze and inspire me. :)
    hugs, my dear, this is beautiful.

  7. November 25, 2009 8:08 am

    Dewey’s death reminds me to focus on the important things in life, to focus on what we can do for others, to focus on being the light instead of just another off switch.

  8. November 25, 2009 8:12 am

    What a lovely tribute. I never got to speak to Dewey as I started in the beginning of January, but I have heard such wonderful stories about her. I hope she is looking down from above and watching over the book blogging world.

  9. November 25, 2009 8:13 am

    Beautifully put, Eva.

  10. November 25, 2009 8:15 am

    A beautiful tribute, Eva. Really lovely. I wish I’d known her, I really do.

  11. November 25, 2009 8:39 am

    Very lovely. I still miss Dewey. Book blogging definitely isn’t the same without her.

  12. November 25, 2009 8:40 am

    What a great tribute!! I had just gotten into the book blog community shortly before she passed away. But already she was such an influence, such a leader of the community. When I got back from a long vacation I heard about her passing. I was so shocked. Speechless. I still have a hard time coming up with words. I am also so bummed that her site is down. But I know that a little bit of Dewey is in each of us since she was such a big influence and we will all remember and miss her.

    Thank you for writing this. :)

  13. November 25, 2009 8:43 am

    That was such a lovely tribute, and it was so good of you to share so much of yourself with us. Alas, I got into this whole book blogging thing too late to ever get to know Dewey, but through your words (and those of others) I am still able to feel like in some small way as though I knew her.

  14. November 25, 2009 9:24 am

    I wish I had known her, she was and is such an inspiration for all of us.

  15. November 25, 2009 9:31 am

    That was lovely, Eva. I wish I had gotten to know her better.

  16. November 25, 2009 9:34 am

    Thanks Eva, that was really lovely.

  17. November 25, 2009 9:41 am

    Very well put. It impresses me to realize how many lives Dewey touched without physically touching anyone. Very much the way an author of books does.

  18. November 25, 2009 10:49 am

    I was just beginning to know Dewey through her posts when she passed. I remember feeling very sad about it though since it seemed to happen so suddenly, but as I understand it she was battling a long term illness.

    I’m glad you mentioned your fibro in this post. I have lupus and RA so I also experience pain at times and it can make you extremely depressed so it helps to have friends (even blogger friends!) to fall back on when you need to.

  19. November 25, 2009 11:04 am

    What a wonderful tribute and one that brought tears to my eyes. I had just discovered Dewey’s blog when the news of her passing had me in shock! I remember feeling a bit silly to be sad about someone who I didn’t really know, just through her blog postings. But that is the cool thing about this whole blogging community. We are a family in our own way. Thanks for keeping Dewey’s spirit alive!

  20. November 25, 2009 11:33 am

    Beautiful post about a beautiful blogger. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  21. November 25, 2009 11:44 am

    wonderful post, Eva.

  22. November 25, 2009 11:47 am


    I think I’m going to borrow your Witness Protection Program daydream for when I feel really down.

  23. November 25, 2009 11:53 am

    Beautifully said. Gone but never forgotten, there will never be another Dewey and there will never be another you, either, Eva.

  24. November 25, 2009 1:36 pm

    Well said, Eva. Dewey is still missed so much.

  25. Ryan Shattuck permalink
    November 25, 2009 1:52 pm

    Wonderful. Thank you for sharing that.

  26. November 25, 2009 3:22 pm

    This is a beautiful post, Eva. Your love and respect for Dewey comes through loud and clear in your words. I’m sorry to learn you went through such a difficult time last October/November. I hope things are going better for you now and that your fibro is behaving.

    Is there any place in the blogging community to read about Dewey? I didn’t get the opportunity to know her but she is well-respected by so many bloggers and such an inspiration to many here that I hope to be able to know a little bit about her.

    You are quite an inspiring force in this community, Eva. Thanks for everything you do to make this a wonderful & fun place for book bloggers =o)

    ~ Amy

  27. November 25, 2009 3:38 pm

    What a beautiful dedication. Thanks for reminding us about her love and dedication to reading and the book blogging community.

  28. November 25, 2009 5:59 pm

    That’s a beautiful post, Eva! Thanks for sharing.

  29. November 25, 2009 8:00 pm

    As long as we keep thinking of Dewey and talking about her, she can never be truly gone. Your words were touching and beautiful.

  30. November 25, 2009 9:06 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this. I haven’t know what to say and you said it perfectly.

  31. November 25, 2009 9:22 pm

    I thought the same thing about Dewey after I heard she was gone, Eva. I just knew she was hiding or something. It was so hard to believe that she could be gone. It still is. I’ve been thinking about Dewey all month. Thank you for posting this.

  32. November 25, 2009 9:55 pm

    Beautiful post Eva.

  33. November 25, 2009 9:57 pm

    I didn’t know Dewey but I did discover her blog before it went down, and I wish I’d known her. She seemed like such a special wonderful person and I love all the challenges that are done in her honor.

  34. November 25, 2009 11:39 pm

    Eva, this was wonderful…and I can’t help but fantasize right along with you. You know, I’ve thought that exact same thing. I’ve thought that she’s really still there…still reading our blogs. Knowing all along of course that she isn’t :( But it’s nice to pretend sometimes, isn’t it? It helps. I also want to run to her and tell her something sometimes completely forgetting that she’s not here anymore…I want to shoot her an email like I shoot you and Ana and Debi an email and tell her about something and just for a second, I think she’s still there :( Thanks for being there Eva…you mean the world to me!!

  35. November 26, 2009 7:51 am

    That was lovely Eva. I always find it hard expressing how I really feel.

  36. November 26, 2009 9:18 am

    What a beautiful post, Eva. Dewey’s presence among us will always be missed, I too thought about her when I woke up today. I especially keep thinking about her family – if we miss her this much, it must be excruciating for them to have to live without her. I truly hope and pray that their lives are full and happy even with Dewey gone.

    Although I quite like your Witness Protection Program idea. It sounds perfect for her. ;)

  37. caribousmom permalink
    November 26, 2009 12:52 pm

    Eva: Beautiful tribute….thank you for that.

  38. November 26, 2009 10:15 pm

    Eva, that was lovely. I think I met most of the lovely books bloggers (you included) because of Dewey. Her legacy is – it’s something else.

  39. November 28, 2009 9:12 pm

    Very well put Eva; I miss her too. I did not even attempt to write a tribute.

  40. November 28, 2009 10:09 pm

    Great post, Eva. The one-year anniversary of her death was a big part of my tough decision to leave the Weekly Geeks team–it’s like it took a whole year for it to sink in that the hole that was left when Dewey passed away will never be filled.

  41. November 29, 2009 6:54 pm

    This was a beautiful post. Thanks for this.


  1. One Year… – caribousmom
  2. In Memory of Dewey « A Striped Armchair

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