Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Connections

Hi all, This was supposed to post yesterday, but with blogger problems, it didn't happen.

Last Monday we learned of the death of Jane Sutton Kennedy, a fellow blogger. We found out because her beloved husband cared enough to post the news and her obituary on her blog, so it appeared to those of us who had Jane on our blogroll or had asked to be alerted to updates.

Jane was a wonderful writer and a thoughtful, funny, kind commenter. She will be greatly missed. But it got me thinking about these internet connections. There are some people I am connected to here in the virtual world that I feel closer to than certain friends in my real world. I find that odd, don't you?

But really, why should I? Bloggers are people who share a need to communicate what they are thinking, feeling, learning. And they share that here for those of us who are seekers of knowledge and wisdom. No wonder strong connections are formed. In a way, these blogs are way more intimate than most conversations we have in our real world.

Indeed, you guys know more about me than my close friends on a daily basis, because everyone is busy and when we get together, there isn't a lot of time to share deeply.

I want to take a lesson from Jane's husband, who recognized that her blogging buddies would wonder what happened if she suddenly stopped connecting with us and took the time to let us know. I would hate it if one of you just disappeared, with no word and no explanation. I am going to make sure someone knows how to access my blog if something happens to me. I never would have thought of that if Jane's husband hadn't taken such an initiative.

Thank you so much for all the wonderful connections.
Have a great weekend, everyone.
Blessings,
Karen

28 comments:

Dafeenah said...

It's a wonderful idea and I often think about it. I blog anonymously and no one in real life knows about my blog. I don't really know what to do or who to ask should anything happen to me. Any suggestions for what a solution may be?? I would love to hear how others who blog anonymously solve this issue.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

It was very sad to hear of Jane's passing and very thoughtful of her husband to let followers know. It certainly is food for thought about what to do should one of us should depart this world.
I know I have had followers who were regulars and have never heard of again despite leaving message.

Have a good week-end.
Yvonne.

Laura Eno said...

My thoughts exactly. Her husband's post meant so much to me.

Stephen Tremp said...

Jane's husband did a wonderful thing for all Jane's blogging friends by posting that. She will be missed.

L.G.Smith said...

I feel the same way about the people I've come in contact with through my blog. Some of them feel like old friends already. They make me laugh, they make me think, and they keep me motivated. I'd hate to lose contact and not know what happened.

GigglesandGuns said...

It was wonderful of him to do this at what I'm sure was a very hard time for him.

Darlene said...

That's something I briefly thought of. That was very thoughtful of her husband.

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

Thanks so much for sharing this. Yes, I think a real bond can develop between bloggers who connect and support each other. Why not, in some ways it's like a return to old fashioned-letter writing - only with faster delivery and response!

Tracy Jo said...

When I was just in DC - I met about 10 people that I had connected with on Facebook. It was like we had known each other forever. I am new to blogging but already feel like I am with friends & that I am building relationships. I think we take for granted how close we can & do become online...we are sharing so much of ourselves here. Thanks for another great post!

Karen Walker said...

Dafeenah, yes that is a concern. I'm not sure how to deal with it - hopefully someone will have a good idea.
Yvonne, yes, that has happened to me as well.
Laura and Stephene, yes, he was extremely thoughtful.
L.G. the closeness I feel stuns me
Giggles and Guns, that is what makes it extraordinary.
Darlene, now that I'm thinking about it,I'm trying to figure out how to deal with it.
Melissa, you are welcome. The bond is strong and yes, it is like old-fashioned letter-writing, only more immediate.
Tracy Jo, how fun to meet up face to face - and yes, that is what struck me, we share so much of ourselves, it is bound to make us feel close.
Karen

Melissa Bradley said...

Friends are friends no matter if they are in your life physically or virtually. The communication, sharing thoughts, ideas and feelings brings us together as friends. I was sorry to learn of Jane's passing though I never exchanged a word with her and her husband was wonderful for taking the time to let her virtual friends know. I would miss my blog friends terribly if something happened to any of you. You are my support and my sanity at times.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

In a way, it seems odd that we should care so much about people we've never met, and probably never will meet, but the written word is a powerful tool, isn't it? We've come to know each other, because we reveal ourselves to each other through our words ... words we rarely have the inclination or time to speak face-to-face to the people in our day-to-day face-to-face lives.

loveable_homebody said...

I read and commented on that post too. Jane was great. It's a loss.

The internet is so great for making these sorts of connections and sharing news. Your post had me thinking: sometimes my friends comment on my blog and we write things to each other that we don't talk about in person, as if blogging is a different plane. Interesting!

K.C. Woolf said...

That is so thoughtful of her husband!

I find internet connections intriguing. I've met a bunch of people in the past whom I already knew well online, and it's a little bit weird, because you need to match the image you have of the person to the stranger in front of you first.

But once that happened, they really turned out to be the person I'd met online. The connection was there, and it was as real as a connection made in any other way.

It's great that the internet (and blogging in particular) gives us the opportunity to meet and connect with likeminded people, without being restricted by time or distance.

Belle said...

I do feel close to my blogging friends. I have one friend who has MS and lives alone. She hasn't written for a long time and I think of her often. I miss her.
Once a friend was sick and didn't blog; her daughter kept us informed until her mom was well again. Our group of friends was praying for her. Yes, it seems we can form close bonds by blogging.

Paul Anthony Shortt said...

Thank you too, Karen. It really is amazing, when you stop to think how easily we can all form connections so easily today.

The Words Crafter said...

I know what you mean. It's so sad! And we really do share a lot on here.

I blog mostly anonymously, but if you ever email me, you have my name and I don't mind if you use it on the blog. I just keep it really general because of my job in daycare.

I believe my husband would take care of anything should I disappear from the world. He has all my access words and stuff. I would hope that someone would do the same for everyone else. It would be terrible to never know.....

I kinda posted about our cyber world a moment ago. Stop by if you get a chance. You'll be surprised.

Better is Possible said...

I never connected with Jane, but she sounds like a very lovely person. So sad. And yes, it's a reminder for us to give someone enough information to let our blogging friends know if something were to happen to us. I haven't been blogging long, but I've already made met some new and caring friends.

Melissa Sarno said...

I'm sorry to hear about your friend. It does seem that the connections I make online are very intimate because, like you said, the people who read my blog on a daily basis know more about me than some of my very good friends.

Odie Langley said...

I think about that too Karen & hope that someone would think of all my friends in blogland if something happened to me as well. Connections are so important.

Karen Walker said...

Thank you all so much for these thoughtful responses. I was gone all day and evening yesterday, so I couldn't "connect." I realized something else, yesterday. I find it much easier connecting thru the written word than the spoken one, although I've trained myself to speak what's in my heart. It just comes easier when I'm writing it down. Maybe that's because I know I can always hit that delete button.
Karen

Glynis said...

It was a terribly sad shock about Jane's death. Her husband was very thoughtful, also Jane for ensuring he knew about us all.

Amy Brantley said...

My best friend lives in Michigan and we've never even met. We became writers at AC around the same time and have been close friends ever since.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen .. yes Jane's loss has hit everyone and made us realise our own possible frailties .. yet in some way - your blog title .. "connections" is so right - we as bloggers at least know now - how long before friends find out in real life, or distant relatives .. however again .. if you know because it's cancer then that disease does allow some thinking time .. interesting - and thanks for this post - my thoughts are for her husband and family .. all the best - Hilary

baygirl32 said...

I didn't know Jane,but I wish her family all the best

I agree that I have connections to bloggers that are more powerful than to some people I see everyday.

Angela Felsted said...

It's a little funny that I know so many people's personal thoughts, when if I ran into them at the grocery store, I may not even know who they are.

Rachel Morgan said...

That is very sad about Jane...

I have actually thought about this before: if something happened to me how would any of my online friends know? Because none of my online friends know my real-life friends... Any yet I never did anything about it. I should actually make the effort to tell someone.

Arlee Bird said...

I think making arrangements for one's blog is almost as important as all of the other arrangements one must make. Unfortunately I think a lot of us just don't make preparations for a lot of things because we just don't think of them or keep putting them off.


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Tossing It Out