Nollyposh 1963-2011

When a blogger friend dies, it’s abrupt even when it’s expected. Where you had a loving friend, you now, if you’re lucky, have one of her family members who you hope will update you on what happened, what arrangements were made, and maybe even provide information about how her survivors are doing. I wrote to Nollyposh’s email address to ask for permission to use some of her words and her photo on my blog as a memorial. I received the following:

"This is Patrick (Vicki's husband). I have been checking Vicki’s emails each day since her passing. I am sure Vicki is happy that you use her words and main photo as a tribute.

"Today is one week since Vicki’s funeral which I must say was overwhelming with more than 300 people attending. The hardest part was entering the chapel and looking into the eyes of all the people that turned up to farewell Vicki. Our children were amazing on the day, both daughters spoke about their love for their Mum and our son stayed up all night to finish the DVD presentation for the service.

"Vicki’s blog was all her creation from the first day she told us all she wanted to set one up. Normally, she would call on help for someone to set it all up, but she really insisted that she had to create it herself - which she did spending hours on the computer and calling on our son only to adjust some of the graphics.

"Vicki’s blog gave her the chance to write and to share it with all her bloggy friends, as she called them. I know how well Vicki can write and the blog enabled her to share her thoughts, her wisdom and ultimately her love with a lot of people. She told me about your conversation and how that you will probably never get to meet face to face, and she nodded and it made her cry. Even though you haven't met, she counted you as a close friend - she said that maybe you were not meant to meet, but I always hoped that maybe you would. I cannot tell you how much the blog kept Vicki strong and the joy and inspiration it gave her. She told me that she could not believe that she found people just like her all around the world - spirit sisters."

The following is from Nollyposh’s final tribute to her "bloggy friends":

"i have learned most importantly that ~Love~ is everything and that it can come in many small and mysterious ways... Most wondrously it can reach me from all corners of the worlde and wrap me like a blanket... And for all these wonderful gifts i am most grateful from the bottom of my Heart and send it back to ~You All~ ten-fold X:-)"

Nollyposh and I regularly disagreed—with her taking a spiritual perspective and me a materialistic view—yet there remained a transcendent closeness between us. I feel a similar bond to others of you. One of my blogger friends wrote that he can only be my friend because we live 2,000 miles apart. I think he meant that our differences would get in the way if we were closer, yet I recalled Thoreau’s words:

“You want room for your thoughts to get into sailing trim and run a course or two before they make their port…. If we would enjoy the most intimate society…we must…commonly [be] so far apart bodily that we cannot possibly hear each other’s voice…”

Nollyposh and I were separated by an ocean and a hemisphere, and if such a distance was necessary for us to be friends, I am glad we had it. The last thing she wrote to me was: “You mean just as much to me as if i met you in the flesh xox”

Nolly, I grieve less for your death than for my loss of you. If you were here, you would tell me that whatever I am feeling is okay, but you are not here, and nothing seems okay. I would that I could believe your final words of hope to the people you loved, but I cannot. May I be wrong, and may your love be with me even now.

“I won’t be far away for life goes on
So if you need me call and I will come
Though you can’t see or touch me, I’ll be near
And if you listen with your heart, you’ll hear
All my love around you soft and clear
And then when you must come this way alone
I’ll greet you with a smile and a welcome home.”

Nollyposh's blog is at:


Sarah said...

ouch, my heart aches. deeply sorry for your loss. it's amazing the relationships we can build with people around the world, without ever meeting them in person... it's situations like these that i would i could believe... :/

Elephant's Child said...

Thank you Snow. This is a truly lovely tribute to an amazing woman. I hadn't visited her blog and won't now because it would feel like voyeurism. Nonetheless, I am sorry not to have had the privilege of knowing her.
I have found some people I cherish in the blogosphere and I am glad that she did too.

betty said...

I took a peek at Vicki's journal; she seemed like a lovely woman, so tragic to die so young and to leave behind a loving husband and children. I am sure she is greatly missed and mourned by those that love her, her family, her friends whether she met them in person or "just" through a computer screen. I do believe we form lasting good friendships with people we might never meet this side of eternity. Vicki and your friendship seemed like it was one of the good ones; something you will remember fondly and always in the days ahead.

I also think too that it was not a chance coincidence that you came to know her through blogging and that you became good friends with her. With all the blogs out there it continually amazes me that however we get there, we always find those blogs we need to read and become friends with.

I am sorry for the loss of such a special person in your life.


A Brit in Tennessee said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your special bloggy friend Snow.
It always amazes me how we 'happen' upon each other, and without ever meeting in person, our lives are forever enriched.
Your post is a beautiful tribute to her legacy.

Marion said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend, Snow. She sounds like she was a fantastic person.

I'll never forget when my 'bloggy' friend, Renee, died. She called me only a few months before her death and mailed me a cute little magnet for Christmas. I think of her every time I see it on my refrigerator. I loved her like a sister...Even in this crazy Internet age, a friend is a rare and precious thing. Your tribute is beautiful. xoxo

Snowbrush said...

Thank you all, truly.

Brit, welcome. I haven't seen you in what they probably still call a "coon's age" in your part of America.

Marion, our Renees were almost certainly the same person (she lived in Montreal and died of cancer in April of last year). She was a regular visitor to my blog and despite the fact that she knew she was dying, she always offered encouragement. I'm writing about Nolly now partly because I never wrote about Renee then, and I've always felt badly about it.

Myrna R. said...

I wish I had known this wonderful woman. She sounds like someone I too would have liked as a friend.

I am so sorry for your loss, and that of all her friends and family.

This post was a beautiful tribute to her, and if she still Is, I'm so sure she loves it.

(Thank you so much for your comment on my blog today. Your words matter to me.)

kj said...

you've just about got me crying, snow. to have the followup of patrick's words is such a gift. i thank you and him both for it.

i did not know when i began blogging that i would be involved with death and illness. i did not know that the line between life and death is actually paper thin. i know renee is never far. i know that i came to love her as much as i love my own family. we never met in person either.

vicki had her own special way of dealing with her illness. even as she described scary events--trouble breathing, ambulance rushes, she made it sound almost run of the mill for a spiritual soul--which is what she was and still is.

snow, this is a wonderful tribute. you know how to love, snow. beneath everything, you are a man who feels loves and you let it wash over you. i'm the better for knowing you.

thank you for honoring vicki. you've done good.

and don't feel bad about renee: i among others took care of that for us


Unknown said...

I came to your blog two days ago and read about your friend, Josh. I was really touched by the ways you described Josh but I didn't leave a comment as I was a bit overwhelmed and didn't know how to put my thoughts into words.

Then, I read about Vicki today and this is another post which got me to tears again.

I'm so sorry for your loss of your friend. She seems to be a wonderful woman and I'm sure she was happy to have you as her friend too.

It was a beautiful tribute to such a fantastic lady.

My thoughts and prayers are sent to her family and friends.

All Consuming said...

A heart-breaking post that is a wonderful tribute to a friend. It has made me shed tears, and that is only appropriate. I'm so glad she had her blog, and through it so many good friends who love her as she loved them.Condolences Snow, and my Marion too, I know she feels the same as you. "You mean just as much to me as if i met you in the flesh xox" A statement to treasure always. xxx

Marion said...

I didn't know you knew Renee, too, Snow. What a woman she was! I saved almost all of her comments from my blog because, like you said, she was unfailingly encouraging. What an amazing, giving heart she possessed. I only knew her a year and it felt like a lifetime. I keep a picture of her on my desk to remember to try to be more like she was....kind, giving, loving and postive in the midst of such sorrow. xoxo

PhilipH said...

Snowy, damn and blast it! You've brought my watery eye problem on again.
I felt close to Vicki and was upset far more than I expected when she 'went home'.
A lovely brave girl. Really and sorely missed.


Not that it matters, but a situation similar to this is what made me lose my faith. A close friend with cancer: two years of fervent, trusting prayers, with the same outcome.

My husband keeps reminding me that although I lost MY faith, my friend kept his to the end.

While that does make me feel guilty on so many levels, I still obsess over the fact that MORE people could have been helped by having our prayers answered, instead of so many being hurt because they weren't.

If only those who earned it, would suffer, and those who deserve a good life would live happily. Just another reminder of the unfairness we live with.

Mim said...

i'm with Marion on this one - Renee opened my eyes to so much - I'll always be grateful to her...and miss her. I didn't "know" Nollyposh, but friends did and I know how much they will miss Vickie. I agree with KJ too - no point in feeling bad about Renee - she's tell you the same herself.

Snowbrush said...

"a situation similar to this is what made me lose my faith"

It was a bit different with Nollyposh in that she didn't look to her faith to save her life. Rather she looked at life and all the events that transpired during life as occasions for learning. So far as I know, she never wavered in her faith, although I don't know if she would have admitted it had she done so. I'm not saying she wouldn't, but sometimes things happened that made me wonder. For example, when I expressed sadness that we would never get to meet, she responded encouragingly by saying that we were as close as would have been had we met, yet Patrick later told me that she cried over what I had said. I would have LOVED to have heard that from her, but whereas my blog is practically wide-open to freedom of expression, her blog was--I think it fair to say--more about encouraging people to have faith in a benevolent universe.

"I didn't know you knew Renee, too"

I mentioned how unfailingly encouraging Renee was to me, but another thing I loved about her was that she appreciated my sense of humor. I would sometimes go to her blog after she had written about how bad things were going, and there might be 40 or 50 emotion-laden comments from well-wishers. "This is a bit repetitive," I would think, and so I would write something that could be taken two ways. One way would be gross insensitivity, and the other way would be as black humor that was meant to give her a moment of relief from her distress, and Renee always got it, although I probably left some some of her readers thinking that I was a complete jerk. She was in such bad shape for so long that I started to think she might last for years, and then she gone.

You know, I was honest to god thinking that maybe I should get a passport in case one of my blogger friends ever really needs me to do more than to write to them. I feel a lot of guilt when people who I love are suffering, and all I can offer is a few lines of text when maybe what they really need is someone to sit by their bed and hold their hand. If I had had a passport, I would have seriously thought about visiting Nollyposh (had she welcomed such a visit), but of course I knew she was dying, and god-forbid that I had taken a moment of time away from her family when she had so little left to give them. Like a lot of areas in life, this is one about which the right thing to do is simply not clear to me.

Charles Gramlich said...

So sorry to hear about Vickie's loss. Another loving person who will be missed.

Christy said...

From the writing of her husband I would have to say she was an amazing woman with an amazing amount of love to give. She passed it along to all of you who knew her. It is the greatest gift anyone can receive.

Robert the Skeptic said...

I would have never guessed it but I have experienced the loss of two blogger "friends" who I regularly followed. I guess it just goes to remind us that we are all human, fallible and vulnerable human beings behind these typed words.

Anonymous said...

A loving and very moving tribute.

Annie Coe said...

Beautiful tribute. I love Vicki and miss her and Renee more than words can say. xoxo

Marion said...

This is truly a beautiful tribute, Snow, along with your comments. She and I believed in many of the same things;in her last email she stated she had no intention of "dying" in the common sense. And I don't believe she did.

She had such empathy.I didn't have the chance to meet her, either, yet in the end, it didn't matter. I miss her just as much as if I had.

Presently, I have two bloggy friends who are also facing the end of their lives. Both seem to face their journeys with such a sense of grace, just as Vicki did. Even as I grieve, I find such inspiration in reading those blogs..xx

middle child said...

Dear Snowbrush, I can't thank you enough for your comment on my post. I understand it now. And it gives me hope that I can figure out how to separate the two types of sensitivity. You have given me wisdom that fits me perfectly. am so very grateful. Peace.

Anonymous said...

You make life bearable, even afterwards.

This, and Josh part 3, will remain much in thoughts. Thanking you in advance. Please have a good new week ahead, and it would be great to see you every now and then again.

daily athens photo

Natalie said...

I miss her so much too.

lilybets said...

So sorry for her,some people becomes part of our family,for a magic tie that is more strong than every distance or obstacle.

Kerry said...

I visited Nollyposh's blog a few times & was always impressed by her loving and positive attitude. I am sorry she is gone; it leaves an empty space behind.

Zuzana said...

What a bittersweet post...
I am very sorry - I can feel your pain and sense the loss, a void that is left behind by a woman you never met, but who touched your heart. Words are powerful and stir up incredible emotion, even without any physical contact.
Have you ever seen the movie "84 Charing Cross Road"? You might enjoy it...
Lovely and very poignant tribute.

Deb said...

Wow. I'm so sorry for your loss of your friend. Sometimes, it doesn't need to be a face-to-face friend. Most of my friends who are worlds away know me better than the ones that are physically close to me.

God bless! <3

Elephant's Child said...

Thank you Zuzana, you made a link I hadn't thought of despite rereading 84 Charing Cross Road many times. A predecessor to bloggy love. And movie or book you might indeed like it Snow.

Snowbrush said...

Robin, who wrote the following put her address in her response, so I'm going to copy and paste her response so her address won't show.

"Dear Snow, here I am...late to post...but, here nonetheless. We share a love for Vicki - her gentleness and humour...her love of nature and beauty - her love for her family -all were things she shared with Renee, you and me. I miss her so much... like I miss Renee. Both women were instrumental in my beginning to blog - I have a small group of *followers* ...but, I love them all dearly. Each one brings light and happiness to my world...(this includes YOU, Snow)! I love them all like family. Now, in my 2 years of blogging, I have lost two beloved friends... ah, it hurts. When we don't have the luxury of regular phonecalls or real *huggy* visits - the blogs represent those hugs and dear voices. For me, I feel Vicki here...keeping watch over us I do Renee. The loss hurts though... I know you and Vicki really had a special bond....I used to read your debates about God, the Hereafter, good versus evil...and though you two were on opposite sides of the spectrum - the love you felt for each other was so palpable. She adored you.... I would love to have a copy of what was read at her service... Thank you for writing this post. I wanted to do one...but as you know, I had just lost two other friends (non-blogging) in a short period of time...and I was overwhelmed with sadness. Your words are a beautiful and moving tribute to Vicki...and one her family will always treasure. Sending you, Peggy, Blue and Brewsky many warm hugs on this COLD (Brrrrr..36 degrees) day in SF. Love, ♥ Robin ♥"

Robin, I need your email address rather than your mailing address, Sweetie. I'm so sorry I didn't make that clear in my comment on Nollyposh's blog when I offered to send the Order of Service. What I have is a forwarded copy rather than a hard copy.

"Have you ever seen the movie "84 Charing Cross Road"?"

No, but I just put a hold on it at the library. Thank you.

The Tusk said...

I have read this all and all its comments.

I remember 2 and 1/2 years of blogging...

Joe Todd said...

Hi Snow ..Am sorry for your loss I haven't been blogging much. Had large mass removed from my right lung about a week ago (no cancer) Am recovering ok..

Kendal said...

Sounds like an amazing person. Losing someone you care for, whether you know them in person or online just plain sucks.

Helen said...

What a gift this morning .. your post and every comment! I wish I had known her.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

That was a very touching tribute.

Grayquill said...

Great Post and great tribute. Good job...I enjoyed reading about your friend. I am sorry it had to all be wrapped in loss.
Blogging is a unique median where differences are tolerated. I also appreciate all my blogger friends and I am continually amazed at the grace those who think I am bonkers continue to support and encourage me.

Kay Dennison said...

What a lovely tribute to your friend!!!!

Ed Pilolla said...

a heartfelt and thoughtful tribute.
merry christmas and happy holidays:)

kj said...

this post of yours helps me remember vicki in another, and deeper way. i just love reading what her husband said.

thanks again

Bernie said...

I was sad when I read of Vicki's death. So young, a wife and mother to 3 beautiful children. Sometimes life just isn't fair. I am thankful she is no longer in pain. Sorry you have lost a friend Snow, she was a lovely lady....:-)Hugs

Snowbrush said...

Well, hi, Bernie, I haven't seen you in a year or two. Are you about ready for another long Canadian winter? I remember that one when you were sick practically the whole time.

Lydia said...

You know, I would see Nollyposh's name and comments around at blogs and I just loved her moniker...but I never clicked on over to her blog to meet her. My loss.

I am so very sad for you in the loss of your wonderful friend. The depth of these bloggy friendships we forge and maintain are things of great depth and beauty. We are, in ways, changing the world, one bloggy friendship at a time that become ripples in this new part of the universe in which we have been the pioneers. It sounds like Nollyposh knew that at the core of her and that she celebrated it. I am sure she was grateful for your friendship. I sure am, and I wish you peace.

julie said...

What a beautiful tribute to friendship and Nollyposh...what a blessing you found each other..
I am so sorry for you hurting heart...xo

A Plain Observer said...

Losing a friend is sometimes harder than losing a lover. Friendship is so rare. I like very much what you said, " I grieve less for your deaht then for my loss of you" that loss is irreplaceable.
It does not take away the ache, but you gave her some happiness with your friendship, you made her life better.