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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Shalom, Sarah

The following was Sarah Kaplan's last blog post before she left her home, to fly to a city where the medicine was better -- the technology, the experience -- for treating her illness. She was prepared for 120 days, of preparation, then bone-marrow transplant, then recuperation. Then back home. Her partner, Nikki, was with her, and so were her sisters. I "met" most of them, either here or at their blog, Sarah's Wacky, Loving Family.

I learned today that Sarah died yesterday. When her sister, Shoshie, posted that yesterday was "the beginning of the end," I misunderstood. I thought it meant that Sarah was dying; that the end was approaching. To swlf, it meant that the end had already begun. I am sort of glad I misunderstood, took that time to grow accustomed to the idea. And even as I write that, I realize how absurd it is. I'm not one bit accustomed to the idea. I'm quite numb.

Sarah popped in here not long ago, and as soon as I read her comment, I had to go and "meet" her. I "bloved" her immediately. She is smart, and funny and kind; my kind of blogfriend. Then I visited what I came to call the "sisters' blog," and I bloved them, too. If you didn't go and read what Sarah wrote, and what Nikki and the sisters wrote, oh gosh, you should. So much love, and hope, and frustration, and beauty. So much of what makes us human, in the best sense of the word. I am blessed for having met them; you will be too, even now.

Isn't it curious how "close" we get, how much we like someone we've never met? And how much we miss them when they're not there; even though they were never really "there" in a literal sense. I've had this conversation before, with other blogfriends. Some of us answered that MIT blog survey, and had to say whether the blogs we read are written by "friends" or "acquaintances," or others. Can someone be your friend if you've never met them, and in all likelihood never will? What is it that makes someone a friend? Before I started blogging, I would have been highly suspicious of claims that people you've never met are "friends." Now I know better.

Here's Sarah's last post. The title made me laugh then. It makes me smile, now. She's still smart and funny and kind:

Thursday, July 14

Elvis has left the building

Ok...I just love that phrase. While I am away
getting my breast augmentation--whoops---I am
getting a stem-cell/bone marrow transplant.
Damn good thing I remembered. I would have come
home sick as shit....but a size 44 DD...

I am not sure how reliable my dorky sister's will
be regarding posting on their site...how much
candy I have consumed....but you can look if you
are way bored, and I mean way bored.


or Lea may post on her site


And it will on the National News if I need more
candy....RSG/Susie said they would drive that bus

Thanks from the bottom, the middle and the
top of my heart.


Shalom, Sarah.

Eat some candy in Sarah's honor. Or better yet, share some candy with someone.

29 heads are better than one . . .

Blogger SierraBella said...

I posted yesterday on blog-friendships while thinking of Sarah, her sisters and her partner.
Just because most of us haven't physically met doesn't discount friendship at all.
I love what it says over at SWLF about not passing up on the dessert cart. So true!

Blogger Candace said...

Sweet, sad, and heartbreaking.

Blogger mrtl said...

The love at the swlf site was like getting all wrapped up in a soft, warm, fuzzy blanket. I'm so glad that they all were able to be together, to rally that love around Sarah.

Blogger Bucky Four-Eyes said...

Sarah's sense of hope and her sense of being loved by her family really shines through in that post.
Thanks for posting it here, Susie.

Anonymous kalki said...

Thanks for sharing this, Susie. The love that surrounded, and still surrounds, Sarah is exactly the kind of love I blogged about just today. It's beautiful, it's inspirational, and it's essential.

Blogger WILLIAM said...

Thanks for the post and the update. It truly is weird how many Blog friends invade my thoughts everyday. Recently CK's post about Mike, Frid's health, Misfit and her long lost friend. I consider most bloggers friends and feel honored to think they may think the same of me. Sarah as well as all of you are in my prayers.

Blogger SassyFemme said...

What a beautiful post (yours). Sarah's finally one cracked me up. I went back recently and reread her entire blog. What a special lady.

Like you, I thought the message from SWLF meant she was dying, not that she had already gone.

I think the connections and friendships that can be made online can be just as real, if not more so, than those in person. Fran and I have always said that you get to know people "inside out". You know who they are and what kind of person before you know what they look like. When an online inside-out friendship meets in person, its even more special than most would believe.

Blogger Circus Kelli said...

Susie, thank you for introducing us to Sarah. Although I came in at the end, it was still nice to learn a little bit more about such a special woman. She touched a lot of people during her short time here. May those people carry on Sarah's legacy. Sarah lives on.

Blogger Von Krankipantzen said...

I ate candy today in Sarah's honour. Thank you Susie, for sending Sarah my way. She wrote me such uplifting comments. I feel lucky to have met her.

Blogger August95 said...

I had only just become aware of this family from you and went and read Sarah's whole blog today. She had one hell of a sense of humour. I loved that she didn't use her spell check and she didn't care.

Her sisters are amazing.

Blogger Dang Cold.. said...

I love you, Susie. I don't think I say that to you enough. I'm still here and always will be.

dc - disappearing character

Blogger momo said...

What a great tribute to a friend!

I too just read most of Sarah's blog and some of SWLF today for the first time. She had a very strong spirit and a great outlook on life even though her own was filled with such pain. Sounds like she had an incredible amount of love and support, which is such a wonderful thing. Wish I'd known her longer and could have called her my friend as well. She seemed to be a truly beautiful person.

To all who knew Sarah, my heart goes out to each of you. You will be in my prayers.

Blogger Susie said...

sierrabella, thanks for what you wrote on your site. You are right about friendship. I re-read Sarah's blog today. There is MUCH wisdom there, and at swlf's site.

misfit, yea. All those things.

mrtl, yep, it is a special place. You really feel the love they put out.

bucky, you're so welcome. You said lovely things at swlf's site. Thanks for being you.

kalki, you're so right. And your post was very special.

william, my friend, I know; I chat to Jif about what's going on with blogfriends just the same as with "realfriends." He's used to it by now, knows most names and stories.

sassyfemme, I think you and Fran are so right. We go on and on about ourselves, what we think, what we like, etc., here in blogworld, in ways that most of us don't in realworld. There is some real "getting to know you" going on here.

CK, you are welcome. As I reread Sarah's site, I must say, you are right about the living on. At least I do hope so. She was a "lucky duck," she liked to say.

kranki, you're welcome, love, I guess that makes you a lucky duck, too. All of us are, who got to meet her. She thanked me for introducing the two of you, too.

august95, thanks for saying that about the spellcheck, I had forgotten that, but that was one of the first things I loved about her, too. You know, because of what you and your sister said about how much it meant to have comments when you were going through a tough time, that's what made me want to send people to Sarah and swlf. You absolutely were the inspiration for my doing that. Ripples go out.

dang, OK, you don't say it enough, but your timing is pretty damned good. I love you; have from the start, pretty much. I'm going to hold you to that "always will be." I hope you and Jen are well and happy.

momo, thank you for that. Isn't she great? Going through so much, but still so funny, so hopeful, so optimistic. I do feel very blessed to have had my path cross hers.

Blogger eclectic said...

*smiling through tears*

Love you and your blog, Susie...always have. Thank you for your compassion.

Blogger Greenthumb said...

I'm just here...I just need to sit, macerate in the love and the goodness that exists here. You are such a healing blogger. Thank you.

(putting my feet up and staying a while)


Blogger August95 said...

Wow Susie, you blow me away with that comment, really.

I wanted to thank You for making me aware of these incredible sisters (including her partner). I will be thinking of Sarah tomorrow and praying for her.

Blogger marybishop said...

Wow, I'm very sad for someone I never knew...I've got a rootbeer barrel in my mouth at this moment because it's all I could find up here in my office.

It's hard but it's sweet...like life.

Best wishes to Sarah on her journey and virtual hugs to her partner and family...

Elvis, hold that door open...

Blogger Lori said...


Thanks for posting Sarah's blog site. I have been reading SWLF and had been praying for Sarah...but I never knew her blog name. I'm thankful to have it.

Just because people do not meet face to face, doesn't mean they don't know one another heart to heart.

God Bless you...

Blogger LeaLea said...

Thank you for reading my blog-
I know Sarah is smiling as she reads all that has been written about her..

Blogger laurenbove said...


I need your professional opinion over at Mindfulthings.

Blogger Nina said...

Susie, I also want to thank you for making me aware of Sarah and her family. Posting a link to their blog . . . where I saw in the middle of such pain and grief, the love, faith and the celebration of her life.

Blogger Cori said...

I easily spent an hour at Sarah's and the sisters' site after you linked to them. What an outpouring of love. I am so sad to hear that Sarah isn't with us anymore. She and her family will be in my prayers.

Blogger Leesa said...

Wow. Just Wow. I will eat candy today in sarah's honor.
I know what you mean about making friends that we don't know. I've made alot lately, blogging. It's new and fun and caring.

Blogger Squirl said...

I wish candy could make all better, though. I know, I know, life isn't like that. People leave whether we want them to or not. I'd never met Sarah but I did my share of crying when she passed. My heart now goes out to her partner and sisters. Thanks for letting us know about them all.

Blogger Torrie said...

I admire her courage.

Anonymous Jennifer said...

Thank you for sharing this. Otherwise I would never have "known" of Sarah. I'm so glad to have met her, and so sorry I was late in doing so. What inspiration.

Blogger Charlotte in Pa said...

Thanks, Susie. I've been afraid to check the site... afraid of this very news. But after your post I went over and read some of the family's thoughts, feelings, etc. Healing stuff. True love. Goodness all around!

Blogger Susie said...

abmaster, thank you, and right backatcha

greenie,WHAT? You can't macerate here, this is a PG-13 blog! :0 You can marinate for as long as you like, though.

august95, yep, it's true. And you are most welcome.

MB, you make me smile :)

lori, you say such lovely things; heart to heart, that's right.

hugs to you, too, lealea

LB, ohmygoodness. I was there, and just too flummoxed to comment. I'll come back. Wacko. Not you, him.

nina, you are welcome. I hope everyone visits. It -- they -- are quite special.

cori, yea, both sites are good places to visit for a while; they do put out a spirit of love and hope, even in the very worst time possible.

leesa, if you are new to blogging, welcome. Thanks for stopping in, here. You are right, they are many lovely, caring people you'll meet with this strange little hobby :)

squirl, you have such a kind heart, I know that you have been deeply touched by this. Candy helps a little for a minute. Then you have to get some more. And more . . .

torrie, me, too.

jennifer, you are welcome, I'm glad you visited. I do understand the people who are saying thanks for having met Sarah and company. I say thanks, too. It has been a blessing, an honor.

charlotte, I am glad you read. I know what you mean. It is devastating, and healing and heartening at the same time. Such a mystery.

Blogger It's Me, Maven... said...

Susie, it's been a while since I've hit your blog... however, I immediately went to Sarah's... and of course to her sisters'. Having never met Sarah thru comments, and just reading her & her sisters' blogs now... I have to admit... my eyes welled up. Someone so obviously full of joy and life, and a joy OF life. So bittersweet.


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