the writing and photography of Neil Kramer


At my father’s service, I made a little speech where I talked about my father’s different "families" — his relatives, his co-workers, his friends, etc.  I wonder if at the funerals of the future, people will also be talking about the "family of fellow bloggers and readers."

Who would think I would get such comfort from all your kind comments and emails?  Last night, after the extended family and the shiva visitors left, Sophia and I sat with my mother as she read the comments on my laptop.  She was extremely touched.

I was also surprised about how eager I was to write to you with updates about my life.   When I didn’t have a laptop at the hospital, I wrote some comments on the back of a package of gauze.    I really felt like you were a new kind of family.

I haven’t read any of your blogs, so I have no idea what is going on it your lives (or minds).  Soon, I’ll be back to normal — writing stupid comments on your blogs.

Thank you, my blogging "family."


  1. TWM

    Hey, bud, who would have ever thought you would have a backsliding Catholic conservative in your “new” family?

    Life is indeed strange.

    Take some time and come back when you are ready.

  2. Tatyana

    I wanted to invite you, Sophia and your mom to come to my garden for tea and fruit; I know you can’t come just now. If only I could pack the garden, the tablecloth and the cups and messenger it to the shiva…

  3. Linda

    Losing a parent is hard, no matter your age. To be able to celebrate their life, is truly a gift. It brings one to thoughts sometimes as to what is going to be thought and said at one’s own funeral. It is said that at about age 40 one hits a type of crossroads wherein they either enter into aging resentful an bitter or as the type others enjoy being around. Your father sounds like such a special man.

  4. jamy

    How wonderful that anything you’ve heard from us is comforting. It’s great that you could share this with your mom, too. I’ve missed your comments on my blog (so selfish!), but of course I understand. Thank you for posting–I’ve been thinking about you and it’s good to know you’re doing okay.

  5. Peggy Archer

    My deepest sympathies to you.

    I’ve lost a parent, too, and I know how it feels.

  6. Leese

    I want you to do a blogger’s eulogy in my funeral if I die first and if it’s the other way around I hope I’d be invited to do one for you.

  7. kris

    I do feel as if we all know each other. Which is why I found myself crying while sitting reading your posts at my computer.

    I too was surpised at how much I thought about you and your family this week. We all really do touch each other even though we have such “limited” contact.

    See you back soon.

  8. Brooke

    Glad to be part of the family, Neil. We’re here if you need us. Say hello to mom and give her hugs for me. But don’t let her read my bolo, I don’t think she would approve of my escapades in Amsterdam.

    And I miss your stupid comments.

  9. leesepea

    Neilochka, I’m proud be part of your blogging family. And proud to consider yourself part of mine.

    Be well. Come back when you’re ready.


  10. modigli

    Neil, I’m sure your thank-you speech was fantastic and that you found a way to bring smiles and laughter to the crowd as they remembered your dad.

    We’re here, patiently waiting for your return when you’re ready!

    You are missed! 🙂

  11. ms. sizzle

    I’m happy to be a part of your blog family. But, if I can, could I play the part of the often tipsy, sometimes too flirty aunt? That’d be fun!

    In all seriousness though? Please take good care of yourself- there is no rush. I, for one, will be here when you feel up to visiting.

    Big Hug,

  12. Warren

    Best wishes to you and your family during this difficult time, Neil. We’re all thinking of you in the scribosphere.

  13. Nancy French

    Hey Neil,

    I was feeling this way as well, as I was telling my husband about your dad and your uncle Milt and he interrupted, saying “You read some guy’s family blog?” So, I tried to explain — he’s not a blog reader, so he doesn’t understand the culture — about how your posts are so funny that they make everyone hesistant to put pen to paper in comparison. I told him how you write about Sophia and how she reads the comments and how everyone is divided on whether y’all should reunite… I told him about your looting attempt, about how Sophia was a Russian, and about how your dad wore Woody Allen glasses. In exchange, he told me about the people he knows from his online multi-player war games he plays — yes, he’s a total geek. I sat beside him and watched him interact with people in his “guild.” He said, “Oh great, Sir Lickalots is on.” And I watched my husband — a Harvard Law grad — trash talking another player who had to get off because his mom and dad told him he had to do his homework.

    I watched him play, and I thought about you guys, pondering the very weird world we live in.


  14. M.A.

    See ya when you get back. 🙂

  15. bella

    Really is a world wide web, ain’t it? But the nice thing is we can come and go as we please, or as we need.

    Look forward to seeing you back…
    Big hugs till then…

  16. Jack

    Hope that you are holding up. Hang in there.

  17. Bill

    I was really cheered by what you had to say about blogs and family because my current circumstances would be greatly improved by a small cash influx and, as they say, if you can’t count on family …

    Can I get rim shot?

    Okay, a lame joke but the spirit was there. From what you wrote I have some concern that I should be posting about the wildly interesting things happening in my life but other than a shipping confirmation from Amazon, I can’t think of anything.

    But I’ll do my best to work on it. In the meantime, take your time and when you’re ready to blog we’ll be here eagerly waiting to read the posts.

  18. Josia

    I know from experience that it’s a huge comfort to know that lots of people are sharing your pain – I’m sure what your Mom saw will give her tons of strength for the next few months…everything’s the same over here … except I’m going to be Feedster’s Feed of the Day tomorrow – that’s a pretty big deal, huh? You gotta get syndicated Neil!

  19. Edgy Mama

    I’ve felt similarly, Neil. Glad to know you, have you, as a small part, of my life. Take care of yourself.

  20. Megan

    This blogging thing is strange. Most of you I’ve never met, yet when I read of your pain, my heart goes out to you and wishes to wrap loving arms around each one of you. Of course, when you say stupid things, those same arms want to reach out and bitch-slap you, too.

    You and your family have taken up residence in a special place in my heart, reserved only for you. I like feeling that this room in my heart is full. (Just no wild parties in there!)

    Your blogging family will be here when you’re ready to return.

  21. Marisa

    Thank you for writing this and thank you for sharing your pain and love with us. I feel such joy and honor at being a part of this blogging family and community.

  22. Megarita

    Isn’t it fascinating? I found myself checking in here twice as often to make sure things were ok with you! There is a strange intimacy that develops, isn’t there? But I am so glad that our comments could give you some comfort, and I’m glad that you will be back soon.

  23. alleyrat


    I too am glad that you and your mother are comforted by the comments your blog friends have left. Your blog obviously brings a lot of people pleasure and many of your readers care enough about you to cry at your blog posts about your father (I admit they made me cry, too). It’s strange, but nice, to feel connected to people you wouldn’t recognize on the street…

  24. Pearl

    Neil, my thoughts have been with you and your family for the past few days. That a “virtual” stranger — you and your blog — can leave such an indelible impression on countless people, just as your dear father did for countless others … is a true “yichus”/virtue!
    Wishing the entire Kramer family heartfelt condolences, and I hope that
    G-d grants you all peace of mind and the means to cope…

  25. nichelle

    Having recently lost my uncle, I am truly sorry for your loss. I hope your family is doing well and you are taking care of yourself.

  26. Melanie

    Oh my goodness, Neil, I haven’t read my blogroll for a week–I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. It’s true that it’s never “unexpected”, even in people who are old or have a long history of medical problems.

    I am glad Sophia stood by you during the whole ordeal–it is so important to have a shoulder to cry on during times like this.

    It’s good to know that even in the midst of deep sadness, you are able to laugh and think about things your father would have enjoyed. I did the same thing when my uncle passed away during my senior year of high school. I remember singing his favorite song, “My gal’s a corker, she’s a New Yorker…” as I got out of the car on the way to his grave to say our final goodbye.

    It really is amazing how much you don’t know about your own family members–I remember being amazed at all the people who showed up at the funeral home and told my uncle’s widow about all the good things he’d done for people at the office. He had such a big heart–and it sounds like your father did, too.

    That’s what you should remember, above everything.

  27. mcaryeh

    Baruch Dayan Emet. Hope the rest of your time in NY is healing for you and your family…

    I never get stupid comments from you on my blog! Only a couple regular ones. Beginning to feel a bit left out on the stupid comment from Neil front…

  28. Colleen

    We do miss you.

    But mostly, we miss your stupid comments.

    Come home soon, dammit.

  29. Jef

    I’m very sorry.


  30. danielle

    I was thinking about you and your family over the weekend when I was with my mom, thinking back to when we were sitting shiva when my dad passed away. I’m so glad you have a strong support system and that you can see how many people care about you and have you in their thoughts and prayers. Much love to you all…

  31. Rachel

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  32. jenny

    we are thinking about you Neil. Glad to know you are still able to laugh some, it’s good for the soul. I love the “package of gauze”…too funny. Keep smiling…we can’t wait to hear more stories about your father…prayers to you and your family 🙂

  33. Jewels

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I thought of you this weekend and was sad to come back today to read that he had passed.

    We miss you! My family still has you (and Mom and Sophia, of course) in our thoughts

  34. cookiebitch

    Thanks for being part of our family too. 🙂 I was out of town and unable to post for awhile, but you were in my thoughts. And, selfishly, I’m glad you’re back.

  35. Pants

    I am sorry I have not been around. Just wanted to say you and your family have been in my thoughts. I hope you are holding up okay.

  36. Introspectre

    The support of far flung strangers can be a beautiful thing.
    Much love to you and your family…

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