the writing and photography of Neil Kramer


In my general circle of blogging friends, Lisa is the first one to face a serious illness and not win her battle. Lisa of Clusterfook passed away last night. I was not as close a friend with her as many of you – I never met her in person – but we read each other’s blogs and IM-ed several times.

Lisa was brave enough to share her experiences with us on her blog, particularly her fears and anger. At times, her strong opinions even caused some infighting amongst her friends. No one knew exactly what to do, or the best way to deal with a blogging friend in need. It was all a new chapter in our blogging lives, and for many of us, the online world is better equipped for promoting consumer products than healing.

Lisa’s illness was messy, which made it uniquely honest — the anger, the frustration, the confusion, all mixed into the stew with the concern and love. And we all know the truth — the longer we stay online and blog, the more personal tragedies we will have to face in the lives of our friends. I’m proud of Lisa for not showing us illness in a Hollywood movie manner, with glowing lights surrounding her and the John Tesh music playing. Illness is difficult, and there is always the unanswerable question, “Why me?”

My prayers go to Lisa’s family. And a special thanks to all of Lisa’s special blogging friends, like Karl, who kept her comforted and entertained.

Rest in peace, Lisa. Thank you for being a part of my blogging experience. I am currently reading every single comment you ever wrote on my blog, thinking of you smiling as you typed them on your keyboard.


  1. Danny

    Wow, I hadn’t read her blog before but just read a bunch of posts. The one about telling her kids that she wasn’t going to get better was agonizing. I’m sorry I didn’t know her but I remember her comments on your blog. I’ve had a few blogging friends who died and I can’t bring myself to delete them from my blogroll. I keep waiting for a new post, as if we should somehow be able to blog from the “other side.”

  2. Heather @ Domestic Extraordinaire

    I too, wasn’t close to Lisa. We chatted via twitter once or twice. When I was introduced to her blog about 6 months ago I spent hours reading the archives, just learning who she was. I am very sad to hear of her passing. This is my first blogging friend death, it feels just as real as if someone whom my life interacted with in real life (which seems so cliche because isn’t all aspects of my life real-you are not imaginary-just because I don’t “see” you)

    Sorry, I just am really kind of thrown for a loop by all of this-even though I knew it was coming.

  3. AnnieH

    I am truly sorry for the loss of your friend. It’s a bit different in this medium to grieve when you can’t be there in person to bring over the casserole or sit quietly with a family and tell the tales that bring laughter and tears. But grief is still grief and I am sorry for your sadness and wish you comfort.
    Danny’s comment about his blogroll reminds me of a quote I read once of Truman Capote maybe, perhaps someone else around that time period, but he was saying how he couldn’t bring himself to remove a friend’s name from his address book–oh, it was George Carlin. I’ll have to find it. Bittersweet as only Mr. Carlin could be.

  4. Atomic Bombshell

    I’m one of those people who never knows what to say in situations like this. I just pray. Thanks for writing this post. It expresses a lot of what I feel but am too sad to put into words.

  5. Kathy

    I’m so sorry. I’d read her site for the past few months, but never had the courage to leave a comment, for fear I’d say the wrong thing. Oddly enough, another blogger I’d been reading for a while died — unexpectedly — I didn’t know she was sick. Like Atomic Bombshell, I never know what to say in these situations, other than my thoughts go out to Lisa’s family and friends.

  6. kenju

    I had never read her posts, but yours is the second blog I’ve seen today who wrote about her. I hope she will know about all the nice things that are being said.

  7. Karen Sugarpants

    Nice words Neil. xo

  8. Otir

    This is extremely sad. I had been writing to her and now it feels like I had known her, and we all mourn her loss.

    My sincere condolences to her family and friends.

  9. Headless Mom

    I’m sad too, and I wasn’t even close with her. She has made quite a mark on the blogosphere.

  10. Rhea

    A very sweet tribute, Neil.

  11. Annie

    I did not know her, but found her just in the last month. Even though I did not know her, I was very touched by her death and send love to her family who must be in great pain right now. Neil you are so sweet. XOXO

  12. Jessica

    I have to stop reading now and go hug a friend

    Like, for no reason

  13. Turnbaby

    I still shake my head at the screw ups in her diagnosis–who knows if it would have made a difference.

    I’m glad she has found some peace.

  14. Lori Anderson

    I’m so sorry. I visited her blog and she is a brave person, and one that didn’t deserve all that piled on her. Hugs all around.

  15. Christine

    Neil, I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. I didn’t know her, but I’ve visited her site and am at a loss of words for the void her family is experiencing.

    And thank you for shedding light on how real our feelings can run for those we “only know online.”

  16. teahouseblossom

    So very sad. My prayers go to her Dude and kids.

  17. sarah g

    Sorry to all of you who knew her and many prayers to her family and friends. Thank you for sharing with us Neil. I didnt read her blog before, but i did go over and read some of it now. God rest her soul.

  18. Dragon

    May she rest in peace.

  19. chantel

    She wrote that people deal with death in their own way. She was very brave and very honest and its touching the way she shared every moment with us.
    Your post is very touching, I’m saddened for her family but thankful she is no longer in pain.

  20. wench

    Hugs to you Neil and thanks for expressing for all of us. This is one of those times when I am so very thankful for the interwebbyness of the blogoshpere, because you’re right, we’re only here for a moment. But every heart you touch is another that remembers the light that you were, so you’re never REALLY gone at all.

  21. churlita

    That’s so sad. I think I came across her blog a few times before and was amazed at her openness and honesty.

  22. Karl

    Miss her tons. Beautiful words, Neil.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial