August 15, 2012

In Case of Death, Blogger-Version

I dreamed last night that I had just gotten a "months to live" diagnosis, and that Paul was dealing with it by listing aloud all the things I should not have to tolerate in that short time ("We are NOT using the box fan, we will leave the air conditioning on ALL THE TIME! And don't do the dishes, ever! And..."), and I was dealing with it by composing a blog post in my head. I was trying to find a way to write it that wasn't overly dramatic, but it's a little difficult to convey that kind of information non-dramatically, since it IS INHERENTLY VERY DRAMATIC.

Anyway. Back when our cat Benchley died and I was having lots of death-related thoughts, there were requests for a discussion on what we would do about our blogs if we died---i.e., would we have someone post the news? or what? I'm in exactly the right kind of morbid mood to discuss that this morning.

I'll tell you MY plan: I put a note in my "In Case of Death" folder that requests a survivor to please put a post here and on the baby names blog. Because I think it would be weird and alarming if a blogger just...disappeared. I've noticed that if people don't blog/Twitter for even a few days, other people will be saying, "Hey, anyone heard from....?" If that went on longer, and if emails to the person weren't answered, I think people would get quite worked up and might even try to take action: I remember in a similar situation awhile back, people were comparing notes on Twitter and asking for re-tweets to see if anyone knew the blogger's address so someone could CALL THE POLICE.

So. It seems like it would be better/easier to have a family member do a post, and I would CERTAINLY CERTAINLY CERTAINLY want to know if a blogger I'd been reading for years DIED. (Furthermore, I'd want INFORMATION---not just a death announcement, but information on what on earth HAPPENED.)

This plan would be more challenging, of course, with a secret blog. I think if I were in that situation, I would give my log-in info to a very trusted blog friend (or perhaps to an in-person friend I wouldn't mind reading my blog, if the blog was really just secret from FAMILY), and then add the friend's name to a list (also in the "In Case of Death" folder) of friends to be notified if I died. I'd arrange with that blog friend that if she got an email from my family, she should post the news on my blogs.

If you have a blog, would you want someone to post the news on your blog? And for everyone (I was going to say "And if you READ blogs..."---but, er, that would be all of us since we are ALL READING THIS): what would you want to see happen, if a blogger died? Do you agree with me that you'd really want to hear about it?

39 comments:

Stephanie said...

I absolutely agree I would want to know about a blogger's death--and further agree that I'd ideally like a cause of death as well (my imagination doesn't need open-ended in a case like this).

I do have a blog (as you've seen :) ), but it is primarily for family/friends anyway (I'm not opposed to public viewings, it's just...not really that interesting if you don't know me/us as it's more of a family diary) so I don't know that it would be totally necessary to put something on there. That being said, I probably would like to have a final note on there in case random people happened upon it and wondered why it was abandoned long ago (I've browsed blogs and wondered the same when they haven't been updated for months or even a year+).

So I shall have to entrust my sister with that task since my husband probably wouldn't remember to do it.

Nowheymama said...

Yes, I would want to know. I have a college acquaintance who died and was still being recommended to me as a FB friend after the fact. It was weird.

Kristin H said...

I would definitely want to know if someone I read died, and I always want to know why. I am a Girl Scout leader and right when I started, another young leader died -- one week she was there, the next week she wasn't. I didn't feel like I knew anyone enough to ask WHY she died, but I really wanted to know. And with obituaries in the paper, I always stop on young people to see if they mention why they died, like if "in lieu of flowers the family requests donations to the American Cancer Fund" or something like that. I wonder why no one ever talks about the cause of death. Is it considered bad form?

Colleen said...

One of my favorite young bloggers just stopped posting one day. It was weird. She and I had tried to become FB friends at one point, but my security settings were too high for her to find me and we never followed up... And then she disappeared. Didn't answer emails. No way to reach her otherwise. I checked back occasionally at her blog, just to see and, months later, a commenter on her blog was one of her few "in real life" friends who knew about it. He told us she had died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism as a result of a seemingly minor skiing accident... the accident that was the subject of her final post.

Still sad the world lost such a bright young voice, but its always better to have closure.

Long way of saying, yeah I'd want to know.

d e v a n said...

I would DEFINITELY want to know!

Beylit said...

I would certainly want to know if someone I read died and how. I think everyone is curious as to the how as it helps us cope.

We have a phone tree system in place amongst our group of friends so if someone dies we just start calling to make sure everyone hears it from someone. I never want anyone I am close to finding out I died through a FB post or on my blog. (I can sadly say the system works very well.) Unfortunately for those who read me that is the only way to find out, so I would make sure that someone would post such information after the phone tree had contacted as many people as possible.

Sunny said...

I'd defo want to know. I have a LONG list of peeps I foollow and another who follow me and I feel like they are all my RL friends...cause in a way, they are, it's just a different part of my Real Life they are involved in.....
Mych like my Mother and daddy and my love life....Nope- not involved- no need for them to be involved.Different part of my life.
And also-I'm glad I'm not the only person who had a "In case of Death" list. :-)

Nicole said...

YES I would want to know if a blogger I read died. Now I'm wondering what would happen if I died. Would I get my husband to write a post? I guess he would have to know my password and how to make a post. Would he post it on twitter?

I have an aunt who passed away and people still write messages on her facebook wall (like "I miss you") and it really, really makes me feel weird.

MomQueenBee said...

Oh, definitely I'd want to know. And since I'm the oldest person in the blogging world, I'll let you all know how it works out when I do it.

Alice said...

oh man, i'd definitely want to know AND i'd want people to know if it were me. crap. no one has my login info. i guess it's time to make an "in case of death" folder. although then where do you put THAT? i sort of doubt chris would immediately start going through my file cabinet if i died (he knows i do not typically file very useful things) so.. what.. like, leave it out on my desk at all times?? NOW I NEED TO PLAN FOR THIS oh dear.

Tess said...

I feel like, statistically speaking, I read so many blogs and have for so long that someone I read is bound to die suddenly at some point.

I would DEFINITELY want to know, and I would want anyone who checked my blog to know as well. I think, though, that in my case I would rather have a blog friend post, and not my family. Well, maybe my sister. I guess I need to make a decision!

On the other hand, I'm friends with enough bloggers on FB that news of my death would probably spread pretty quickly. And if THAT were the case, I absolutely would not mind if another blogger posted about my death on their OWN blog. Well. OBV I would not mind, because I would be DEAD, but you know.

Jenny said...

I would certainly want to know. My co-blogger is one of my closest friends, so unless my death was absolutely out of the blue (hit by a bus, etc) she would probably know about it immediately; otherwise, in the first few days, and would notify readers.

Anonymous said...

A fanfiction writer I read and admired DID die a few years ago. Her sister posted on the blog to let everyone know. The family knew about the blog, but not the extent of her community. The community knew that she was sick, but not that she had been posting from the hospital for months. She was only like 21.

I still like to go back and read her stories sometimes, and then I go back and read her blog and cry a little. She was an amazing writer.

Lawyerish said...

I would absolutely want -- nay, NEED -- to know if a blogger I read died (or if something short-of-death-but-also-catastrophic that kept them from posting came to pass).

And I would really, really want/need to know the cause of death. I don't think that's tacky or nosy, exactly, but it would just be so SHOCKING and I'd want to go through the "could that have happened to ME?" stages of panic/analysis as I would with anyone else who dies prematurely.

Here's a blanket prayer that none of us dies early and that we can all be bloggie friends until we're like 100 and then we each pass quietly in our sleep.

Charleen said...

I agree, I'd want the closure.

artemisia said...

I would want to know. I'd also want to be able to leave a message for their family in the comments.

Yeah, if I get my ass together enough to get my "In Case of Death" files together, I'd include instructions on what to do with the blog. Not that I am consistently posting anymore. :-(

Man, this post fits my mood today perfectly. F*ck this.

M.Amanda said...

I'd want to know. A blogger I'd emailed regularly took a break for a couple months. Since she has a well-blogged history of depression, I emailed her after several weeks. After a few days I was just about to do some serious cyber stalking to find out her address or how to contact her brother when she responded that she'd been unbelievably busy. It just didn't occur to her that anybody paid that much attention to the change in posting frequency.

When I still blogged, I thought about this a bit. In the end, I decided that the people who would really worry if I just disappeared would be on my personal email list. I made an "In Case of Death" file for my husband that included my email password and instructions to send a mass email explanation. I still haven't had the heart to tell my husband to look for it, though. Like wills, it's just practical planning, I guess, but it just feels so... morbid.

Brigid Keely said...

My husband has the log-in info for my various blogs and instructions to post if I get really sick or die. I should put together an official "in case of death" folder with instructions, I guess. That sounds like a good idea.

paganista said...

I also had a (early 20s)fanfiction writer/blogger friend that died a couple of years ago, but it was a car accident. She wrote a post saying how excited she was for a trip she was taking, then a few days later her sister posted about it. So sad. I was thankful for the closure though.
My online journal is mostly 'friends only', and no one IRL knows that it exists, but one of those friends is also on my facebook, so she'd at least hear that way, and possibly be able to let others know in the comments section. I've never thought to make plans for it...maybe I should.

liz said...

My husband will post a notice on doorbellqueen and mysterymommy. And facebook.

twisterfish said...

Oh gosh, I need a "in case of death" folder for my blogs. I've been thinking about this lately because I had been getting comments from one blogger and followed her blog and it was a nice back and forth and then suddenly nothing. I've tried but can't locate any info on her. It's been a few months and I still wonder what happened.

shriek house said...

So weird you had that dream last night! Last night I was in the mood for a "light" movie and saw a new one on Netflix with Kate Hudson, so turned it on. Turns out it is all about her DYING so that was super cheery and light. I also have a friend who was just dx'd with cancer so morbidity has been on my mind a lot anyway. I've been thinking I need to do an "in case of death" folder but with more family/home/practical things, the blog stuff didn't even OCCUR to me. I'll add that. Because yes, I'd want to know if/what/how something happened to YOU all.

Sarah said...

Of course! I remember once a blogger I read was due to have a baby any day, then suddenly didn't post for almost three months. After one month I couldn't take it and emailed her, afraid something awful had happened. It hadn't, thank God, but I was so worried!

Elsha said...

I've actually been thinking about this lately. My husband's grandmother died recently and his mom & aunt posted a "final message" type thing on her facebook page. I'd definitely want to see that from people on a blog/facebook. And I'd want someone to post on mine in case I died. I suppose I ought to tell someone that...

Gigi said...

I've actually mused on this a time or two at my blog....particularly since mine is fairly anonymous. I am still pondering what to do. In my case, I'd probably need to give in case of death instructions to a blog friend with passwords, etc. and leave a note somewhere for Hubby to be sure to email that particular friend. Sheesh! Who knew that we'd have to add our online life to our end of life planning.

Saranel said...

Um...is this a repeat or am I just having a very strong case of de ja vu?

Swistle said...

Saranel- Don't know! I don't THINK I've ever blogged about it before! It's not a re-published old post, if that's what you're asking.

HereWeGoAJen said...

I have already thought of this and ordered my husband and two friends to take care of this! I need to write proper instructions for the death folder though. But the orders have been given.

Also, two bloggers I've read have died. One had a plan in place and the other didn't. The closure was really nice. The second blog is still just sitting there. She had comment approval turned on too, so the news can't even be put up in her comment section. It got around fairly well, but I imagine there are plenty of people who think she's just not posting.

kris (lower case) said...

i would want to know. i follow a lot of blogs and on about 5 or 6 of them people just stopped writing.. one i know is on twitter (not the same) so i know she is ok but the rest.. one i just asked on her blog if she was thru writing (hello..if you are tell us!) and she sent me an email telling me she was starting up after summer.. one i followed died last december (she had breast cancer but she had never writen that it was currently that bad) and she stopped blogging in november. i checked back daily for over a month and finally read the comments and found out she had died. it was very sad.

Linda said...

When my husband and I went on our cruise last year, I left instructions with my friend to print out copies of my blog for my children if I/we died. I gave her my password and login. I'll check to see if she'll post my (hopefully unnecessary) death notice, too. I'm all for planning, even the morbid kind!

amyunicorn said...

I am beginning to formulate the necessary requirements for an In Case of Death file, and all of my online accounts, including my Tumblr, Facebook and personal blog will have instructions to log in, create an announcement and after a set amount of time (of which is yet to be determined), deactivation.

Jessica said...

I know I should write down all my various logins (my husband doesn't even have a way to find out my online banking login), but I never seem to get around to it.

I think if I do, it would work best to email it to him. That way if the time comes, he only has to search his email archives instead of paper files. At least that's how I'd want it. We'd still need a paper copy somewhere, I guess, in case both of us died.

oilandgarlic said...

I'm anonymous and probably want to stay that way til death. The morbid thing is that I have thought about this. I was planning to write a farewell post and schedule it way in advance; of course that doesn't really help if 1) I have a sudden death or 2) I live past the scheduled date and a farewell post suddenly appears. I do think all bloggers should do some kind of good bye post and not leave readers hanging..even if you have only 6 regular readers. Obviously you have more..

Surely said...

I think yes, I would like to know.

I've experienced a blogger "disappearing" twice. One was an elderly gentleman who ended up meeting a lady friend thus abandoning his blog. The other resurfaced later using a different name/blog/twitter account. (it sounds like she had a stalkery kind of thing happen)

Another blogger "friend" just said "I'm taking a break" then never cam back.

I'll have to plan this though because Kev wouldn't have any idea how to go about it. The In Case of Death file is genius and I keep thinking I'm going to do it then: not so much.

Also: stop having those kind of dreams. kthanxbai

shinae said...

I always want details, so yes. To all the details.

I'd want someone to post on my blog if I died, but my husband is the person it would seem reasonable to ask to do such a thing, and I doubt he'd actually do it. I feel like he'd be overwhelmed with lots of immediate-type things since we have youngish kids.

Christina said...

As a blog abandoner (ughhh I just haven't had time to post in forever!) I'm guilty of this. Oops. I guess I should post that I'm ok. However, nobody has even asked- so, sigh, I guess nobody CARES if I die.

velocibadgergirl said...

I actually have thought about this. I'm on a private message board with about 20 other girls and we've discussed emergency contingency contact plans a few times. I keep meaning to write out instructions to hide somewhere in my stuff for my husband to find with blog passwords and stuff. I suppose it doesn't matter all that much what he does with my regular blog. I mean, *I* like it, but it's not exactly award-winning writing or anything. I keep a separate private blog, though, where I've written monthly letters to my kid since I was 12 months pregnant with him, and if anything happens to me I want Nico to be able to read those when he's old enough.

I guess I should write out some instructions for my husband to either keep the blog from getting deleted indefinitely or to get it printed by one of those places that will print and bind your blog entries. It's kind of scary how much I've thought about this, I guess, but I'm glad I'm not the only one with a Blog Plan.

velocibadgergirl said...

HAHA I just realized I wrote "12 months pregnant." Okay, my pregnancy with him was really freaking long, but not THAT long. Since I was TWELVE WEEKS pregnant with him.

misguided mommy said...

I would for sure want my husband to post something, and I'm so happy you mentioned having him post WHAT HAPPENED, because I know I would go crazy with the WHAT HOW WHY HOWWWWW myself so I just assume my readers would.

Kind of like divorce if I ever got divorced I would tell my blog EVERYTHING because i know they would wonder. For example my favorite radio show host (actually two of them now) have announced their divorce and then been like, "but I'm not talking about it or answering any questions" and I'm like BUT OMFG I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. But then I feel bad for even wondering but come on I NEED TO KNOW. So yes, if I died I would tell my husband to post that I died, how I died and when and where and answer as much as he could so that no one would ever go crazy with wonder like I do.