We carried the box out of the car and set it gently on those straps, suspended over the hole. I shall never ever forget that lonely creaky sounds those straps make when released, when Mom went into the ground.

I spoke about how I was worried when I told mom in March that I had quit a well paying job to spend 5 months touring the country, without a plan to get a job or line up health insurance. I imagined she would let me know what a foolish choice this was, yet that was far from what she said.

Mom was so excited for my plan. I told them about the “Cousin Bobby” postcards I sent from every state and province; that Sunday afternoon I was almost out of Ontario when I remembered to get her a Toronto card (this one in my hand). Now Mom I am going to send you with my last postcard to you (big tears).

I talked about how as a teen and a young adult how uncool it was to be around my Mom, how her “squareness” annoyed me, her over protective actions that bridled my identity as a “man”. I then shared, with a verbal smiley, how much she changed in the next 20 years (ahem) especially after Dad passed; how I looked forward to our weekly calls, our laughs, the fun we had on her visits to Strawberry.

And I talked about how much I learned from her selfless sacrifice, how she lived to make connections with strangers, how she was really interested in making people, strangers feel important.

I talked about how she participated in
My online stuff, letting me blog about her, share her cookie stories and butterfly philosophy live over Internet radio– that she had a huge following if thousands of people out there who were touched by her, even that they were right now playing “Sweet Caroline” on the ds106radio.

I mentioned how mom’s stories made an impact in Claudia, a teacher in Argentina I never met but was among those dream friends that are real on the Internet.

I told her how much light she made in the world and how lost I am without her (bigger tears).

My sister and nephew spoke their own powerful messages (Josh you truly communicated Mom’s gifts to us all, thanks).

A few prayers, the ropes creak, down it goes, we toss dirt (and one postcard), and it’s over.

But it’s not over. Now my friends, my loving dear internet friends that are more real world than anything, ate spreading Alyce’s - you are asked on Sunday to bake a batch of cookies, share them with a stranger, and share your story. See http://bit.ly/cookielove

This life without Mom in it is not the same, but I want to try even harder to live up to her ways.

Bye Mom, from Baltimore,

Love Alan


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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as @cogdog@cosocial.ca


  1. I just saw two big yellow butterflies flying with each other-Alyce & Morris-in her front yard as I went to get the mail. I miss her, but know her spirit is with me always.
    Peace & Love

    Fort Myers

  2. It wasn’t until my grandpa passed away two years ago that I finally really understood the desire for an afterlife, to see our loved ones again and have another conversation, another hug, another laugh.

    In the years since, I realized how lucky I was to have lived as long as I did without experiencing that deep loss. It’s given me a newfound appreciation for the shortness of our time with each other and even though saying the words of sympathy feel all the more hollow for having known how painful it is, I also remember feeling so comforted by my net-buddies. It felt good to know they were thinking of Dad while thinking of me even if they never knew him.

    I’ve been thinking of your mom all week and how even though I never met her, how grateful I am that she brought you into this world because even if our meetings have been brief, you’re one of the bright lights in my net universe and from a distance therefore so is she.

    Sending love and cookies to come this Sunday.

  3. I’m going to be on a plane or in an airport on Sunday for 20+ hrs. We baked cookies last night and gave them away to some friends going through a rough time. I was thinking of you too. And your mom.

    I’ve got this hug here for you 10x the size of the one I gave you 2 weeks ago. It’s virtual, for now, but when I see you, brace yourself buddy …


  4. What a beautiful thing to do, Alan. It brought tears to my eyes! So sorry for your loss.

    I’m sure, as you have done with your father, you will keep the memory of your mother alive. Thanks for sharing this with us; it helps us all learn how to deal with these things in the long-run.

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