I just logged on to my various Internet places I like to post and read this morning to find out that one of my Internet friends has died. Her name was Devin, homeschool mother of three, 47 years old. She died of a heart attack on Saturday.

We might be tempted to underestimate the power of these Internet connections. We don’t know each other’s faces and we haven’t been in each other’s homes. Yet the strangest thing has happened with the web. We know each other through our writing. The person I know Devin to be is through her written communication. Devin, in this particular case, was known for her passion for art and reading (she read a book a day and would post her lengthy book lists on another forum I host that is all about books and art and self-education) and her veteran skills as a homeschool mother.

She had a gentle, playful posting style that made me smile.

Without the Internet, without writing, I would never have met Devin, nor would I know about her family, nor would I have benefitted from her insight into literature, films, homeschooling and art.

It’s odd to think that the world wide web is creating new neighborhoods of friends. I heard about Devin’s passing on one of my websites, and then followed the trail to The Well Trained Mind and Sonlight. Hundreds of women knew her and benefitted from her posts. I “saw” people I hadn’t seen in years online who surfaced to grieve her passing.

I will miss Devin. I know her kids and husband will really miss her. It’s too horrible for me to think about her oldest son leaving for college without his mom to see him off.

I’m deeply grateful to have known her, to have had the opportunity to meet her online, to be enriched by her wisdom, entertained by her humor and to have offered love and support when she asked for them as well.

Today, I am thankful for Devin, for the Internet and for writing.

Now, time to go cry a bit more.

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