Wednesday, July 30, 2008

An Uncommon Voice

For five years, writer Vicki Forman has kept the blog Speak Softly as a space for personal reflection about motherhood and life with a severely disabled child. Of course, there are large territories in the blogosphere devoting to parenting blogs and to blogs for disability issues, but Forman brings these topoi together with rare skill and a strong authorial voice that has attracted many readers, who may have also read her heartbreaking mini-memoir, "Coming to Samsara," in the collection Love You to Pieces: Creative Writers on Raising a Child with Special Needs that describes giving birth to twins prematurely and the devastating experience of burying one child and then struggling to raise the other.

Last week, Forman's son, Evan Kamida, died unexpectedly, and fellow bloggers and those in Forman's online communities and social networks were faced with the difficulties of handling expressions of public commiseration in a situation where their friend's loss and grief bears nothing of the virtual. Although web pages often serve to represent rites of passage related to birth and marriage and even sites for memorialization of the dead, the tributes to Evan at Literary Mama and on this Flickr page are particularly eloquent and moving.

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