Thursday, May 11, 2006

When life bites

Robert Scoble is one of the world's best known bloggers, through his Scobleizer postings and he's famous as the Microsoft blogger.

But for the past few days his blog postings have taken a radically different turn, one which has shown just how powerful this new tool is for communications.

His mother in Montana has suffered a massive stroke and Robert has written about his hectic flight back to Montana to be by her side. Yesterday, the family received the bad news that the stroke was catastrophic and her death is only a matter of days.

It's tough news for anyone and Robert's decision to share updates with his thousands of readers demonstrate the unique relationship that builds between a blogger and his or her readers. While we may talk business, or consider ourselves to be running a "corporate" blog, it's still a labour of love, really. Without passion, a blog will whither and die.

Robert's sad, but profoundly moving posts in recent days, bring to my mind my own thoughts when my mother was in hospital a couple of years ago after a stroke. I wasn't sure whether to write about the experience or not, but I did. (Here's the link to the post.) And I was glad that I did. Things worked out for us. Today, my Mom, while not as strong or as mobile as she was, is still with us and I'm able to talk to her on the phone.

One important point Robert has made repeatedly is the importance for all of us to discuss with our family and friends what our wishes are should we suffer a massive stroke, as his mother did.
If there's some good that might come out of this, please sit down and communicate with your family about what you'd like to have happen in a similar situation. Do not leave these kinds of decisions to your next of kin.

Because his mother had signed a do not rescuscitate order and told her friends and family, they are able to honour her wishes without guilt.

There will be no happy ending for Robert Scoble. But life will go on. And his decision to bring us into this personal situation is a good thing.

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