You might remember a little while back I did a post about the wonderful Action Packs for kids produced by Kathreen Ricketson of Whipup.net.
I am simply devastated to tell you that Kathreen and her partner, Rob, passed away suddenly last week. They were on a the trip of a lifetime around Australia with their two beautiful kids and many, including me, had been following Kathreen’s posts avidly.
Kathreen and Rob drowned off the coast of WA. Their kids were on the beach with friends.
There are simply no words for what I feel for those kids. I can’t stop thinking about them.
Kathreen was one of the leading lights in the craft blogging world and her death has left so many people reeling.
The funny thing about this blogging biz (both writing your own and reading others) is that you form bonds with people you’ve never met and possibly never will. Sometimes you don’t even really have any contact with them but get to know them through their writing. They let you into their world and you get attached. Sometimes deeply. There are thousands of people out there who are feeling Kathreen’s loss keenly and who are shedding tears for her babies.
From a personal perspective, when I first started blogging a few years back, Kathreen gave me lots of warm support and encouragement when a couple of things rattled my confidence and she also gave me my blog its first exposure to a wider audience when she published one of my tutorials on Whipup. We had never met but shared a number of email exchanges, most recently after my Action Pack post. I was and will be eternally grateful for her support of a new blogger. I looked up to her in almost every way – as a blogger, creator, galvaniser of community, giver of support and beautiful, thoughtful mother.
She gave so much, in so many ways, to so many people and her death leaves an enormous gap in the crafting community.
I’m just profoundly sad.
Another thing about the making community is their support of each other. Inundated with requests from people asking how they could help, Kathreen’s family have set up a trust fund for her kids.
You can donate via Paypal using firstname.lastname@example.org or go to this post on WhipUp for details on how to do a transfer or direct deposit. There are instructions for both Australians and overseas residents.
I’ll just leave you with the last bit of advice from Jules who had to undertake the heart-breaking task of writing a post on Kathreen’s blog letting people know she had passed away. You can read the full post here, but it’s this last bit that we should all take away:
“…In the meantime, hug your children extra tight tonight, kiss your partner good bye, call your family and friends and say I love you.”
And if it feels right, make a donation towards Kathreen’s kids’ future. It can never be the same without their parents, but they might at least, down the track, take some small solace from the outpouring of love towards them, in their mother’s stead.