A community of comfort
The late Bob Moog was a significant figure in the evolution of electronic music. His Moog Synthesizer, created in the early 1960’s, transformed the music scene as major musical groups, including the Beatles, adapted it to bring a unique sound to recordings and performances.
But it wasn’t until Bob was diagnosed with cancer, and had a CaringBridge website, that his son Matthew fully understood the human impact of his father’s life and work.
“I don’t think I ever appreciated how much he had touched people. It amazed me to see how many admirers he had from all corners of the world,” said Matthew Moog, one of five Moog siblings.
Doctors discovered Bob Moog’s brain cancer during April 2005. A short time later, the family heard about CaringBridge and Matthew, an Internet marketing entrepreneur in Chicago, set up a personal website for the family. “Initially I thought it would be a great way to keep the 20 or 30 members of the family connected, without having to make a lot of phone calls,” Matthew says.
But the CaringBridge website address quickly found its way around the world. “I created the site on July first and a few days later there were thousands of visitors to the site. This was completely unanticipated by the entire family,” Matthew adds.
Ross in Australia wrote in a guestbook entry: “My father introduced me to your musical sound when I was a wide-eyed little boy...thank you for your beautiful contribution.”
Mark in the United Kingdom wrote, “Dear Bob, you opened a sonic gate and let us hear a new generation of music. The work that you did has changed the shape of music, and you will never be forgotten.”
Bob’s wife, Ileana Grams, was deeply moved by the outpouring of love and support. She wrote in one journal entry: “We want everyone to know how much your messages mean to Bob and me. I read him all the ones that have come in so far, and he was really moved. It’s so great to know that people are thinking about him and praying and visualizing good health for him. We both believe that it really helps. Thank you all so much!”
Each day, Ileana would write a journal update on the site.
“Even though she was exhausted after long days at the hospital, she would come home and read the hundreds of messages that had been posted in the guestbook,” Matthew explains. “She drew tremendous strength from those messages of support and encouragement.”
“The site has become phenomenally meaningful and important for all of us, to share the experience and gain support and encouragement from all the messages people wrote,” Matthew says. “The site not only helps the sick, but also a lot of other people who are experiencing sadness and grief.”
The day after Bob Moog’s private funeral last August 21, an estimated 600 people from around the world attended a public memorial service. “I spoke to hundreds of people that day and they all said the CaringBridge site was so important for them, serving as a lifeline for news about my father,” Matthew relates, still amazed at the capacity of CaringBridge to connect so many people.
Since July 2005, more than 122,000 visits have been made to Bob Moog’s CaringBridge website, by people in the United States, Indonesia, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Germany, France, and other countries.
And the guestbook messages continue to be posted. Dave in Duluth, Minnesota wrote,
“The world thanks you for your inventions and admires your grace and compassion. The name Moog will live forever. In Heaven, your modular synthesizer will be 10 miles long and 10 miles wide. I hear the angels are giving up their harps...”
Today, Matthew considers CaringBridge a profound conduit for support and encouragement. “I think it is the best example of a virtual community, where one can be instantly connected with people who are passionate and caring about one person. My family will be forever grateful for CaringBridge.”