When she first learned about CaringBridge, Dale Wolf had already been sending out regular emails to hundreds of friends and family to update them about her breast cancer journey. CaringBridge made that process much easier and more fulfilling and allowed her to reach even more people, according to her sister Marna.
Marna recalls just how important having a CaringBridge website was to Dale. “She loved that it was a creative outlet, not just a means to communicate and update friends and family about her condition. It gave her an opportunity to write in a creative fashion, publish photos, stories, cartoons, etc. and keep it all in one place.”
According to Marna, Dale appreciated how her CaringBridge website was always available to her when she needed to share thoughts or glean support from her guestbook visitors, which was often in the middle of night. It also offered her a place to link her friends, family and other site visitors to one another and to her creative endeavors—cartoons she had penned, songs she had recorded, stories she had authored.
Dale was so prolific and witty that her journal entries both deeply touched and also entertained visitors to her CaringBridge website. “It was such an easy way for her to generate contact with people, even those with whom she had lost touch. Some days she was down or exhausted and didn’t have the time or the energy to deal with people or communicate with them, Marna explains, “but CaringBridge gave her that contact no matter how she was feeling.”
“And for me as her sister it was so comforting to see all the messages of love and support she received in her CaringBridge guestbook. I felt a little better knowing that all those people were concerned about my sister, even people who had never met Dale. And even though I talked to my sister nearly every day, I would still learn things by reading her journal entries.”
Dale lost her battle with breast cancer on the last day of 2004. Without CaringBridge, Marna says, it would have been a huge effort to keep people informed about Dale’s condition because she had an enormous number of friends and acquaintances. “CaringBridge was a place to bring together all the different factions of my sister’s life: her family, work colleagues, college friends, neighbors, book club friends, and more. It seemed to rally us all to do what we could do to help Dale through her disease and helped us to connect with one another.” CaringBridge website.
All of these people who barely knew each other worked together toward the end to provide companionship and assistance to Dale. CaringBridge was also a great help for notifying people of her death and the memorial service arrangements on short notice.
Friends, family and total strangers who learned of Dale’s CaringBridge website through her obituary still visit the website regularly to post guestbook messages for her family and to reread her inspiring journal messages.