While paying my usual daily visit to those few blogs I consider part of my own fraternity yesterday, I was mortified to visit Matt Zoller Seitz's The House Next Door and discover a replacement host informing the regulars that Matt's wife Jennifer had passed away suddenly on Thursday evening at the age of 35. She was upstairs using the computer to plan an upcoming vacation, while their two children, aged 8 and 2, played downstairs. The eight year-old went upstairs to ask her mother a question and found her lying on the floor, unresponsive; an uncle was summoned to revive her and explain to the children what had happened, and the truth was kept from Matt till he could get from his office to the hospital. At present, no cause is known.
As a happily married man, wedded young, whose significant other is not only his wife but his business partner, someone on whom I rely each and every day, I can't imagine much worse than this. I don't know Matt except through his blog, and also through his fine independent film HOME (which Jennifer co-produced), and I feel shaken to know that someone for whom I have such respect and feel such kinship -- we even use the same blogging system -- must now live through this reality. If any of you know Matt or visit his blog irregularly, you can use the link above to read more about Jennifer, the family's preferred way of making a donation in her memory, and also leave a note of sympathy and support.
As for me, I want to spend more time off this computer and in the company of my wife this weekend. The last copies of the new issue are being shipped out today, we are having dinner with Donna's mother tonight, and we resume work on the Mario Bava book on Monday -- with a renewed sense of purpose and a renewed appreciation of the preciousness of time.