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Betty Weissman (mother of edw519) 1930-2011 (edweissman.com)
340 points by edw519 on Sept 21, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 65 comments

I realize this isn't exactly Hacker News, but sharing the source of my inspiration brings me more comfort than just about anything I've ever posted here. She was the perfect mother for an introverted, achievement-oriented nerd trying to find his way in the world. Thanks for letting me share.

[UPDATE: Thank you all for your kind words. It really means a lot to me.]

By the authority invested in me by a highly arbitrary karma algorithm, I decree that people with sufficient HN karma get to make a post inviting other HN members to mourn the passing of their mother.

When we have to -- but not before; remember that we are nothing if not lean and agile -- we can have the debate about the karma cutoff for mourning. My initial proposal is: 1.

(Incidentally, more condolences, and I apologize if it is inappropriate to be slightly silly at the memorial. It's my family tradition. I can't let my late grandfather down. ;)

Ed, your moving tribute to your mom reminds us that achievers in life are not only those who build companies or who "change the world" in some public sense - but also all the good, decent, and loving people who spend their lives quietly helping and inspiring others - your mom quite evidently among them. I went through this too in the past couple of years and there are few things in life more painful, even when we expect it. Your mom must have been a very special person. I am sorry for your loss.

I'm glad for you having such a great person as inspiration in your life.

My condoleances for her passing.

Sorry for your loss Ed.

I opened the link expecting no surprise. And closed the tab realizing how much I love to see my parents happy, no matter what. Thanks for the lovely and inspiring post.

In the words of Joni Mitchell,

"We don't know what we got til it's gone..."

My condolences.

So sorry to hear of your loss. What a beautiful and touching tribute. May all mothers live long, very long

Ed, we met at the YC offices over a year ago. My sympathies and comfort go out to you and your family. If you're ever back in town let me know and I'll buy you a drink.

Perfectly appropriate. You're one of a small handful who make Hacker News what it is, at its best. I'm sorry for your loss.

Sorry for your loss, Ed. My condolences.

I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of her remarkable impact on your life.

My condolences. I hope you can find some peace in the coming days.

Beautiful eulogy. So sorry for your loss, Ed.

Thank you for sharing this. My condolences.

My condolences, sorry for your loss

My deepest condolences.

My condolences.

When my dad died suddenly a couple years ago, I found a surprising amount of relief from this poem.

Death is Nothing at All by Henry Scott Holland

    Death is nothing at all. 
    I have only slipped away into the next room. 
    I am I and you are you. 
    Whatever we were to each other, 
       that we still are.
    Call me by my old familiar name. 
    Speak to me in the easy way 
       which you always used. 
    Put no difference in your tone. 
    Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
    Laugh as we always laughed 
       at the little jokes we enjoyed together. 
    Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. 
    Let my name be ever the household word 
       that it always was.
    Let it be spoken without affect, 
       without the trace of a shadow on it.
    Life means all that it ever meant. 
    It is the same that it ever was. 
    There is absolutely unbroken continuity. 
    Why should I be out of mind 
       because I am out of sight?
    I am waiting for you, 
      for an interval, 
         somewhere very near, 
           just around the corner.
    All is well.

hey Ed,

I just woke up to your email.

First of all my condolences to you

This stuff really hits where it hurts. The 'behind every great man' quote more often than not refers to a mom rather than a spouse and I think it is beautiful of you that you wrote this and I hope that those who don't think this is 'hacker news' can keep their hands of their mouse buttons.

To all of you wondering how many pomodoros worth of productivity you can squeeze out of today: Keep an eye on the rest of your life it is more fleeting than you probably realize.

I love you is so much better than goodbye.

You're a lovely person Ed, now I have a bit more insight into why.


"The 'behind every great man' quote more often than not refers to a mom"

I actually never thought about this until you just said it. I always put it to the spouse not the mom.

It's sad that kids aren't raised like this anymore. In our day you didn't get the trophy unless you deserved the trophy. Now kids get a trophy just for showing up and everyone is special.

My condolences. May you find comfort in the good memories.

Last year, I lost my dad. He was 57; He died on his birthday. I miss his quirky sense of humor.

If I must die, I hope to die as an integer as well.

I was raised the same way and can relate to all you've said about your mother. (My mother is about the same age and was raised in the same era.)

These two are my favorites: ---- When others said, "We need a time-out," or "This is a teaching moment," she just looked at you in such a way that you knew that there would never be a worse feeling than disappointing her.

When you played a song on the piano and she didn't recognize it, she said, "For this we need lessons? Go practice some more!"

I like this post on HN. Because of the content, thanks for sharing that, but also because I think it is important to think about death. For many reasons.

My condolences to you, edw519.

My condolences, Ed. Your mom sounds like an awesome person.

Oh, Ed. I am so sorry to hear this.

Welcome to the very unfortunate club of those of us who have lost a parent. It will always hurt, and it never goes away, but you do come to be at peace with it over time.

I am really thinking about you and this wonderful tribute you've written for your lovely mother right now. You've done something beautiful and she is so proud of you.

My advice at this time is to fully allow yourself to mourn. It's OK. Only you can experience your mourning and it may be the same or it may be different from how other people experience it, but just remember that only you can experience your mourning in the way you need to.

And that is totally cool because you are a beautiful piece of your Mom that is here right now.

Plus... Betty would've wanted it that way.

My sorrows are with you / Marc

Wow ... I hope my kids feel that way about me when I leave this world. I know you'll miss her physical presence, but I get the sense that you carry so much of her with you that you'll never feel that she's left you.

But I'll add my condolences for that physical loss.

What an excellent way to remember your mom. She sounds like a great woman and I can tell she'll be greatly missed. Thank you for sharing this with everyone.

My deepest condolences to you and your family. Thanks for sharing such a heart-felt and moving tribute. She seemed like a model parent and a wonderful person to spend time with. Many lessons for us all to learn from. I know from my own experience that much benefit can be derived from writing about our deceased loved ones. I plan to save your blog post among other files in my "inspirational" folder.

I sometimes like to think I could cope well with losing my mom now that I am married and have a child but in reality it scares the shit out of me.

My condolences to you

My condolences to you, Ed. Now I have a clue to why you always come across as such a wise man in your posts.

I am so lucky that I still have both my loving parents, but I have experienced the loss of loved ones. I find solace in knowing that while they can't make new decisions, their light cone will keep shining in eternity, so they will always be a part of the world.

You are a lucky man to have such a wonderful mother, and to realize it as well. We are equally lucky because she did a great job with you and all of HN has benefited greatly from your contributions.

I've taken note of what she has told you and will try do do my best to absorb and apply it to my own children.

Peace to you and your family.

My condolences; I am sorry for your loss.

My condolences on your loss. Losing a parent is hard - I lost my father almost two years ago, and I still think about him almost every day. Hopefully the happy memories of her will help you to get through the tough times.

Sorry for your loss. I hope Sharing this among your community will ease the pain.

That was a lovely blog post and I've upvoted you with my humble amount of karma. I am sorry for your loss, but hey, you had a lot of good time and clearly spent it well.

My most sincere condolences. There is nothing that can be said in the face of such loss.

We all face it one day or another. It never gets better, but we get used to it and we move on.

I obviously don't know you or your mother, but I enjoy your writings and it's now obvious she played a big part in building you, so my condolences.

Requiescat in pace.

She had to have been a really wonderful person to have raised a son who is such a nice human being. My condolences Ed.

That was simply beautiful, I hope when I have kids mate, I inspire that in them... bookmarked for future reference..

Excuse me, I have something in my eye.

Lovely writing, as always, Ed, and I think she probably would have smiled for this one.

Deepest condolences.

"Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.", William Makepeace Thackeray.

Nice lessons here for parents. Thanks for sharing and my heartfelt sympathies for your loss.

Thank you for sharing this. My condolences to you and to all whose mothers have passed away.

I'm sorry for your loss. May she be always remember by the ones who loved her dearly.

My most sincere condolences. May the inspiration she instilled in you be eternal.

I am sorry for your loss, Ed.

My condolences Ed. She sounds like a terrific person, and a great inspiration.

Sorry for your loss Ed, that was beautiful and sad writing. My condolences.

That's a wonderful if very sad blog post. I'm sorry for your loss Ed.

Your mom sounds really remarkable. I want to share my condolences.

edw519, my condolences.

You're one of the most interesting and inspiring people on Hacker News. I'm sure I speak for many other when I say Thank You for all you've done here.

I'm sorry for your loss. I went through this last year.

I am sorry for your loss. She lives on through you.

Beautiful writing. I'm really sorry for your loss!

My sincere and deepest condolences, Ed.

Thank you for sharing this.

My condolences Ed.

mothers, in my belief, are the most beautiful, most precious creations. i felt your mourning in my heart. my condolences.

My condolences, sorry for your loss.

My deepest condolences, Ed.

my condolences ed, words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel.

My sincerest condolences.

Ed... I don't know you, but as another hard working person, I can honestly say that your post has reminded me of what is important in life. It's those that love me who support my hard work and sometimes reclusiveness/introverted-ness.

Thank you for posting this. Your mother's story has had a compounded effect with your post. Her legacy lives on, and this is just one way: inspiring others on HN to cherish those who love them, which she obviously did with you.

Thanks, and I am sorry for your loss.

This post made me call my mom after about a month!...Really sorry for your loss man!

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