Heather B. Armstrong, author and founder of Dooce, has died at the age of 47
Heather B. Armstrong, Founder Dooce and early pioneer of blogging and modern internet influence, has died. Armstrong was 47 years old.
Armstrong wrote candidly about her life in her early years on her blog, and later chronicled motherhood.
The author of “I Breathed and Then I Cried” is unabashedly committed to sharing her life openly. She documented every bit of motherhood, especially the not-so-perfect moments. Armstrong had two children with her ex-husband, Leta (19) and Marlo (13).
She is also unabashedly committed to sharing her experiences with depression and sobriety. His 2019 book, The Valedictorian Of Being Dead, described Armstrong’s participation in an “experimental study” that put him in a “chemically induced coma” for 15 minutes two years earlier.
Heather B. Armstrong’s death was announced by her partner on Instagram
Armstrong’s partner Pete Ashdown announced his death on Instagram on Wednesday. Armstrong has often talked about his relationship on his parenting and lifestyle podcast, Manic Rambling Spiral.
“Heather Brooke Hamilton aka Heather B. Armstrong aka Dooce aka the love of my life. 19 July 1975 – 9 May 2023.” Ashdown wrote to the post. “It takes an ocean not to break.” Hold your loved ones close and love everyone else.”
Armstrong’s most recent post about Dooce detailed his six-month sobriety milestone in October 2021. Armstrong founded Dooce two decades earlier.
Armstrong was known for being a pioneering “mommy blogger” and mental health writer
Armstrong wrote countless details about motherhood, capturing the mundane details of everyday life and the moments that were swept under the rug at the time. By the end of the decade, it had more than 8 million readers.
One in 2019 profile from VoxArmstrong summed up her writing about Dooce: “I saw myself as someone who happened to be able to talk about parenthood in a way that many women wanted to, but were afraid to.”
She wrote freely about depression and divorce (she and her husband and business partner, Jon, split in 2012), and her readership reportedly plummeted. Receiving the news of his divorce would contribute to what Vox describes as “a deep and treatment-resistant depression.”
He said of his depression: “I felt that life was not meant to be lived. When you’re that desperate, you’ll try anything,” he continues, referring to the aforementioned clinical trial. “I believed that my children deserved to have a happy, healthy mom, and I needed to know that I tried every option to make sure that was the case for them.”
She continued, “I want people with depression to feel like they’re seen, especially in Utah, where teen suicide is an epidemic. (via Vox)
Armstrong lived in Salt Lake City until his death. He also wrote extensively about his experiences with the Mormon Church while growing up in Memphis. According to the APleft the Church after graduating from Brigham Young University and moved to Los Angeles.
Ashdown told the AP that Armstrong committed suicide at their home in Salt Lake City.