not exactly work in progress…



I was deeply saddened this morning while trawling my email notifications to arrive at my copy of a June posting allegedly made by the sister of a respected blogging acquaintance/virtual-neighbour, Paul M********, a US citizen believed to be working and living in or around New York.

While attempting to pick up my lingering blogging habit I’d realised I’d not seen anything from Paul’s blog ( in quite a while. So I’d dredged back through multitudes of links in my email inbox to find a trace.

Paul was a generous creative spirit and as well as posting on fitness he composed poetry and shared lots of interesting reblogs leading readers to other blogs he admired. The notice apparently posted by his sister informed his followers of the very sad news that Paul had died of undetermined circumstances on 29th May 2017. I have to assume that the poster claiming to be his sister was genuine and that the information is authentic. Unfortunately Paul’s blog has been deleted and perhaps that is in keeping with his wishes.

(Personally I feel it’s outrageous that relatives left behind might choose to delete a person’s online presence and remove their traces from the virtual world. I hope no-one is ever legally allowed to do that to my stuff even if it embarrasses the hell out of them! That’s not meant as a jibe to Paul’s family – nor my own – were they even to be reading, which I doubt.)

I deeply regretted not seeing that notification earlier, nor his more recent  blog posts leading up to that date. Paul had been encountering very difficult circumstances securing employment and navigating the pitfalls of temporary accommodation and some of his posts had eluded to himself and his friends/associates being victims of crimes including theft and violence against them. Quite sometime before Paul had spoken out against an incident of online bullying among/affecting specific members of the international online community and hopefully those individuals engaged in trolling etc had no bearing on the difficulties he encountered nor his sad demise nor the circumstances of his death as reported in that post claiming to be from his sister. Maybe we’ll never know the truth and that’s a sad reality for so very many peoples suffering the intolerable blights of a troubled world.

It’s four months to the day that Paul last posted to his personal blog. That feels such a long time to have passed before realising he was gone. His presence will be sadly missed but fondly remembered by many of those he interacted with online, even though we probably remain ‘strangers’.

How do you remember Paul?

I can’t say I knew Paul closely at all but I’ll remember him for his poetry and his spreading goodwill and positivity and his good sense of humour.

Below is  a screenshot of Paul’s penultimate six-word story found in the backlog of email notifications in my inbox this morning:



Yes, he was known to sometimes occasionally have vented emotionally-vexed rants on his personal blog. Many of us using personal blog spaces and/or social media might be likely to write out our rants now and then. We’re all hopefully human, after all. Better out than in, as we might say. Some of Paul’s posts during the last few months had been deeply concerning and it’s awful to not be able to help people when they seem in need. However he always seemed to bounce back and never gave up trying. New York must be an awfully difficult place to sustain everyday living. I don’t know why anyone would ever choose to go there as a tourist given the problems tourism is causing there and elsewhere.

Yes, Paul once quite rightfully called another blogger a ‘bitch!’ as she undoubtedly was. Yes she was getting away with some hideously insulting and outrageous behaviours. Yes he was condemned by some for his ‘outburst’ and refusing to tolerate such social injustices on behalf of another blogger who Paul had chosen to stand up for in their absence and for using such an innocuous regularly used word as ‘bitch’ in response to a deeply insulting remark made against him that was edited before other readers came across the conversation. That bitch hadn’t realised another online reader was present witnessing her attack in the moment of it happening and that it hadn’t been the first occasion but a repeated deviance preying on the vulnerabilities of others. Maybe I shouldn’t dredge it up here. Paul would worry for my own personal safety in alluding to it, given that bitches’ alleged reputation for dangerous trouble-making. She might also happen to be a well-respected and influential member of blogging communities / professional circuits.

And it might all have been hot air blown cold a long time ago. Murky waters under someone else’s shoddy bridge. So it’s time to let sleeping dogs lie then, maybe, cos bitches like that one might never lose a case they can pay through the nose for and can carry on regardless.

Paul, aka Palfitness, apparently gone, but not forgotten. R.I.P. Sincere belated condolences to Paul’s family and friends in light of their sad loss.





Author: Colette B

Amateur creative (artist, writer) ...

10 thoughts on “Remembrance

  1. I was following Paul as well, and was surprised to find his blog deleted. Now I know why.

    In the past year since I have been away, I have found at least 3 bloggers I followed closely have died. At least 2 we unexpected.

    It is so sad.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think Paul was one of the first people I followed on WordPress. He was also the member of Blogging 101 Alumni (now Bloggers’ World) and pretty inspiring.

    I don’t remember reading his posts recently. But I myself was out of the community side of WordPress for pretty long.

    The news of his demise has made me sad.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’d been absent for much of summer too and on quite a slow phase much of this year and very saddened by the post notification I found lingering in email notifications. It seemed a shame to leave memory of a fellow blogger to fade into the void hence my posting here. Isn’t it uncanny how we might feel connected to people we’ve never even met and know only by visiting their blogs.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s sad to be the one who he stood up for because of the way it happened. I can say that he was slightly unreasonable in certain things but given the battle he was fighting it was not really much. That’s true about every one of us. We never know what anyone is going through leave alone doing something about it. Let’s take example of said lady in the post against whom Paul stood. I had examined her horoscope and she had also been facing opposition in relations and career which made her bitter. I was the person who invited her to forum only to find later that her demands regarding persecution of another newbie member were unreasonable and she had forgotten all warmhearted welcoming by me and conspired with others for my elimination. The way people behave is as mysterious as the way universe behaves is one thing I’ve felt in my life. I was fond of your disposition even before the debacle but you were the most vocal supporter even in my absence for which I’ve never thanked you enough because you really had nothing to gain from it and yet you raised your voice despite feeling disconcerted by all noise(as your statement ‘I wish I hadn’t joined the forum indicated’–even Rashmi made a similar remark when we were chatting behind the scenes just before my stepping down as she too got overwhelmed. I take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart and I pray for Paul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have no need to thank me. In the first instance I felt I didn’t do enough, I was exhausted, a lame excuse I know. I could barely believe what had happened before my eyes, I didn’t expect what I thought I witnessed to turn out the way it did, giving the other person too much benefit of the doubt and expecting other members of that group to be wiser to such a campaign than any of us were. That other person went on to behave in all the ways they had then complained of of this other person they outed and worse beside. Then when I witnessed Paul under attack from said other member I had to speak up in the moment. But then afterwards playing it down for benefit of group as a whole and to allow the culprit to save face a little and do the right thing although they never have and so we’re stuck with the same backstabbing surreptitious nonsense by the look of things. Hardly mature or professional standards for a so-called aspiring whatever. For some time, in the previous instance, it had looked like vultures circling awaiting an opportune moment to launch an attack on an unsuspecting victim. Not sure we’re talking about same group. Forum! It was very sad that you stepped down at that time and shouldn’t have been necessary. Online groups can be notorious for problems with trolls and such unbelievable petty spite – I refuse to join private groups (other than real world associates, study or heading for professional activity one day when health allows) for that reason, public spaces seem so much safer, everyone out in the open, nothing to hide and nothing to fear 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • No, you did plenty and I mean it. You were not the most active member and maybe some other members saved face in the face of controversy. It’s natural for us to follow the path of least resistance but you did more than most active members for someone you barely knew which is really very kind! Yes some of the things you say make complete sense and paint a good picture. Only God knows if they had the satisfaction of doing what they did or maybe they saw how futile it was. I’ve really gained more than I lost from online forums since 2008, probably because I was a loner and found universal discussion for a while. Even Blogger’s World( and who made it that) enriched me and taught me many things as a person. But I agree because for me politics and melodrama was short-lived and I knew it wasn’t anymore my place to fight for nothing. For you struggle kind of continued for much longer and yet there was no improvement–because maybe world works like this–not everything is resolved well before our eyes–if there’s something like Karma it certainly works in mysterious ways. May you find balance and peace as a respite from all that has been ongoing as strange phenomena online and offline 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • Well, it was just an absolute shame and quite unbelievable and I know there were very many of the group who were very deeply disappointed by what happened and by what was happening next. On the one hand it felt disloyal to try and be more active – but I had been trying since the beginning of joining, I and others were hoping you’d be able to return and always appreciated your understanding and support – and of course you supported and encouraged all members as equally as able and that was highly commendable. Poetry Corner was fantastic! I was hopeless at remembering enough though 🙂 I refuse to believe that all things or all people in the world work in such ways as we are alluding to, but yes, sadly, much of the world does seem to. However real it seems it is only temporary and circumstances beyond our control are exactly that.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Yes, I mean it won’t be completely wrong if I suggest that you might have witnessed enough of unreasonable behavior even in your personal life offline. Since you stand up for what you consider ‘just’ you might have felt that there are people who are maybe ‘smarter’ but not sincere and they get by fine at loss of others. At core we are animals and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s religious notions but as in animal kingdom so here in human world we all wonder so much at our own behaviors but we are driven mostly by fear instinct and that’s why our nobility seldom shows up beyond our stories and fiction at large.

          Liked by 2 people

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