Heather Armstrong, founder of one of the first mommy blogs, Dooce.com, has died, according to an Instagram post on her account. She was 47 years old.
«Heather Brooke Hamilton aka Heather B. Armstrong aka Dooce aka the love of my life. July 19, 1975 – May 9, 2023. ‘It takes an ocean not to break’. Keep your loved ones close and love everyone else,» the post on Instagram. read.
She is survived by her daughters Leta, 19, and Marlo, 14; her ex-husband, Jon Armstrong, and her boyfriend, Pete Ashdown.
A request for comment sent to Jon Armstrong was not immediately returned. In response to an Instagram comment expressing his disbelief that the news was true, he wrote: «I’m afraid so.»
Armstrong died by suicide, Ashdown told the Associated Press. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Once considered «Queen of Mommy BloggersArmstrong rose to fame in the early days of the internet, becoming one of the first «momfluencers» and paving the way for many other women to follow with the advent of Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and other social media.
His blog was launched in 2001 and quickly grew in popularity for its candor. She shared her experiences leaving the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with sex, and discussed the ups and downs of raising her daughters.
In 2009, Forbes named Armstrong one of the most influential women in media, noting that her blog had an average of 300,000 followers at the time.
in a April 15, 2012 interview with TODAY’s Savannah GuthrieArmstrong said she was «really scared» to share the news of her divorce from her husband.
“A lot of people bring their own perspective and experience to something like this and I didn’t know if talking about it was going to destroy everything,” Armstrong said at the time. «I thought I had to talk about it, because I didn’t feel authentic for not sharing what I was going through, because I’ve been so open about my life for almost 11 years.»
Armstrong was also open about her mental health, particularly her battle with depression.
He has published several books, including a book of essays entitled «Things I Learned From My Dad (In Therapy): Essays»; a memoir titled «I Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much-Needed Margarita»; and a book about his struggle with suicidal depression entitled «The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live.»
After news of Armstrong’s death broke on social media, many reflected on what his blog had meant to them.
«Shocking to hear that Heather Armstrong died yesterday,» author Roxane Gay wrote in a tweet. «It’s hard to put into words just how influential she was in the blogosphere. I hope she is at peace and that her children and loved ones find solace where they can.»
Author Lyz Lens tweeted that Armstrong showed her she could self-publish online and write on her own terms without a publisher.
«She was an avid reader of twelve and her second and first children are similar ages and her writing got me through some very difficult moments of motherhood and made me feel healthy, seen and laugh through tears,» Lens wrote.
Some online said they were saddened by the news, despite having mixed feelings towards Armstrong’s blog after a 2022 post, in which he made comments about transgender people being critics described as transphobic.
«I am shocked in so many ways to learn of Heather’s death,» one person said. tweeted. «I started reading Dooce when I was still a Mormon, she was a parenting blogger while she was the oldest, and I recently unfollowed her because she expressed transphobic views. It’s like my whole relationship with the internet.»
«I used to be a big fan of Dooce – his mental health writing did a lot for me back then,» another person tweeted. «She lost me years ago, but she checked me in to see how the kids were doing, and hoped she would get help. I’m heartbroken for her children.»
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, formerly known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255text HOME to 741741 or visit TalkingSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.
Kait Hanson, TODAY contributed.