Fodors' Contributor's Death Left A Virtual Absence

"Robespierre" was an opinionated and regular contributor (sometimes five times a week) to the online travel site Fodors.com — until his postings stopped abruptly in July. He had died of cancer.

Nearly 200 people responded when his obit was announced in September — people who followed his posts religiously, though often disagreeing with him vehemently.

Essayist Henry Alford offers a meditation on what it means to lose someone you know only virtually.

Produced by Wendy Dorr. The Obituary Project was produced by Emily Botein, with Posey Gruener and edited by Deborah George. Production support from Robin Wise. The Obituary Project was made possible with support from the New York State Council on the Arts.

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