Getting up this morning, I’d intended to write about tonight’s 2015 DANI Awards, which I felt privileged to judge and be a part of. I’d also intended to write about this blog’s shortlisting for the Blog Awards Ireland 2015 and encourage public voting.
But all of that flew right out the window when I heard of the passing of Dana Lookadoo.
I can’t lay claim to any sort of close relationship with Dana. Like many in the SEO industry, I knew her only from afar. I first got to know her through the SEO Training Dojo where we discussed SEO and all things digital. Dana would be especially active on our shared Skype group chat, where her wit and intellect brightened up every day.
We emailed a few times and chatted on social media about SEO and related matters, but no more. Yet I felt, like so many others, that she was a powerful and bright presence in our industry and community.
When Dana suffered a severe cycling accident in 2013, we all held our breath. But she survived, and began a long and tortuous road to recovery. She found solace in her faith during this time, something which is entirely alien to me, but it gave her strength and courage and for that I can only be grateful.
A private Facebook group was created to keep up to date on Dana’s progress, offer support and advice, and provide financial aid where possible. I’d like to think Dana drew a lot of strength and encouragement from that group, from our continued messages of support and love, showing how much we all cared about her.
Unfortunately Dana’s journey of recovery was full of pain and countless setbacks, and when her trickle of Facebook postings faded to an almost complete silence, many feared the worst. Though we still hoped, and prayed – each in our own way – that she might bounce back and emerge stronger than ever.
Alas, that was not meant to be. Dana Lookadoo passed away on Monday, and yesterday her husband Ed broke the news on the private Facebook group.
The SEO industry mourns her today. All who knew her, even from afar, will miss her presence greatly. There is talk of a scholarship to be set up in her name, and when I’ve details I’ll update with ways to donate to it.
Rest peacefully, Dana. Your pain has gone away, but ours has just begun. The world is slightly less bright without you in it.
Update: the website for the Dana Lookadoo Memorial Scholarship Fund is now live. Donation details can be found there.