Thursday, April 15, 2010

Vale Lauri Klobas

We had sad news last night. A dearly loved member of the CompuServe Books and Writers Forum (where we all met), Lauri Klobas, has lost her battle with recurring cancer, and passed away early yesterday.

Lauri was, in her "real" life, a teleprompt operator living and working in Los Angeles. Her work was fascinating, and her love of life was infectious- she adored her cats, and she loved her home.

Lauri wrote regular "Letters from Home" at the Forum, the collection of which can be found here, including a fascinating insight into the Oscars and what it was like to work them.

Though I never met Lauri, and I came to the Forum after she'd been there a long time, she was to me (as to everyone else) a warm, kind and welcoming presence. After my daughter was born with all kinds of trouble, Lauri would send me regular messages checking to see how we were going. When it became clear that Sophie was doing great, she was there to celebrate that too. She was the kind of person who just cared.

I sent Lauri a card a couple of days ago- too late to reach her in time, sadly- in which I thanked her for all her support, and told her it was our turn to think of her now. And it reminded me, in writing it, how often we forget to tell people directly how much they mean to us, or that a particular act has changed our world for the better.

I tried to think of something I could post in tribute to Lauri, and my mind went immediately to the Oscars, which she worked for many years. And the perfect clip presented itself right away, too- both funny and moving, full of hope, joy for life, and remembrance, all in one. This is the crazy win in 1999 of Roberto Benigni, Italian director and actor, for Best Foreign Film for the wonderful La Vita e Bella (Life is Beautiful).

It's one of my favourite movies- beautiful and heartbreaking all at once, it always leaves me in floods of tears. But the message of the film is so strong, and so relevant now- no matter what fate throws at you, even death, there is still beauty in the world, and a life lived with love is a beautiful one indeed.

So, for Lauri- thanks for reminding us all, time and again, that la vita e bella. You will be so missed by all of your friends.

Click here to watch the video (embedding is, annoyingly, disabled for this one)


  1. Claire,
    As you know, I recently watched this film and was deeply moved by its message. What a beautiful tribute to Lauri.

  2. Perfect choice, Claire.

    Lauri will be very sadly missed.

  3. Thanks for posting this, Claire. I remember watching this Oscar moment at the time...and it really was such an uplifting thing to see. That guy just has a lot of joy. :)

    I'm so sad about Lauri, but glad her suffering has ended. She will be missed.

  4. That's a lovely tribute, Claire.

  5. I linked to this tribute from my blog, where I also wrote a few memories of Lauri. A very sad day for us, but my hope is that it's a happy one for her. Thanks for sharing your memories and thoughts about Lauri. She was a special lady, a gifted editor and writer, and a good friend. I will miss her long newsy emails in my in box, her presence on the forum, and knowing she was "just down the highway" from me (about 11 hours worth of it) in So Cal.

  6. A wonderful movie and sentiment to celebrate Lauri's life.

  7. Thank you, Claire, for honoring my dear friend Lauri this way. She and I met in 1975, when we were camp counselors together. In recent years, she's spoken of her online communities with great love and appreciation. You and your fellow writers enriched her life more than you know, and those of us who have known and loved her forever are grateful to you all.

  8. Dear Melissa,

    We're all feeling the loss of Lauri- I can imagine how great your sadness is right now, having known her for so long. She was and always will be part of a big writing family, and I know that thanks in part to her support and help there will be a lot of published books in years to come with her name in the dedications.

    If you follow the above link to Lauri's collected letters at the Writers Forum, you'll find a couple of other threads in which people are talking about Lauri and the impact she had on their lives.

    Sending you some big internet {{hugs}} in solidarity.