Goodbye, Brimstone Butterfly - In Memoriam

I decided to re-post this in loving memory of a friend - a virtual friend but one I find I miss quite a lot - and one which others appear to as well judging by the comments this article has received over the past three years. Please read them and when you see a butterfly, any butterfly, send out a thought for Caro - wherever she may be.

Most of my author friends have favourite blogs they dip in and out of to find tidbits of historical information we have not found anywhere else - most of which we confirm in other sources, but many a fascinating piece of trivia can be found in a blog. One I followed and visited often, is called The Brimstone Butterfly, written by a lady called Caro Riikonen. Coincidentally, she told a story on BBC Radio I listened to in the car once printed here, and I feel this epitomises the type of person she was. It's a sad, but uplifting story of when she was caught in a house fire.

The subject of my current wip lived in one of the places Caro posted about, and she also visited and photographed many of the historic places of interest in my neighbourhood of Richmond, Kew and Twickenham which I love.

I clicked on the blog today to find some pictures of a particular historic house I knew she had visited, only to discover Caroline's farewell to those who read and appreciated her writing - on 10th February, 2012, Caro took her own life. She was 53.

We never met, but not only will I miss her blog, I will miss her too. Goodby Caro, and though you may not have known it, you were thought of by many and very much appreciated.

First posted in May 2012 - please read the comments below


Christy McKee said…
What a lovely thought and tribute.
Anne Gallagher said…
Oh that's just so sad. I'm sorry for you.
Ginger Simpson said…
Oh my gosh. How very sad. We do tend to assume there will always be tomorrow. I' still trying to wrap my head around the loss of Sharon Donovan. I guess we should let folks know how much we value them while we can. Thanks for the reminder.
Morgan Mandel said…
Terrible she didn't feel appreciated.
Maryann Miller said…
That is so sad. Sorry for your loss. We do feel close to people we meet online, and it is hard to lose them.
Petrea Burchard said…
While researching Hampton Court I came across Caro's blog and never left. Into each post she injected care and thought, not to mention deep research and her own delightful wit. It was a pleasure to read her writing and to correspond with her.

I still think of her every day and I will always be sorry that she decided to go. But I'm grateful she left her blog for us.
Carol Harvey said…
Depression is such a debilitating illness. I never knew of this lady until I read your post but, because of it, I am saddened by her death. We all need to remember to tell people how very much they mean to us, there's no telling how long we'll have them in our lives.
Anne said…
I stumbled on to her site just a hour ago and was delighted with it, looking forward to following it etc...only to find she had passed on.

I googled her name and found your post, which told me the story.

I was saddened , but not surprised she ended her own life. Simply because she seemed someone in a good deal of pain. Which gave a great deal to her writing on the posts. There is supremely informed urgency to what she has to say. It's terribly sad
sarah vincent said…
I too stumbled on BB's blog whilst researching for a new novel set in my old home patch of Twickenham and Orleans house. Such incredible charm, wit and elegance. I was about to follow so dismayed to hear of her death. Like the last commentator I googled her and it led me to your blog. A little late but I felt the need to leave some kind of tribute.
Anonymous said…
I used to read her posts from time to time - years ago - a different computer, a different house. And today I found the blog address in an old notebook, scribbled and saved for another time's perusal. How very sad to find her gone. I searched for details and have now read the newspaper notice of her passing, and here on this blog this beautiful tribute. How wonderful it is that Caro, the Brimstone Butterfly to her readers, lives on in her words and the minds and hearts of those who immortalize her - like another beautifully complex, tragic character that once in a while, like out of the pages of a book, one encounters in life. What better monument? One can only hope that she can feel missed she is and how appreciated. So yes. Go out and tell people you appreciate them when you do. It lifts the spirits when it is genuine, and a smile can be contagious and save a life. With her wit, Caro may just have saved many lives, and her wonderful intimate lunches and dinner parties... and stories! A loss to those who knew her, but thanks to her generosity, out there for others who have still her words and images to remember and know her.
Anita Davison said…
Thank you to everyone who added their thoughts to my post about Caro Rikkonen. I received one today and again I was reminded with sadness of this lady who loved beauty, poetry, history and even food, but not herself. I think of her often and regret that I have lost her, although we never met in person. How tragic she will never know how many lives she touched. I have one thing to thank her for in that I met Petrea Burchard on her blog and we are now virtual - but good friends.
Rest In Peace Caro.
Petrea Burchard said…
Like many of you, I loved Caro's blog and went searching for her online when I found out she was gone. I wish she could know how many people loved her words, her wit, her elegance, as someone said. I also wish she could know that thanks to her I've found a friend in Anita. I would have loved to tour a great English house together, the three of us. I still hope Anita will show me around Ham House one day, and we'll drink a glass to Caro.

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