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Mommy blogger Heather Armstrong, known as Dooce, dies aged 47

The blogger behind Dooce leaves behind two daughters


Heather Armstrong attends the Yahoo News/ABC News White House Correspondents' dinner reception pre-party at the Washington Hilton on Saturday, April 25, 2015 in Washington, DC
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
May 10, 2023
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Heather Armstrong, once considered “The Queen of Mommy Blogging," and known for her motherhood blog Dooce, taken from her nickname, has died.

The late "mommy blogger" was 47. The news was first shared on her Instagram page on May 10, with a photo of the late influencer looking up at an ornate, yellow ceiling.

The statement read: "Heather Brooke Hamilton aka Heather B. Armstrong aka dooce aka love of my life. July 19, 1975 - May 9, 2023. 'It takes an ocean not to break.' Hold your loved ones close and love everyone else."

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Armstrong's boyfriend, Pete Ashdown, revealed the cause of death was suicide, and told The Associated Press he found her Tuesday night at their Salt Lake City home. She is survived by Pete, as well as by kids Leta, 19, and Marlo, 14, whom she welcomed with her ex-husband, Jon Armstrong.

Jon made a comment on the post that announced the heartbreaking news, replying "Afraid so," to someone in the comments who asked: "What??? Tell me this doesn't mean what I think this means?"

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Fellow bloggers and celebrities alike have expressed their sorrow and condolences in the comments section under the post, with The Pioneer Woman star Ree Drummond writing: "My heart is breaking," as Jenny Lawson of The Bloggess added: "I don't have the words except to say that I'm holding her family in the light."

Others followed suit with: "Oh, Heather, I'm so sorry your pain was that overwhelming. I understand. My heart aches for your family," and: "Have been reading Dooce from the very beginning. I'm so sorry," as well as: "Thank you for carving the path for so many, Heather."

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The late blogger first rose to prominence when she launched her blog, Dooce, in 2001, years before the boom of mommy and fashion bloggers exploded. She was based in Salt Lake City, Utah, a state that along with Arizona has become known to be a hotbed for many similar influencers, such as Aspyn Ovard, Amber Fillerup, Emilie Kiser, Tezza Barton, Rachel Parcell, Jaci Marie Smith, and more. 

She eventually turned her blog into an Instagram career as well, and later expanded her candid, relatable, and vulnerable writing past her blog and into a book, a 2009 memoir titled It Sucked and then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown and a Much Needed Margarita.

Armstrong split from her husband in 2012, and she later started dating Pete, a former U.S. Democratic senate candidate, six years ago. They lived together in Utah with Leta and Marlo, and he has three children from a previous marriage, who AP reports spent time in their home as well.

Heather Armstrong attends the Yahoo News/ABC News White House Correspondents' dinner reception pre-party at the Washington Hilton on Saturday, April 25, 2015 in Washington, DC© Getty
Heather at the Yahoo News/ABC News White House Correspondents' dinner reception pre-party in 2015

Armstrong previously struggled with depression and alcoholism, and while her boyfriend told the AP she had been sober for over 18 months, he revealed she had recently relapsed. She previously opened up about her struggle with alcoholism on Dooce. She wrote in a previous blog post: "On October 8th, 2021 I celebrated six months of sobriety by myself on the floor next to my bed feeling as if I were a wounded animal who wanted to be left alone to die.

"There was no one in my life who could possibly comprehend how symbolic a victory it was for me, albeit... one fraught with tears and sobbing so [violently] that at one point I thought my body would split in two. The grief submerged me in tidal waves of pain. For a few hours I found it hard to breathe," she further wrote, adding: "Sobriety was not some mystery I had to solve. It was simply looking at all my wounds and learning how to live with them."

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.

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