I am really sad to hear that Liberal Democrat blogger Rachel Smith, who blogged as Rachel Olgeirsson, and was also on Twitter as @rachelolgeirsso, passed away in the early hours of yesterday.
We knew that she'd been undergoing treatment for Leukaemia, which she'd faced with great bravery, raising money for charity since her diagnosis last Summer.
I never met her in real life. I just got to know her over Twitter, where she was unfailingly kind and generous and very, very funny. We tweeted through lots of episodes of the Apprentice and Strictly together. When I wasn't well last year, she was always full of encouragement and positivity. I know I wasn't alone. Just looking back through her Twitter timeline just now, and can see where she's had a sympathetic word for others even when she was in hospital herself.
My thoughts are with her husband and boys.They'll be going through hell, and nothing will give them solace at the moment. Maybe it'll help them at some point in the future to know how widely liked, respected and appreciated Rachel was.
Update: Spidey has also written a lovely tribute to Rachel and also given a link to her Christmas fundraising page.
Update 2 Sara Bedford has also written a beautiful post on Liberal Democrat Voice.
Update 3: And Rob has also paid tribute to Rachel.