The news hit the natural hair blogosphere over the weekend and so many people I know and love are still reeling. Popular YouTube vlogger Dawnyele passed away this weekend, reportedly from complications due to pregnancy. I never met her or knew her, but from the wave of emotion I’ve been witnessing online amongst my natural hair family, I know I truly missed out. Dawnyele was loved by so many, and she was a genuine, warm, true friend to many people I know and care about.

This hits so hard because you can truly feel like you know someone through what they share online. Dawnyele was open about her life and shared her experiences, warmth and wisdom freely. Her subscribers and friends all knew how excited Dawnyele was about being a mother. She was 33 years old — that’s my age, too and it hits so close to home. This news is so shocking and so sad. My heart truly goes out to her closest friends and family. Words can’t express how this loss would feel.

Dawnyele’s son has survived and her family appreciates all the love and support we can give. If there is anything you can do to support her family, please do — click here to learn more and to donate. Click here to see the baby registry and support with other gifts. And thank you to Pamela of Koils By Nature for filling me in on everything. You were a true friend to her.

RIP, Dawnyele. Thank you for sharing your light and knowledge and warmth with the world. You were loved and valued by so many, and to say you will be missed is an understatement.

Sending all my love to those who knew and loved Dawnyele.

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