Tue 7 Feb 2012
All that survives after our death are publications and people.
So look carefully after the words you write, the thoughts and publications you create, and how you love others. For these are the only things that will remain.
— Susan Niebur
I first discovered Susan Niebur a few months after Emma was born. I had been blogging for a while, but was just tuning into the world of parenting blogs and somehow I stumbled across WhyMommy at Toddler Planet. We both had a six month old baby, we both lived in the Silver Spring area and we were both bloggers. There were a few differences though – Susan was a rocket scientist, and she had just been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer.
Her writing captivated me from the beginning. She was a beautiful and honest writer who loved her family and friends with all her heart. But I almost couldn’t stand reading her posts as she underwent chemotherapy and contemplated questions that no parent wants to even imagine – how long would she be able to fight the cancer, how much time – measured in years, months, days – would she be able to spend with her children. Then I decided that I had to read it, as uncomfortable as it was, because she had to live it. So I read. For years I read and followed and wondered at the courage and grace and joy of this woman. I read as she had recurrences of the cancer. I read as she lived and loved and fought. I always hoped I would meet her – at a local mommy blogging event or maybe even at BlogHer some year. I never made it to BlogHer and I never met Susan.
Susan fought and fought against IBC for years – more years than the doctors said she could – but her fight ended yesterday.
The blogosphere is weeping with her loss. She was an amazing mother, friend, rocket scientist and blogger. She has made me want to work at being a better mother and friend and… person, really.
I weep too – for her children, for her husband and family and for her closest friends. Her friends who did meet her, and who were there for her and who are now devastated by her loss. The world is a much different place without her in it.
Goodbye Susan. I am glad you aren’t in pain anymore, even though I know you would endure never ending pain if it meant just another day with your boys. I hope in the end you knew how much you meant to so many many people. How inspired we all are by you and how loved you are.