I’ve been staring at this blank screen for days… ever since I got the news about Susan Niebur. The words to pass the news, well, they just haven’t come… I wish they didn’t need to.
WhyMommy gave up her five year fight against Inflammatory Breast Cancer on Monday, February 6, 2012. Her husband posted a touching final post on her personal blog, Toddler Planet.
It just doesn’t seem that mere words are sufficient to pay tribute to one such as Susan. Well, maybe I feel that MY words aren’t sufficient. After all, I only knew WhyMommy, the blogger, the cancer patient, the advocate. The part of herself that she shared with the world at large. I only met her once in 2007. I am very sad to say I didn’t know her personally. And yet, she changed my life.
The words to memorialize her for the world just won’t come. Others have been far more eloquent on that score than I could ever be. The only words I have are those for Susan herself; words I couldn’t share with her while she was still here because mourning was not what I wanted between us at the end.
My very dearest, Susan –
This is the second letter I’ve written to you. It is no less heartfelt than the first. Just over four years ago I was troubled to read that you thought you were dying. I thought you might be giving up. Heh. How very, very wrong I was.
You stood up from that low moment in time, brushed yourself off, and stepped out on faith. You chose to live with cancer instead of die from it. You defined cancer instead of letting it define you. I read along with the rest of the blogosphere as you pushed at boundaries in the cancer world. I marveled at your mad advocacy skillz. I envied your bravery, your passion, your tireless drive. I grabbed your coattails and held on… as Mothers With Cancer was born.
I have been privileged to share in even that small portion of the changes you orchestrated in the breast cancer world, the eyes you opened, the women you educated, the lives you most likely saved. You have been a mentor in all things: advocacy, motherhood, loving, living. In short, I am and have always been, awed by you.
I will miss your voice, Susan. I mourn the loss of your gentle guidance and insight. I will never forget the lessons you taught me. My world, the whole world, is better because of you.
Godspeed, my friend.
Here are a few pins from Susan. They are pretty self explanatory.