Hope & Healing Through Photography and Poetic Expression


“To Live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.”

~Thomas Campbell

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I dedicate this post tonight to my dear, beautiful friend Susan who concluded her fierce battle with Melanoma today. Susan was one of the most kind, loving and loyal souls on planet earth. I shot this photo of the sun’s descent earlier tonight at Jetty 4, Susan’s favorite beach, less than two hours before I learned of her passing.

 Susan will live on in my heart, and in the hearts of so many she has touched with her warm, generous spirit.

God Bless you Susan; you will be sorely missed. We will Love you forever Dearest Friend…



78 responses

  1. i’m so very very sorry for your loss.

    June 19, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    • Thanks so much Buck…means a lot ~

      June 20, 2012 at 1:21 AM

  2. Hugs to you.

    June 20, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    • Thank you Stan – I accept ~

      June 20, 2012 at 1:21 AM

  3. my sincere sympathy in your loss.Sending you something that gave me comfort:

    “The tide recedes but leaves behind
    bright seashells on the sand
    The sun goes down, but gentle
    warmth still lingers on the sand
    the music stops, and yet it echoes
    on in sweet refrains…
    For every joy that passes,something
    beautiful remains.”

    Anonymous Blessings to you Robyn.

    June 20, 2012 at 12:30 AM

    • Jane – this is just beautiful – and a perfect ajunct to this post… Susan would have adored it to ~ this I know. Thank you from the heart…

      June 20, 2012 at 1:23 AM

  4. Tara

    I am sorry that your friend passed and I am sorry that you lost a friend.

    June 20, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    • Oh Tara – thank you so much, you are sensitive soul and i love you for that. Need to catch up soon ~ xo

      June 20, 2012 at 1:24 AM

  5. I am sending you a hug and my love through this note. This is a very touching post and your photo reminded me about Thomas Bailey quote: “What is lovely never dies, But passes into another loveliness, Star-dust or sea-foam, Flower or winged air.”

    June 20, 2012 at 1:02 AM

    • Wow poojycat, Bailey’s quote is just beautiful, and also perfect right now. Susan would love it –warm thanks for your support.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:25 AM

  6. no words, Robyn- they don’t suffice, but thoughts and feelings will

    June 20, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    • Very grateful for this Dean. You are most kind, and means a lot to me. Thank you.

      June 20, 2012 at 1:27 AM

  7. How amazing that you took this photo around the time of Susan’s passing today. I’v always been amazed at how, when we love, we somehow are connected to those we love even before death. As if the power of love prepares us to create memories that will sustain us in the midst of our pain. Being connected to Susan tonight as you photographed the beach she loved…may your tears be caught gently in the palms of the Divine. Thank you for sharing your love for Susan here with us. Blessings to you dear friend, and to all those who love Susan.

    June 20, 2012 at 1:39 AM

    • Thank you Erin. Yes – I was just informed of the exact time – and it was around 5:30 pm – this photo was taken about 6:15 pm. I am in awe of the synchronicity, and wonder if Susan’s spirit was up there in that magnificent sky saying a final farewell. I love what you said about connections – and do agree. Thank you for your warm and empathic words tonight Erin.. and for your blessings to all those close to her tonight… Much Love ~ Robyn Lee

      June 20, 2012 at 1:43 AM

  8. this memoir bowing for sun is precisely lifting. I am truly sorry for your loss. Remembering is beautiful, and you do it so selflessly.

    June 20, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    • Thank you so much Mari ~ means a lot to me. Yes – remembering is powerful, and keeps energy alive I believe. I plan to do this for Susan ~ xo

      June 20, 2012 at 2:22 AM

  9. I don’t have words – your photograph says it all.

    June 20, 2012 at 1:55 AM

    • Thank you dear Julie – hard to put in words for me as well – and made this dedication post all the more challenging… so many memories as Susan and I began our motherhood years together – so special bonds and growth – learning, discovering and more. I am in awe that I had a photo taken at precisely the timing she was was making her transition…. very special and will hold it close as a part of her always. xo

      June 20, 2012 at 2:25 AM

  10. Kathy

    Your photo is a beautiful tribute to Susan. She will continue to illuminate this world through those she loved most, her boys. Well done.

    June 20, 2012 at 3:01 AM

    • Thanks Kathy. I so agree – there was no brighter light in her world than her boys ~ and it is reflected in the fine people they have become. She will shine through them forever more. What a remarkable woman Susan was. Blessed to have had her touch my life. xo

      June 20, 2012 at 11:18 AM

  11. sorry to learn this..Hope her soul rests in peace..

    June 20, 2012 at 3:26 AM

    • Warm thanks nightlake. So appreciate ~

      June 20, 2012 at 11:19 AM

  12. Traci

    Robyn we are so sorry to hear about Susan:( Beautiful tribute to her! The beach is where I always remember her playing and watching her kids in my early 20’s and always thinking she was super mom! Rest in Peace Susan

    June 20, 2012 at 6:37 AM

    • Yes – so many good times and easy days on the beach with Susan and our children. Was ritual to us. And Super Mom – absolutely. She loved you ~ wore that wallet of yours she bought at our joint yard sale for about 10 years after 🙂 xo

      June 20, 2012 at 11:20 AM

  13. Linda

    So sorry Robyn

    June 20, 2012 at 6:42 AM

  14. Homage to Your beautiful friend – Robyn
    sending huge hugs and condolences
    They never leave us – and yes forever live in the hearts of the ones they love …….
    The expanse of sky —— wow ….
    She is there now – In the sky ……
    Beautiful homage to your friend – sending you compassion and hugs
    xo Cat

    June 20, 2012 at 7:03 AM

    • Thank you Cat… Homage is a perfect word … I so admired this woman who had a huge heart and was almost noble in her character. I agree and truly believe the spirit lives on, and thus never truly leaves us. I will miss her smile and her voice…. but will look up at the sky and see her there. Thank you for your compassion ~ Much Love RL

      June 20, 2012 at 11:23 AM

  15. ~Lady Day

    Aw dear Robyn…there is nothing that can be said that can heal this pain..your words are a loving tribute for sure. This disease stole a much loved father to some we are extremely close to…it is brutal and ugly and cruel…my heart and soul go out to you and all those she touched. We grieve together. xo

    June 20, 2012 at 7:09 AM

    • So appreciate your thoughtful words Lady Day. Yes, this is a very cruel disease, and one that should be taken very seriously. I learned a great deal about it through Susan’s battle. I feel the same as you, and wish your friend’s Dad blessings as well. Thank you for your supportive message today ~ RL

      June 20, 2012 at 11:28 AM

      • ~Lady Day

        He did not succeed in his battle…those kids and wife are strong though..having been through so much, they are good people, not all evil that touches leaves bad in it’s wake…they have turned it into good.Wishing you the best love.xo

        June 20, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    • Thanks Lady Day – I appreciate…and yes – strength somehow surfaces which is remarkable. Hoping this for her children who adored their mother immensely. xo

      June 21, 2012 at 2:16 AM

  16. I’m so very sorry…My prayers for her family and yours

    June 20, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    • Heartfelt thanks David… means a lot ~ RL

      June 20, 2012 at 11:28 AM

  17. Beautifully put Robyn…..our community mourns the lost of another cherished soul…rest in peace Susan.

    June 20, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    • Yes Kathy – thank you. You are so right… cherished soul she was. Truly genuine in every way. Will hold her memory in my heart always xo

      June 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM

  18. Nandini

    So sorry for your loss, Robyn. Friends can never leave your heart… 🙂

    Beautiful post and a great photo: it contains everything you have written.

    June 20, 2012 at 8:56 AM

    • Nandini thank so much for your lovely note today. I truly appreciate, and do feel this way about Susan… forever in my heart, as she taught me a lot and touched my life in many ways…

      June 20, 2012 at 11:31 AM

  19. So sorry for your loss, Robyn. Below is a poem by Robert Burns on a mother’s loss of a son which expresses beautifully that feeling of emptiness and pain.

    Fate gave the word, the arrow sped,
    And pierc’d my darling’s heart;
    And with him all the joys are fled
    Life can to me impart.

    By cruel hands the sapling drops,
    In dust dishonour’d laid;
    So fell the pride of all my hopes,
    My age’s future shade.

    The mother-linnet in the brake
    Bewails her ravish’d young;
    So I, for my lost darling’s sake,
    Lament the live-day long.

    Death, oft I’ve feared thy fatal blow.
    Now, fond, I bare my breast;
    O, do thou kindly lay me low
    With him I love, at rest!

    June 20, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    • Warm thanks Jack… this is a beautiful piece ~ yes it does express the feelings of deep loss very eloquently. Thank you so much for sharing and your supportive spirit today ~ Sending you good thoughts today…

      June 20, 2012 at 11:36 AM

  20. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    June 20, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    • Roxanne, thank you with kindness…appreciate your compassion today ~ much love, RL

      June 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

  21. Robyn, I heard last nite…so very sad…although I wasn’t as close to her I also feel the loss…and my family too…beautiful tribute…xox

    June 20, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    • And strange because on Monday I prepared an image and verse on the subject to be posted tomorrow…so will dedicate it to her….

      June 20, 2012 at 9:15 AM

      • Will be meaningful, I’m sure xo

        June 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    • Yes, never prepared for loosing someone who you have shared such a bond with. Thank you Meryl ~ xo

      June 20, 2012 at 11:38 AM

  22. So sorry for the loss of your dear friend, Robyn. The quote with the photo sums it up perfectly for me — “To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is not to die.” May you be comforted by sweet memories and beautiful sunsets and may she live in your heart forever. You were led to her special beach for a reason and maybe she was glinting down on you through the last of the day’s golden rays still peeking from around the clouds. Wishing you comfort and peace.

    June 20, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    • Thank you so much KT. Yes – I also knew this was the quote. Vivid memories of her as a young mom (we had very different styles of child-raising – yet taught each other so much). These memories will always give me comfort, you are so right. I do wonder why I chose to go to that beach for my short walk yesterday evening…as it’s not the one I have a legal pass for this year, so atypical. Perhaps there was a special reason ~ and the sky as I was leaving was just breathtaking, thus my snapping that last photo. There will be a void without Susan, but will hod her in my heart always… So appreciate your thoughtful note today…. RL

      June 20, 2012 at 11:44 AM

  23. So very sorry for your loss. Offering huge hugs and love to you. Your tribute to Susan is lovely. To have taken the photo right before her passing is divine timing, and I’m sure Susan is smiling huge right now to see you post her favorite beach. The loss of a friend is so difficult. The quote you chose is fitting—yes, she will live on in your heart and others’ hearts. Makes us all realize how short life is….sigh…..Spread our light, love, and beauty while we can. Holding you in thought.

    June 20, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    • Oh thank you Sam… yes, was in such shock to receive the news that I had not connected what I did yesterday by pushing myself to go out (though not feeling well) and then landing at that particular beach at that time. I do accept it as ‘Divine timing’ and to me it’s a great comfort to reflect on this photo. Will always hold her in my heart… and yes, a poignant reminder of how life is brief. Susan lived fully – and loved a lot … a great teacher for me. Appreciate your wise and warm words today Sam ~~xo

      June 20, 2012 at 11:49 AM

  24. Robyn that’s so sad. Your photo is beautiful

    June 20, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    • Thanks so very much Renee… never easy and this friend in particular. She was all “goodness” through and through…. The photo is special to me given the timing and location… will cherish it with my memories of Susan. xo

      June 20, 2012 at 11:51 AM

  25. Robyn, I’m so sorry you’ve lost a dear friend. The beautiful picture you’ve posted says to me that her light is still shining. Have a peaceful heart my friend. xoxo

    June 20, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    • Oh Jeannie, thank you for that. I am accepting that this photo is a gift from Susan, and I will frame and cherish it a long with all the other wonderful memories and lessons she has given me. Yes – light is still shining, can feel it. Appreciate your loving wishes today ~xo

      June 20, 2012 at 11:52 AM

  26. Robyn, I am very sorry. It is so hard to lose dear and loyal friends. Still, I am sure that a part of her spirit lives on in you and others whose lives she touched. Blessings, Mark

    June 20, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    • Yes Mark, I am certain this is true as her spirit was vibrant and huge! Thank you so much for your blessings today ~ RL

      June 20, 2012 at 11:53 AM

  27. Sending you very much tender love and hugs as you remember your friend today….my sympathies and condolences to you, hon…and the picture with the quote is exquisite, just perfect for the occasion…..

    June 20, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    • Can feel your love Celeste…thank you so much ~ and yes, I’m so grateful I took this shot when I did.

      June 20, 2012 at 2:27 PM

  28. So sorry for your loss.

    June 20, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    • Thanks so much Appleton… Appreciate that…

      June 20, 2012 at 6:29 PM

  29. dianne

    sorry to hear you lost a friend..

    June 20, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    • Thanks so much dianne… I know you recently had a great loss as well ~ sending hugs ….

      June 20, 2012 at 10:09 PM

  30. victoriaaphotography

    Sorry to hear you lost a friend – I’m sure she would appreciate your tribute of this beautiful image.

    June 20, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    • Thanks Victoria, I appreciate … and think Susan would likely be in very touched to see the post and all the wonderful comments. Very glad I shot that image when I did ~ xo

      June 20, 2012 at 10:11 PM

  31. I am sorry – my thoughts are with you. The image is reflecting the radiance you describe in your friend.

    June 21, 2012 at 7:23 AM

    • Oh Angel, that means a lot to me… thank you so very much for kind words today ~ still trying to accept and embrace this…but so difficult. Sending you love and light today and always ~ RL

      June 21, 2012 at 11:11 AM

  32. “Every person who goes through life is unique. Always leave a little of himself and takes a bit of us. There will be those that will be much, but there will be those who will not leave us anything. This is proof that two souls are not by chance “. (Jorge Luis Borges) Argentine writer
    Today you feel is full of memory and forever.
    Adiós señora Amiga…

    June 21, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    • Thank you Carlos… yes – I love the quote by Borges and agree. Susan has left a lot ~ unique and generous spirit with huge heart and soul. Thank you so much for your comforting words today ~ Gracias Amigo …

      June 21, 2012 at 8:59 PM

  33. apallidfire

    I am so very sorry for your loss.

    June 22, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    • Thanks so much for that…appreciate~

      June 22, 2012 at 3:39 PM

  34. Chris

    So sorry to hear of your loss Robyn, sending my best wishes to you.

    June 24, 2012 at 6:55 AM

    • Thanks so much Chris. I appreciate and will miss her much. One of those friends who loved unconditionally and ‘got it’ with the plight I face. Know you can relate ~xo

      June 24, 2012 at 10:27 AM

  35. Wow; she had a great and genuine smile and will surely be missed. It’s our loss that we did not know her, but your post helped share her essence. Z

    July 7, 2012 at 1:47 PM

  36. Thanks so much Lisa ~ Yes, so amazing you brought up her smile, at her eulogy that was focussed on a lot as her smile could light up the room. Very special lady…and I appreciate your getting to know her just a little bit here today ~ Love and Light always, Robyn Lee

    July 7, 2012 at 3:27 PM

  37. We can not deliberately erase memories. Memories can be erased only by itself. Sometimes, we remember the memories, if there are triggers that awaken a memory. The simple: Your post can also be my memory. Memory capacity, determine the quality of life … Congratulations to manage a useful memory ….. I like your post. 🙂

    July 29, 2012 at 3:40 AM

    • Thank you dear hilal. I created this post so I will always have a trigger to awaken my memory of my dear friend Susan who I loved much. Peace and Love to you ~RL

      July 29, 2012 at 11:33 AM

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