Love, Life and Loss

posted in: Life 37 comments

I had another post scheduled today.

But on February 6, 2012, a star went out in this world.

Susan Niebur of Toddler Planet, passed away.

She was a four-time cancer survivor and fought inflammatory breast cancer fearlessly.

Instead of wallowing in self-pity, she lived the life she was given to its fullest. She campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness about inflammatory breast cancer; she wrote about the joys and challenges of parenting and in the process, she touched many lives.

Lives of people she’d never met. Like mine.

I wish I’d connected more with Susan, instead of silently reading her blog, feeling at a loss for words at what in the face of all she was going through.

Reading her story made me realize a few things.

How fortunate I am to have the life I have.

How lucky I am for the health I’ve been given.

How grateful I am for the blessings of my children.

How it takes my breath away for the love I have in my life and in the blogging world.

Thank you Susan, for who you were, and the legacy you have left.

I hope that you know that you touched many lives. Mine included.

Rest in peace.

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Stephanie of Dial M for Minky is doing a wonderful thing for Susan’s two children. She is collecting stories about Susan and collating them into a book for Susan’s two boys. I’m contributing this post. If you have anything to share, please do connect with Stephanie here.

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • February 9, 2012 Jessica

    I didn’t know about Susan until she passed away but it has been very sweet to see the blogosphere honoring her life.
    Jessica recently wrote…How Pinterest Almost Got MeMy Profile

  • February 9, 2012 Kimberly

    Her story breaks my heart, but seeing everyone come together in her honor has been overwhelming.
    Kimberly recently wrote…A Glimpse Of Our FutureMy Profile

  • February 9, 2012 Elaine

    I only “knew” Susan through her tweets and some of her posts that I read but yes, she was an amazing woman and will be truly missed.

    Beautiful words, Alison.
    Elaine recently wrote…My Kids Crack Me UpMy Profile

  • February 9, 2012 Jen Has A Pen

    My heart breaks for her family. Great post, Alison.
    Jen Has A Pen recently wrote…DirtyMy Profile

  • February 9, 2012 Elena

    What a beautiful post, Alison. I saw the news yesterday and it is just truly heartbreaking. I read her blog throughout her journey as well and I was very sad to hear of her passing. What a fantastic idea that Stephanie is doing – putting a book together for her children.
    Elena recently wrote…How I Spend My Friday Nights…My Profile

  • February 9, 2012 LisaDay

    How awful. My condolences to all who knew her. What a lovely idea to contribute your post to the book.


  • February 9, 2012 angela

    This is a lovely tribute, and I am happy Stephanie is putting something like that together for Susan’s boys.

  • February 9, 2012 Jocelyn

    So very beautifully put.
    Jocelyn recently wrote…FlutterMy Profile

  • February 9, 2012 Practical Parenting

    Beautifully written. Such a sad story, yet full of hope.
    Practical Parenting recently wrote…Three Good ThingsMy Profile

  • February 10, 2012 Jenni Chiu

    A lovely post…
    and I also have so much to be grateful for. I was only just introduced to Susan last week, and am so touched by her.
    Had no idea what STephanie was doing…that’s amazing.
    Jenni Chiu recently wrote…Arm and Hammer tried to kill me.My Profile

  • February 10, 2012 Runnermom-jen

    It’s so sad. I just keep thinking about her boys. I didn’t know that about the book…what an awesome thing to do for her children. Gives me chills to think about it.
    Runnermom-jen recently wrote…If I Die Young…My Profile

  • February 10, 2012 Jessica

    This is a beautiful tribute. I, unfortunately, never had the pleasure to know Susan in this life, but I have gotten a chance to know some of her in her death. And I am thankful for that.
    Jessica recently wrote…On raising babies and toddlersMy Profile

  • February 10, 2012 jlweinberg/jen

    Beautifully said. Susan’s story really touched me and is a true reminder to hold tight to all we have.
    jlweinberg/jen recently wrote…Jeans: A Loathe AffairMy Profile

  • February 10, 2012 Robin

    Ditto to all that. It’s just so incredibly sad.
    Robin recently wrote…Valentines RevisitedMy Profile

  • February 10, 2012 Galit Breen

    My heart has been hurting, too.
    Galit Breen recently wrote…Call for Submissions!My Profile

  • February 10, 2012 Stasha Becker

    I am speechless. We truly are fortunate.
    It is wonderful you all chose to celebrate her life. Rest in peace Susan.
    Stasha Becker recently wrote…Blue HorseMy Profile

  • February 10, 2012 Sorta Southern Single Mom

    This is the second tribute I have come across this morning. I was not familiar with her blog, but you all are doing her well by remembering her.
    Sorta Southern Single Mom recently wrote…Saturday, February 9, 2002My Profile

  • February 10, 2012 Lady Jennie

    I only just learned of her and I am very sad.

  • February 10, 2012 Mirjam

    This last week on twitter I’ve been reading everywhere about her, I’m sorry I never ‘met’ her.
    Is that quote yours Alison? It is unbelievably beautiful and so seemly..
    Mirjam recently wrote…Faded beautyMy Profile

  • February 10, 2012 Missy

    So sad. I’ve been reading some of the posts all week and they’re all so powerful – this one included. You are doing such a good thing submitting it for her sons.

    It makes me want to hug my children when they get home today.

    Thanks, Alison.
    Missy recently wrote…Friday Public Service Announcement – a Rockin’ Super FoodMy Profile

  • February 10, 2012 Klz

    Blogging exposes us to so many things, including loss. But that’s life.

    Peace for susan’s family.

  • February 11, 2012 Lola

    Lovely post, Alison. This is just another reminder that we have to slow down and take the time to truly appreciate what we have, while we have it. You just never know what the future may hold.
    Lola recently wrote…Good News, Bad NewsMy Profile

  • February 11, 2012 Jessica

    thanks for sharing this, Alison. I didn’t know Susan, but lost my mother-in-law to the same disease and hope everyone will read about IBS and be vigilant. My heart goes out to her family.
    Jessica recently wrote…Friday MissionMy Profile

  • February 11, 2012 Amber

    Wonderful post. Her family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Amber recently wrote…The Tale Of tommyMy Profile

  • February 11, 2012 Classic NYer

    Wow… may she rest in peace.
    Classic NYer recently wrote…On something badMy Profile

  • February 11, 2012 Denise

    I was peripherally aware of Susan’s battle and wish I had interacted more as it is obvious how much she touched so many. A very sad thing.
    Denise recently wrote…When You Don’t Want To See YourselfMy Profile

  • February 11, 2012 Kelley

    That was beautiful, Alison. I placed a link to her blog on my personal FB page. Her story needs to go around the world. What a tragedy that those boys have lost their mother.
    Kelley recently wrote…All wine is basically the same, right?My Profile

  • February 11, 2012 Kimberly

    Was absolutely amazing and will continue to be for many years to come.
    Such a loss of a beautiful soul.
    Kimberly recently wrote…I Bet You’re Wondering…My Profile

  • February 11, 2012 Ado

    Oh my God. This is so sad. I think she is a friend of a friend of mine. That was a beautiful post for you to write about her.
    Ado recently wrote…Show And TELLMy Profile

  • February 12, 2012 Charlotte

    Oh, dear 🙁 This is just so sad. I didn’t know Susan, but my heart aches for her family and children.

    Thanks for a wonderful tribute. XOXO
    Charlotte recently wrote…tides of my life and the rest of it allMy Profile

  • February 12, 2012 Tina

    I heard her speak at a conference a few months ago and she brought tears to everyone’s eyes. She was such a strong, inspirational woman. Beautiful post and what a nice thing to do for her two boys 🙂

  • February 12, 2012 My Inner Chick

    I just read about this courageous woman.

    Thank you for this blog post.

    She sounds amazing. x

  • February 13, 2012 Tristine

    I’m so sorry to hear about this loss! My mother is suffering from recurring breast cancer, which is incurable, and is battling for her life. She is in her third YEAR of aggressive chemo and it’s starting to truly take a toll on her. It’s an awful disease!
    Tristine recently wrote…The AccusedMy Profile

  • February 14, 2012 Tonya

    I didn’t know Susan’s story until it was too late. This is a lovely memorial to her and all the reasons we should appreciate every moment we are given.
    Tonya recently wrote…Remembering WhitneyMy Profile

  • February 14, 2012 JDaniel4's Mom

    What a wonderful tribute to an amazing lady.
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently wrote…Muffin Tin Monday- Homemade Granola HeartMy Profile

  • February 14, 2012 Jessie Powell

    I did the same thing, read without being able to think of much to say. And I feel so sad. What a terrible loss of an incredible warrior.
    Jessie Powell recently wrote…Valentine in BlueMy Profile

  • February 22, 2012 Susan

    I read this post already but came back to read it again.
    Such a sad story. And I feel the same way you do…I silently read but never left any words of encouragement etc. Just didn’t know what to say.
    This is lovely.
    Susan recently wrote…In.Spired Series ~ Bouffe e BambiniMy Profile

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