Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Bob


This is the most difficult thing I will ever write on this blog, but I feel a very strong need to do it.
Last week, my best friend, my soul-mate, my constant companion for 44 years, my husband Bob died suddenly and unexpectedly in his sleep. We first met when I was sixteen and he was eighteen in 1969. I had just started study at the Tasmanian School of Art and he was that quixotic, passionate, articulate second year student who had me immediately transfixed. Someone said of him a day or two ago that "the air around him was electric". So true. People were drawn to him. We were married in 1971; still kids really. We went on to have two children and now five grand-children, to whom he was beloved "Papa". Being married to Bob was a mad, wonderful, glorious wild ride......never a dull moment!


He taught me so many things - without him I would be nothing like the person I am today. He gave me a deep and abiding love for literature, art, wine and people, but most of all he shared with me his love of wild, unspoiled places. He was always supportive of all the things I did - my art and music and I know he was proud of me.

With Lyle Closs at Big Gun Pass, 1976

Bob  was a writer, a photographer, an artist, an avid reader and lover of ideas. His intellect was incisive and he could argue under wet concrete (much to the chagrin of a few of the politicians etc that he clashed horns with in later years). As a rock-climber he seems to have achieved the status of "legend".

Below the cliffs on Ben Lomond

He was a Art teacher, much beloved by so many of his former students, quite a few of whom went on to become successful. It is a measure of this man that some of the very many people, he touched in some way are coming from, England, from Shanghai, from all parts of Australia to farewell him on Friday. Among them are climbers, ex-students, artists, politicians and some very dear friends.

2006 saw him reluctantly drawn into a political bunfight over a proposal to build a pulp mill in our beautiful valley. Bob was so struck by the injustice of allowing such a chemical monster to blight our valley without properly assessing the consequences, that he fought doggedly to make sure it didn't happen. Because he was so articulate, he became the media "go-to" person. When the phone would ring at 6 am for an early interview, he would open his eyes and start to make sense before he was even properly awake, such was his grasp on the issues. Sometimes the phone would still be ringing at 10 pm. And when others around him were dithering and vacillating and turning wishy-washy, he remained steadfast and unwavering. He was a true inspiration. To date, there is no pulp mill and the possibility of there ever being one in our valley seems remote.


Bob loved good food, excellent wine and  intelligent conversation with dear friends around the dinner table. He was immensely proud of the fact that we could provide an excellent meal most of which came straight out of our garden.

In the summer, I will be scattering Bob's ashes from the top of the cliffs he loved so much, so he can blow around there for eternity and be at one with his mountain.

So, my best friend, my love.......go well. Your mountains are calling you home.






62 comments:

Tracey said...

I'm sorry.
I'm so sorry.
It doesn't help you that a stranger who never comments is crying in Arizona, USA because your husband passed but I am and I am so sorry.
I believe, KNOW, there is more than just our physical bodies.

Leanne E said...

I am so saddened by your loss. I have lived through it once already, now 17 years ago, and am finally starting to feel whole again. I have another dear soul in my life that has taken me on when I felt like only half a person, and once again, my life has been blessed... Sending you sunshine and hugs to accompany you along this journey...

Fran said...

My love to you and your family, his passing will leave a huge gap in Tassie, he will be missed, hugz Fran

Mary Ann said...

I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. I am very deeply saddened by it. My thoughts are with you and your family. Take care.

Sherri Farley said...

I lost my little sister on Monday, so to hear of your loss hits me so close to home. I too posted about her, it was so hard. My sincerest condolences are with you and your family.

Judi Hunziker said...

Susie, again my profound sympathies to you and your family. Thank you for your post,as difficult as it was for you to write, I am glad you shared with us this wonderful man. You were truly blessed. Bob will always be with you as the love you both shared never dies. Hugs, Judi

Marilou Bain said...

I am so very sorry for your loss, may your memories hold him close to your heart as his spirit will remain with you forever, may you find comfort in family and friends.
With sincere love and hugs, Marilou

Wilma said...

I am so very sorry to hear of this very sad news. What a great contribution to mankind and the earth you have as a small comfort and as is often said, great men make a difference to the lives of others. Your story has inspired me.

Cody Goodin said...

Oh. Susie I am just gobsmacked. I weep for your loss of your soul mate. I believe we love and who leave us all too soon are never gone completely. My heart goes out to you my friend.

Ian Johnston said...

Dear sister Susie. Beautifully written.
Bob was a huge influence on my early life. Catching the train to Hobart when you were at Art School to be literally dragged up cliffs Bob thought I should climb and then being able to experience the sense of wonder at reaching the top. Life rushed at me through the fogged up windscreen of a VW beetle spearing through back roads far too early in the morning. He took me to so many places, so many! Winter Epics: middle of winter, middle of the Reserve with little more than bread, cheese and wine, just to be there camped on the snow. He introduced me to red wine and a love of adventure and outdoors that is still here. Just a couple of months ago I was sitting on top of Mt Rugby after sailing to the west coast with Bob Bull - a climber introduced to me by Bob more than 40 years ago.

So many family gatherings - always wine and always raucous laughter. Wonderful memories. I'll miss him and every red wine I now have is with him. Love Ian.

Karen said...

Oh im so very sorry to hear such sad news, my heart goes out to you and im sending you lots of love xoxo

Yeshka said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. My warmest condolences to you and
your family. It is the hardest thing to say goodbye to the loved ones...
Its a true blessing, that you've had such a beautiful and happy life togehter.
With deepest sympathy, Joanna

Manon Visser said...

I am so sorry to hear this sad news! My thoughts are with you in this immensely sad time. Hugs for you and the family. Xx

Contrastes-Rosa Mª said...

Siento mucho tu pérdida, seguro que donde esté te reconfortará y cuidará.
Y como dices era un luchador, también estará en el recuerdo de todos. Besos

Dottie Dollie said...

So, so sorry to hear of your loss, sending you love and hugs xxxx

Jo in TAS said...

Oh Susie, I'm so sorry for your loss. You've written a beautiful post and I guess there are many more wonderful things you'll remember about him and will hold those memories close to your heart.
Thinking of You
Jo
xxx

Penny said...

Oh Susie, so terribly sorry, such a wonderful tribute you have written.
Go well.

Kate said...

Oh my dearest Susie, I ache for your loss. Your sweet Bob sounds like the perfect life companion for you and I am sorry he was taken from you all too soon. My thoughts and heart are with you.

Amanda Kar said...

Im just in shock at the passing of uncle Robert.
My heart goes out to you auntie Susie, andy, selty and kids at this time.
What an inspiration he was to many and the passion he had for life and for the things he loved.
Great stories to tell.
Always happy whenever I saw him and a laugh you just loved to hear.
will be greatly missed.
Amanda Kar(McMahon)

sirkkis said...

Kun rakas on lähtenyt ikuisuusmatkalleen jäi vain kyyneleet ja syvä kaipaus. Surun keskellä nyt, vaan toivon sinulle voimia nähdä uusia onnellisia päiviä edessäsi. Kaikki on erilaista mutta silti mahdollista.

Cheryl @ Bingle Bears said...

I can't say how sorry I am that your dear friend and soul mate is no longer here with you on this earth. I think that may be the cruelest thing about love--there is always a day when you are parted and the pain is so cavernously deep. Take good care of yourself and know that so many people around the world are holding you and your family in our hearts.

Lots of hugs,
Cheryl

Robin's Egg Bleu said...

Susie I am truly sorry for your loss. What a wonderful gift you two had together, a bond like that is rare these days.

Olga said...

i am so sorry...I am so saddened by your loss...it's terrible to lose loved ones. remained fond memories of a wonderful man in your heart. let him rest in peace

maddyrose said...

Susie, I'm so terribly sorry for your loss. When someone with whom we share such a deep and profound connection is nolonger with us it is one of the worst experiences we will ever face and I am so sorry it has happened to you.

Healing Woman said...

My heart breaks for you. You had a wonderful, wonderful, long marriage and I'm happy for you for that. You have much healing ahead and I think it is a wonderful thing that you posted Bob's life on your blog. Yes, he would have been proud of you for that too.

Hugs,
Cheryl

Yve said...

So sorry to hear of your loss and my heart goes out to you. Take care of yourself x

Mireille van Krieken said...

My english is not very well but I wish you so much strenght with you loss.

Karen Mallory said...

Many, many hugs for you.
hugs Karen

kay susan said...

I've followed you for a long time and admired your work. I'm so sorry to hear of your great loss. You wrote a beautiful tribute. I hope it helped you just a little.

Karin said...

Dear Susie,

Please know that my prayers are with you all right now. I am so sorry to hear your very sad news.

Love from Karin xx

Dianne said...

I commented on your Facebook page the other day, but feel compelled to extend, again, my condolences for your loss. I continue to keep you and your family in my thoughts & prayers.

May God grant you strength and peace during this difficult time.

Dianne

Linda Walsh said...

Susie, I'm so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family.

Kays Kids said...

Dear Susie, Please accept my deep sympathy at the loss of a wonderful husband and man.
We were with Linda when she heard the news. I was grateful that she shared some of Bob's wonderful spirit with us. Thinks of you.
Sending you big warm hugs.

ЯТКА said...

I'm very, very sorry for you!
Be strong, continue to create and live. Loved ones are always with us, wherever you are.
Peace, happiness and a lot of light to you, Susie!

susana said...

He lives in your heart and his thoughts influence the next generation. RIP.

Ottilias Veranda said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. This was so beautifully written..and he sounds just like my husband! He lives on in your heart and in your children and grandchildren...Hugs.

Heera said...

Dear Susie, I am so sorry for your loss. My warmest condolences to you and your family.

Susan McMahon said...

Thanks everyone for your warm thoughts - they are so comforting. Tomorrow will be a hard day and then a different life will continue for me and the rest of our family.

We are made of stern stuff and we will get through it.

Tanya Murray said...

Dear Susie, I heard about Bob's sudden death and just didn't make the connection. I am shocked and deeply saddened and my immediate thoughts were for all the partnership things that you shared in your life. You are a wise and pragmatic person and though the grief and loss will cut keenly I know you will also find depth and growth. Just plain old "thinking about you, your family, your journey, your garden...." Much Love, Tanya x
PS...and this is not hollow words...if you need us for anything we can help. Call us if you need help in the garden etc. Maybe not now but in a few months you may just need someone to pick up a bundle or two. We are here and happy to wash floors or hang out washing, it doesn't matter.

Karin Otto-Burfict said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss, my heart goes out to you..... my condolences.....

Wylde Iris said...

This is sad news indeed and your tribute to him was absolutely beautiful. I will hold your family in my heart.

jill said...

Dear Susie,
I always lurk, never comment, but your tribute to your Bob touched me so profoundly that I too want to extend to you and yours my deepest, heartfelt sympathy. I wish for you that you find comfort and strength and know that there are people the world over who are holding you in their thoughts and care deeply about you. On this day, for you and your family, I stand in "respectful silence".

hajjandumrah said...

I love your site! You will be in our prayers and thoughts! Nice and informative post
on this topic thanks for sharing with us.Thank you
epoxy coatings

Elizabeth said...

Wat een verdriet..Wat een liefdesverklaring.
Heel veel sterkte en meeleven.

Sandy Pine said...

Susie, so sorry to hear of your loss. Wishing you strength and love during this difficult time.
Sandy

Shirley said...

Dear Susie & Family

My deepest condolences to you. I'm sorry for your loss of a special love and partner. May you continue to garner strength each day to carry you through.

Best,
Shirley Walker

Susan McMahon said...

Thanks everyone, for all the healing thoughts. One day at a time, and I'm keeping myself very busy. XX

Natalie said...

Such beautiful words, for a Wonderful man... So sorry for your loss Susie. Sending prayers your way. xoxo

Dallas said...

*Unabashed weeping* Maybe our men will find each other in the great unknown. The way you speak of him is beautiful to me, Susie. Lots of love.

Dixie Redmond said...

Oh, Susie. Hugs to you, dear one.

FairiesNest said...

Oh Susie I am so sorry to hear of you husband's death. Your beautiful post is a lovely tribute to him and makes me wish I could have known him. Take care of yourself my thoughts are with you.

flyingbeader said...

Oh my...what a gorgeous tribute to your soul mate. I'm just trembling reading about this wonderful man, humanitarian, and defender of the land. My heart is with you Susie.

Judy Skeel said...

Oh Susie, my heart goes out to you.

Tami @ Lemon Tree Tales said...

Such a beautiful tribute to your husband ... I'm so sorry that you lost your best friend so young. Hugs and good thoughts to you in this sad, sad time.

Mary @ Colony Mountain Folk Art Dolls said...

Dear Susie...my thoughts are with you. I am so sorry.

Janice Petty said...

How wonderful a tribute to the one you loved most Susie! You're right of course, one day a time is the only wise thing! I pray for you as you journey this road.

Patty said...

Susie it' so hard for me to find the right words to say...

I wish you my sincerest condolences and peace in your heart. So very sorry.

Patty-MAIDA

creativedawn said...

Susie,
May your memories of your beloved give you peace and sustain you on this part of your journey. He is always with you as we are spirits having a human experience...Although his human experience has ended, he lives on in the hearts of those who know and love him.
hugzzz (((((((((((((((((((((((Susie and loved ones)))))))))))))))))))))))))
Pam

Unknown said...

I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing some of your beautiful memories of your life with Bob.

Clothmatters said...

Susie- Please know you and your family are still in my prayers.

Grace Garton said...

Dear Susie, I'm so very sad to hear about Bob, what an amazing man. His voice will be much missed here in Tasmania and to all who loved him.
Thinking of you, take care xx



moonlady47 said...

Dear Susie,
I have just read your BEAUTIFUL HOMAGE to your Bob! It is the second time that I have read it! I was so moved to tears that I had to stop the first time! I would have loved to meet him and seen the two of you together! I have always thought of you as being not only, one of the best artists that I have known, but also a "Salt of the Earth Person"! Bob definitely sounds like he was that also! He was loved and admired by so many people and will be dearly missed! My love and prayers continue to go out to you! You are in my daily thoughts and prayers! Biggest and Tightest Hugs, Cynthia

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