By Nathan Barton
My very dear friend, mentor, and correspondent, Susan Callaway, has departed this mortal coil. She said her goodbyes to our readers and visitors almost a month ago, and survived her cancer longer than she thought, and perhaps, wished.
Updated on 23 July 2018.
Please accept my humble apologies for not posting this for so long.
We last heard from her on Monday the 16th, but still have not been able to get the details. Her last message indicated she was coming to the end, frustrated because the local government agencies were trying to get involved to “help” her.
My family and co-workers have been scattered across much of the Fifty States for the last two weeks, and were last able to visit her in person about three weeks ago. She was confident that she could deal with the end as she had with so much. I believe she did.
Based on her own experience as a hospice nurse and various other health care work, she chose not to use “modern” methods to fight, knowing the likelihood of failure and the great pain and tremendous problems associated with radiation, chemo, and more. She prepared and worked very hard to live by her principles to the very end.
I still think that her demise is untimely, at least from the point of view of those who knew her and who benefited from her wisdom and her way with words. All of this – and especially her love for liberty – are already missed and we will miss her more.
She held my family, even the newest members, in high esteem and with great love. (Elin, the newest, was born 29 May – Lady Susan delighted to have him (and his mother and older brother) visit him.)
She held many others – more than I can list at this time, especially her family of self-governors and lovers of liberty – in high regard and always with love. We already missed her as we lost frequent contact with her. The pain and debilitating effects, physical and mental, made it difficult for her to communicate. She’s depended on internet for some time, as phones became more and more useless to her.
One of her neighbors let our network know that she had passed away. We’ve received condolences from various people and appreciate them very much. Again, please accept my apologies for not posting earlier.
Please contact me via my direct, secure email (sdliberty-at-protonmail.com) if you want to get more information. And share losing her with us and others.
I will post more as available. Her best memorial is to continue the quest for liberty for all of us.
At this time, I’m not even going to try and write a tribute or obituary. Thank you for understanding. Please bear with us as we cope with this. And again, thank you for your condolences and support.
We will be scattering Susan’s ashes at her home in Newcastle at 1 pm on Thursday, September 27th. Anyone who wants to is welcome to join us.
Sandi Wiener (Susan’s sister) and I will be in Newcastle at the end of September (the 25th through the 27th), and during that time we’ll be spreading Susan’s ashes (probably on Wednesday, Sept. 26th). Susan was not much for ceremonies, and we won’t be having any big memorial service or anything. But if any of her friends would like to join us when we spread her ashes, let us know. (Email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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Dear Joel: Thank you for understanding, and waiting. Everyone’s thoughts and prayers are much appreciated. We all need to work harder to make up for her absence around the Table.
Thank you Nathan.
Carry on, as she would for us.
There are few words that I can say. I will miss her. She fought the good fight. My she rest in peace.
Oh my condolences to you Nathan, thanks for letting us know.
Thank you, Nathan, for your words and thoughts. The sorrow you and your family must feel is unimaginable.
I will miss “Mama’s Note” keeping me straight, to look beyond the words and into the meaning.
She loved orchids and lilies. Her proudest orchid (I forget the name) she said she found at Home Depot more than twenty years ago while still living in California. It had a cracked pot so she haggled with the manager until she got it for half-off the sticker price. It bloomed twice in twenty years, she said. The first bloom didn’t come for a decade, the year she moved to Wyoming. The second time it bloomed was this spring.
Her home in Newcastle was filled with all sorts of delightful plants, including that one. They fascinated our older grandson. She regretted that she was unable to plant much of anything outside this year, and she had several neighbors keeping things looking nice outside especially.
I lost my Significant Other “SWMBO” to Cancer a few years ago.
It’s difficult to compare my experience of “constant companion” during her last few months against the pain, fatalistic expectations which she must have experienced. She never complained, but she grew increasingly “grumpy” with her care-takers, which included me and her several sisters.
It’s easy to say “I would have traded her pain for mine”, but that would be a horrible lie.
As much as it grieved her partners (including immediate family) to watch her suffering, none of us would have wished to swap her pain for ours.
I would go to work in the morning, her sisters would come be with her, and after work in the evening I would come back to sit with her. She was inconsolable. She would not eat (I suspect she died of starvation as much as the cancer … in retrospect it seems a lesser burdon).
Nothing which I have just said is expected to provide either solace or comfort to her loved ones … or anyone else reading this.
Just know that many people understand that cancer kills more than the immediate victim.
She had a firearm in her home for the entire 18 months it took her to die. She was proud, during the end, that her doctor had expected her to live only 12 months, but she survived for 18 months. Neither I nor her family members removed that hideous option. She just wanted to prove, I suspect, that she was stronger than the disease which brought such agony to her life.
Of all the ills which inflict in this sorry world, lingering death is the most difficult to conflate with a loving God.
Have you heard anything about services?
Lady Susan did not wish to have a funeral or other memorial services. Her body has been cremated and her sister is scattering her ashes. Anyone who wishes to do something in memory of her is asked to give to their favorite (and most hardcore) liberty organization, such as the Zelman Partisans. I’ll post a list later. You may also want to plant a tree or even a small garden in her memory, as several people have suggested. We all have some ideas, and I hope we can share them and come up with several things that will remember her, her love for liberty, her opposition to control, and her wisdom.