I was painting her portrait. She never knew. I was working from a photograph, a video still.
I wanted to surprise her.
Thanks Philip, she is beautiful. This is what I need in my head right now, not how bad of a sister I am, or why her appointment was in FUCKING July, or bad mental pictures, or how are we going to tell our grandmother tomorrow. If other people have stuff to say, I’d like to hear it…. you guys knew her better than me lately….
since I’m not in your loop of friends, you’ll have to post some info. about your friend.
oh robyn, so sweet, so beautiful, so talented. you always smelled so good- i always wondered what it was that you wore that made you smell so wonderful. you’d always show up at parties and the marquee- myself being slightly awkward and quiet could always count on you to talk to and feel safe and comfortable- thanks. i’m going to miss seeing you walking in the neighborhood, bumping in to you.
i am in shock
i really don’t know what to say about this…just found out ten minutes ago by phone
how could this happen?
So hard to type through the tears,will they ever stop.Thank you Philip ,I have never met you but anyone who knew Robin will thank you for the picture.Krystal don’t knock yourself.Robin loved you
as only a sister could.Robin I will never stop loving you.I hope you are in a happier place.Dad
Robin was the type of person who could put you at ease just with her presence. Our house was never empty when she was here. Such a beautiful person.
I feel blessed to have known you as long as i have. You gave me support when i reached out. I understand you have crossed over, but i will still talk to you. I love you Robin.
Robyn’s smile would stop you in your tracks. She lit up every room she entered instantly. I could be having the worst day in the world and just bumping into her in the street for 2 minutes would make me feel better somehow. She just had that way about her, when people were around her they were happy. You could tell by just looking at her. I hardly knew her and I miss her so much.
On Sunday night I mentioned that I’d never had anyone close to me die. Now I have and it really fucking hurts. I must have a few hundred photographs from times spent with her. I miss you Robin.
so beautiful, thanks for this tribute Philip.
i was stunned when i heard the news. Robin and i have spent some great moments together… I guess she never showed me her dark side. I think there’s still a part of me that doesn’t really believe it. My thoughts go out to her family. I hope that the warmth of great memories will soften the blow and ease your despair.
my heart feels as though it has run aground, torn apart by these waves of grief.
I hope your wings unfurl to fill the night sky,
that your beautiful eyes now see all that you seek.
Robin will be missed by all that knew her. She was such a beautiful girl with so much to offer. Her talents never went unnoticed. I still find it very difficult to connect that graceful, artful, intelligent, gorgeous girl with her absence. My heart goes to her family and closest friends. Have peace in knowing that Robin no longer has unrest or strife with her. She is free now.
I’m having a tough time accepting that she’s gone forever. It doesn’t make sense.
Such a decent person and fine artist –
I don’t know what to say.. I expect to see her coming around a corner or through the door somewhere smiling and saying hello..
My thoughts are with everyone
alone in my studio apartment, south korea. It’s hard to imagine that such a horrible thing has come to pass, when all I can remember is the sound of her laughter.
oh, robin. i love you.
I am in still in shock myself, as is everyone else that knows Robin…. FUCK…!!! I am just finding out about the sad and tragic loss of such a beautiful person… I will miss seeing your beautiful and friendly smile at the bar and in the street as you pass by on your bicycle… FUCK…!!! this is difficult to write… I still can’t believe your gone… I met Robin about a year or so ago and from the first moment I met her, I knew there was something special about Robin… You will be missed so much by all your friends for a long time to come. I am so happy that I was blessed to have met you before you left our world. You must be in a happier place now… My heart felt sympathies go out to her family and all of us at Charlie’s will miss you dearly…!!! This really sucks….!!! FUCK….!!! Your Friend… Bernie Luv You…!!
is anyone able to speak of circumstance…
when did this happen?
how did this happen?
who saw her last?
We are heading back to Saint John from Toronto in an hour and encourage all else who can come grieve to come also. Even if there are no official funeral plans, we are planning a get together and will gladly host all friends (and family) who would like to attend. Further info will be posted…My heart goes out to all who are reading this tonight. Sarah Cale & Sarah Bennett
Sarah Bennett’s Number in SJ: (506) 485-9358
id been meaning to tell Robin the next time i saw her, that ever time i see one of her stencils it makes me happy and i smile and think of her,
i will miss your beautiful eyes and gorgeous smile.
i wish i could have known you better
i’ll miss you la rue
typing through tears, wishing i had not this message to write…flooded with moments of memory, sharing laughter and joy about the kids she taught and photographed…she loved sweet potatoes and sushi
and i won’t forget sharing beautiful conversation in St. Andrews NB..i met her by chance dancing in the street.love and light to robins family and friends
life is precious, live with love and fear will cease to exist
I sat on the shore and watched a single bird soar away from the misty beams of sunlight which pierced the afternoon sky.. it entered darkness…then eventually reappeared, soaring into gentle folds of illuminated clouds, the source of light…
I was thinking of robin, her beautiful presence…and hoped she had found the light that she seeked in darkness.
“there’s a sweetness in clumsy efforts
stubborn hope always trumps lazy greed
and gentle hearts tear vulgar castles down
don’t be afraid
don’t be afraid”
This was in one of Robin’s paintings on the wall at Scott and Nora’s place.She was so amazing and impacted so many people’s lives!
My heart goes out to all of her friends and family!
I remember the sweet little girl who would draw me pictures and ask for “one more chapter” to be read to her before she went to bed. I would babysit you and your sister every Wednesday evening while your parents were out. After finishing the story I’d tuck you in and wish you good night. Checking on you moments later you would be hiding under your covers, with a flashlight, reading that “one more chapter”.. Your love for everything is what I remember, your big hugs for me whenever I saw you (which wasn’t enough), you lighting up when you saw Evan and Kelsey for the first time. Krystal, Paula, Gerry… I’m so sorry. I don’t know what else to say, the disbelief and shock is so overwhelming. Our family is not a big one and this leaves a hole that no one can replace. She will always be in our hearts and I pray that she is now at peace. I, we, love you all very much.
Before she left us, Robin painted single black crows all over the sidewalks of the neighborhood. Each one is ringed with a halo, and the paint blurs into the pavement a little bit. In superstition, one crow means sorrow; as if she left one for each of us. They’re beautiful and distinct, just like Robin, though they’ll never approach that brilliant flash of a smile.
Last night I called Sarah, and we talked about all the reasons why we love you. I will never forget the colors, or the dancing, or the little moments that mean so much. The special role you played in my life will never be forgotten. I will hold on tight to every precious memory. I miss you.
la rue. I love you.
I’m still in disbelief.
When I think of Robin I think of her incredible talent, her bright smile, her long laugh, and how amazed I always was that such dark eyes could have so much light in them.
Robin, you will be missed.
Hugs and light to her family and friends.
i remember one time nora, rob, robin and i drove to montreal in robin’s parents’ car. it was a long time ago, but i still think about it. we left in the evening, and drove through the night, robin at the wheel. we were going to black and blue, or the whiteball, or some rave i can’t remember. robin was really excited to get there. she was driving so fast, we were all scared shitless.
at some point we stopped at a grocery store and robin got hummus and pita, and we all stood around in the parking lot eating it.
it was one of those ‘nothing’ moments that you remember for years into the future, and you don’t really understand why. there was just something about the excitement, the calm, the feeling of being in a place of anticipation together.
when robin was quiet, it was hard to find a way in. but when she was excited, her energy was infectious.
there was just something about her.
For a long time, you were the girl who worked at the Mokka. The beatiful, big eyed girl who i was too afraid to talk to.
When I finally met you, you were so precious that it was easy to talk with you. No bullshit. And we didn’t even have to say words, esp at the Marquee when we would just laugh at peeps all around us for being so strange… You are amazing. Would have been nice to more.
My heart goes out to your family and your friends… xo scott.
My dear Robin – I have a hole in my heart that hurts so badly it is physically hard to breathe. My only consolation is you don’t hurt anymore. Why couldn’t I help you? Sam spoke of how you smelled so good – I sat this morning smelling and hugging your pillow. You never realized how special you were.
Thank you Philip for your tribute to Robin and thank you to her friends for your contributations. It has certainly helped to hear from all the people who loved her. So many people have a memory of her smile, the sound of her laugh and a piece of her heart. To all Robin’s friends – We are having a simple memorial service on Friday, May 21, 2004 in Brenan’s chapel, 111 Paradise Row, in Saint John. It is for family and Robin’s friends. We would love to meet you – those we know, those we know of, and those we have never met. We would appreciate it if any of you have memories or a favorite photo to share at the service.
Thank you Krystal for giving me support and being my friend. I love you both so much. Mom
I deeply hope that a part of robin knew how much she is loved.
I am so sad for the pain that she lived with and for everyone that loved her, for all of the pain you are feeling now. Please be good to each other and shower each other with warmth and love as you spend time together sharing your beautiful memories and your sadness.
I loved Robin.
This news breaks my heart.
So hard to believe this. It just doesn’t compute. I saw her everywhere, and always wished I knew her better. I *swear* I just saw her the other day, riding around the neighbourhood on her bike, down at NSCAD…
My warmest thoughts to her family and her friends. I hope she knows she is so loved. Can’t believe I won’t see her around anymore.
“she wonders like a little child,who hasn’t seen the rain,
gently will she tell you that she is scared.
A lonely child,a bird of joy,is all that she can be.
cause people came and changed her as they pleased.”
My heartfelt condolences.
I only knew of Robyn in passing and from around town. She is a beatiful spirit that is now your guardian angel – there to protect you always and forever.
My heartfelt wishes that your pain passes and her memory lives on in love and laughter.
When you take flight, remember me to one who lives there
Since you have flown, there’s something special in the air – RP
i love you robin.
i miss you.
Thank all of you for your comments and feelings,you have helped me make it through the last two days and I will treasure your remarks always.Philip I can never thank you enough for this. Those of you who have the chance to meet her Mom and sister Krystal please give them a hug.Robin I miss you so much, if only our tears could bring you back.Please forgive my shortcommings as a father.Love as always Dad
thursday at around 5 pm, folks getting together in halifax to be together. it’s 5719 McCully street. (that’s one street north of north) and anyone not in halifax who wants to get in touch to be in touch, it’s 902 446 9343.
i want to share my thoughts but i can’t. i feel honoured beyond my due sometimes. god, i miss her face. if anybody needs me, i am.
I am inspired by the strength of the love and respect that Robyn had for us all.
I truly cannot remember hearing her utter an unkind or discouraging word.
Her intensions and her works showed a depth of vision that is truly and gracefully stunning ( In retrospect, all the more so).
Part of her spirit is in me now and I intend to nurture it and carry it with peace and pride and knowing that her love and creativity live on through me.
And I intend to honor her life and beauty by loving and respecting myself in exactly the way that I know she seemed pained to notice that I didn’t.
Standing still can be a chore today as I carry her encouraging words, the beautiful memories and the stories that I hope to exchange with others who knew her and with some that should have.
The light that she has become is my beacon now.
It was truly an honor to have lived in your presence Robyn.
I will miss you many times yet.
I love you.
P.S. I want you to know that I’ve thought about it and I’ ve decided that maybe my bellybutton really is kinda cute afterall.
Robin: It was such a short time that I knew you, but your memory will be ever lasting, you were and remain so impressionable, the words passionate, kind, caring, loving, determined, artistic, independant come quickly to my mind, all admirable traits. You inspire me to have the courage and strength to follow my dreams even when they may be different than others, something I battle with at times. I have respect for you.
Heather, I agree with your comment about each of us loving and respecting ourselves as well as one another and I too will try my best to do so.
Robin, may the path in the road you have chosen towards that bright everlasting light,bring you peace and freedom from all pain and sorrow and may all the joy and happiness that you have felt live on in each and every one of us. Although your 26 years in this life, as we know it, seem to be much too short you made a very strong and lasting impression that perhaps others could not obtain in a much longer lifetime. Congratulations to you for that great accomplishment.
Rest peacefully little one.
My condolences to all family members and friends.
Until we meet again.
Robin, Dear Robin….
I cannot begin to tell you how deeply sadened we all are. My heart aches for you and your family.
I wish I could have known you better but I want you to know how much you mean to those fortunate people who did.
I can only remember the special qualities about you and there are many….your brilliant smile and remarkable eyes that touch deep into your heart. The way you connected with children including Nicole, she was always so excited to see you and wanted to always sit beside you. She somehow knew you loved to dance and you wanted to teach her how in our living room, just the way she looked up to you from a childs heart only goodness comes. Your talents and gifts have touched the lives of many and will be remembered “forever”.
Now that you are in a special place, a better place, thank you for leaving such a wonderful memory only one can hope to be able to touch the lives of others the way you have.
Thank you Philip for creating this means for all of us to share, it’s remarkable.
Robin, spread your wings and rest in peace.
Love Lana, Gilles and Nicole.
There was a time when Robin was alwaysn around the Khyber Club. On days when I was all stressed out and feeling crappy about work I would come down for a beer and seeing her at the bar would instantly cheer me up. Her smile and positive energy was infectious.
I don’t much miss my job, but I miss the people that make Halifax a great place to be. And now I miss one of them even more.
Shocked, sad, angry, numb…just a few emotions I’m feeling. I can’t begin to tell you how very sorry I am for your loss. How does one deal with this? There are no answers. You’re friendship, over the years, has meant so much to me and even though we haven’t always been in touch, you and Janet truly mean the world to me. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
One-day-at-a-time, Gerry…your friends will help you through this.
I am driving to Saint John tomorrow morning. I have three spaces in my car if anyone would like a ride up for the service.
Please call me 431-0251 or email me if you’d like to come. I can’t offer you a place to stay, but I can get you up and back during the weekend.
My deepest compassion to the Mathieson family and everyone who is feeling this loss. Take Great Care of Yourselves and Each Other during this time. We are but shooting stars….
I’m one of the unfortunate ones who can only say I wish I knew her better, and should probably say nothing. But, I always appreciated that, although I was afraid to talk to her, she always said hi and shared her bright smile with me. I will miss that. She was obviously very loved, and I wish I could send out some comfort to all of you that are hurting.
I never had the pleasure of meeting you Robin, but have a close friendship with your father, Gerry. All I want to say is how very proud he was of you and your accomplishments…the photo’s….the drawings and how he gleemed with pride and joy each time he showed them to family and friends.
Gerry….I can only imagine,(no, I can’t even do that) as to how bad you are hurting now, to loose a child and one so loved and precious as she.
Crystal…I met you at Easter and if Robyn was anything like you she was a beautiful person, down to earth and so caring.
I mourn so deeply for all of you…..may you all find peace in knowing she is resting now and to be so very thankful and honored that she was such a special part of your life.
She is so beautiful and I love her so much. I can’t stop crying and shaking. So elegant, and so graceful, and so poised. I would have done anything to help her.
A few weeks ago we went out spraypainting and stencilled up the neighbourhood. Maybe someday I will smile at these fading reminders but for now I can’t leave my house without breaking down at every corner.
Roo – you are in every room in my house and on every street in my neighbourhood. I miss you so much, I will always love you…
When I am ready to start writing again, I will be moving my site to http://philip.swordfight.org. This page is Robin’s page now. It will be maintained with love and respect for as long as there is an Internet.
Here is a snippet of video if you wish to right-click and save it to your hard drive. (Please, when you are ready; I cannot watch this without crying.)
We were sitting on the stoop at the Bird House on Creighton Street last summer when I pointed my video camera at her. She didn’t want to be videotaped and told me she was going to make her “mean face.”
I said, “That’s not your mean face, that’s your retarded face” and I rolled the tape anyway.
Robin tried to make a mean face but she just couldn’t do it.
Robyn:I am so happy to have met you,but so sad to have lost you.
i never had the good fortune to meet Robin. but i was lucky enough to meet some of the people who loved and were loved by her, and i looked forward to meeting her one day. though only knowing of Robin through friends’ stories, it was still painfully obvious how special she was, and is, to all whom she knew. to see how she has touched other’s lives is proof that Robin *will* live on in all who knew her.
although i never knew her myself, i feel as if even i have lost something–reading these stories of love and sympathy, i know that *everybody* on this planet has lost something special, whether they are aware of it or not. my heartfelt sympathies go out to all of her family and friends, i can’t even begin to imagine how you must feel… the one thing i am sure of, however, is that you all feel love: it is radiating from this tribute.
rest in peace, Robin.
i’m sorry for everyone who had robin close to their heart.
i’d only met robin on a few occasions, and was always taken by the sweetness and grace she left after a short conversation between two strangers. no one has left the same first impression on me, and i doubt anyone ever will.
hope to all who are hurting,
. . . Robin, i did know your dark side . . . but it breaks my heart even more that i couldn’t help . . . i wonder why i never told you how important you are, how valuable you are, how popular and talented . . . and it breaks my heart because you brightened my life so much . . . you are one of my favourite people in the world . . . it was always joy to see you . . . i’m sad that i didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to you, but i’ll see you in my dreams, perhaps . . . and thanks for all of your brilliant art . . . you inspired me, like you inspired many others . . . i will always remember that you made me so happy, and your wonderful laughter . . .
Sweet beautiful Robin, I’m so sorry, I’m so sad, It’s taken me a few days to try and process this,
I know that I’ll never know why you left so soon but I know that every person who ever met you walked away a better person.
Thank you Robin for everything, every single fucking thing.
My heart goes out to all who loved her,
I know for sure that you were as kind to your sister as you’ve been to me since the first day we met. She was a lucky sister: I saw and heard the way you talked about Robin with love.
I have the deepest respect for you and I love you. I’m in Saint John and I hope I get the chance to be there for you the way you’ve always been there for me.
This is so difficult to write, but thank you so much Phillip for having this site. Forgive me for writing a lot, becasue I have nobody to talk to right now. Not being in Halifax right now makes it so weird, because Robin is one of the people who would make me feel at home outside my own home, make the neighbourhood feel like it belonged to all of us. When I picture Halifax from afar, she is there. We would often find ourselves in the same place, with similar friends, and I always felt just so very comfortable with Robin around, with no need for pretensions of any sort. Last spring we started having real conversations, usually about art, and even as I was preparing to leave Halifax I felt that we were starting to make a firmer friendship which I hoped to catch up with when I returned home. She is so solidly part of my feelings about that time and place that she can never leave me. I remember speaking with Robin outside Salvation a few days before coming to London about feeling nostalgic for the present, because I knew I would miss so many people and places that could never be the same again. She replied encouraging me to look forward to traveling and to try to value the present without mouring it. But I cannot but mourn the future of not continuing this conversation later.
The shaking sadness I feel comes from never being able to tell her how much I appreciated her. Sure, I thanked her for listening at countless late night jam sessions, but I mean more than that. Because she was so often there, listening, that I felt her presence really made me feel that someone really appreciated what I was trying to do, and the gratitude I felt for that is difficult to convey. Becasue I always felt Robin’s reciprical relationship with music was so tangible that it made it worth pursuing, knowing that someone is really listening. She made it so worhtwhile to listen with her too, sharing the elusive experience.
And reminds me that I probably never tell most of the people for whom I care deeply how much I love you all. Because I do love you, even when we haven’t seen each other in ages. And equally, how important are all the beautiful beings with whom we are lucky enough to even just have intelligent and kind associations, like freinds-to-be waiting to surface when the time is right. I knew none of your troubles, only your smiles, and that is so fundementaly sad, yet you still shared your vibrancy, which is so beautiful.
I will always value what our friendship was coming to be Robin. Thank you for painting, listening, laughing, and dancing.
I feel you inside me now. i see things that maybe you seen before. you taught me to see differently than before. thanx bitch. i’ll miss you some days but i will celebrate you life too.i will dance .rant and rave till the cows go home.in my dreams we will fly together aruond the world baby.anything you want yin yang boomerang peace love all that crap love to family peace to friends and i feel sorry for any dickhead that didnt ever here her sorrow
I just had confirmed to me tonight that it was in fact robin mathieson who had died. i had tidbits of info for the past couple days but no concrete stuff. concrete doesn’t feel so great when you hit it this hard. kinda in a daze right now.
i’m from saint john and have been acquainted with robin for several years. i’d planned a trip to halifax to see a concert this weekend and to see all the old sj folk i miss so much. i guess some crows on the sidewalk will have to do instead of seeing robin.
—my condolences to all who loved her—
the geography of the town has just changed, this neighbourhood is so different without robin smiling her way through it. i never knew her well enough but she was a landmark of the north end, a “home sweet home” sign….the most sincere smile on a happy saturday afternoon, a stop for silly small-talk on a late night way home, a breezy bike-by “hello!” up and down, down and up agricola street, a piece of art here and there to remind me the world is wonder-full. she made me want to know all my neighbours, because she was one. because she always seemed to have such good smiles for all of them too.
there are so many things to miss.
For years I felt like we were inseparable…those silly girls, weird, different?…and then we drifted apart…I always felt close to you, will never forget the pause before your laugh, the way your eyes would bug out sometimes, the way you would really try to listen as best you could,the million scarves and dangly things always hanging off you. Dancing like fools, trying to sing together haha, your amazingly comforting hugs…damn those were good…dark colours, summer recipes for fun…trying to learn, trying to be happy. I love you nibor. My sister said it was like you were always trying to hold yourself in, so the pieces didn’t break apart…I think in a way she was right. I hope now you don’t have to do that…that you found what you were looking for, my dearest pisces fish.
My heart is with all of you mourning the loss of such a wonderful beautiful woman.
a robyn helped rescue the cats
i wanted to write a poem to explain how i feel..but
… no words can capture such a loss
eveything began with your smile.
and I only saw it once.
in the sword’s blade
soft summer clouds
(my) Dearest Robin,
We’ve had an intense relationship for eight years now. I am so privileged to have been able to spend such formative years with you. I learned so much about life and love from you, and you helped me in so many important ways to become the person that I am today. We complemented each other so well as people, and in such an exhilirating way, that it often scared me to think about it. I was never sure just how much either of us was joking when we talked about our telepathy.
I am so sorry that I let my stubbornness contribute to our lack of contact over the past while. That is our ebb and flow, but it is so heartbreakingly painful to me right now. We can’t hug one more time in this world, but I believe that we’ll meet again somewhere and we’ll both be happy. Until then I’ll keep all of your countless wonders with me always in my heart.
Thank you eternally for sharing your life and friendship with me in such a special way.
Things fall together sometimes – like people do.
I dream … I believe …
Love always, Deane.
hi Robyn… i found out the news when i was in the woods..and didn’t believe it… i’m so sorry that we had to say goodbye this way… everyone loves you and you love everyone.. i first met you at the kyber and you were polishing door hinges…you are so so very special to all of us….
i can see you everywhere and you are hugging me all the time, your hugging me rite now actually…. Rockin’ Robyn…. mom dad crystal and granny my heart goes out to you…..
i love you Robyn….i miss you more than the sunshine..
My deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of Robin. She was a sweetheart, this is incredibly sad.
I am completely devastated by news of Robin’s death. I was never as close to her as I wanted to be, but the time I did spend with her was always so fun. She will be a part of some of my fondest memories of Saint John High. I will always remember her as a beautiful, shy, and compassionate woman. My sympathies to her family, and to all of her friends everywhere. Hang in there, everyone, you will get through this.
robin my sweets,
i am lucky to have had such a special girl in my life in high school, then later as a roomie in halifax, and always a continuous friend.
my last memory of you is from O’leary’s at christmas… i hugged you and you were beautiful and sparkling, and i felt your vibrance through our embrace. i will never forget you.
I wasn’t as close a friend to Robin that I would like to have been. She was always a friend of a friend. But I still remember her radiant warmth, and she would always say hello when she saw me. And that counts for a lot.
My condolences to friends and family.
sunshine in crystal
radiance’s pure glare
clusters of diamonds
dancing the night air
and clear cool waters
beneath moonlit skies
could never sparkle
like robyn’s eyes
thank you for the time you gave me, all the wonderful things you did for me and those special words that brightened up so many of my days. i will miss you ever so very much robyn!
Monday night at the Coburg. I understand that the images had caused you pain. I heard about Robin a few hours later from Scott,during the celebration, and I’m deeply sorry for all who knew and loved her. She’s beautiful, and always will be beautiful as they attest to, and are, a remembrance of her.
Sincerely, Aura King
i’ve come back here often over the last few days. i didn’t know robin, nor do i know any of you– in fact i’m hundreds of miles away in another country. i’ve felt the need to say something, though i don’t know what, and words are small comfort, anyway.
your beautiful memories of her moved me to tears every time. it’s so unfortunate that we cannot see ourselves how others see us, especially in our darkest times when we need to most of all.
i can’t ease your pain, but know that the beauty of robin will live on in another memory…
Deane put it well when he mentioned the priviledge of sharing our formative years together. My sister Sarah and I both agree that the relationships we cultivated early on, are the ones that have literally shaped us. We taught each other so much…
I remember Calgary in particular. It was an exercise in unconditional love and friendship. We used to get so frustrated with each other. At times it was like two people from completely different planets speaking completely different languages. But at night, you and I would sneak off and roller-skate along the river, sometimes in silence and sometimes sharing the things that simply couldn’t be explained in daylight. You were a natural and never got tired of picking me up when I fell (or at least never showed it). You said it was because your parents got you speed skating lessons when you were young. We thought that they were so cool and progressive; speed skating for a girl!
I have taken what we shared everywhere with me. You are my reminder of how to approach a piscean. I thank you for sharing your creativity, your vulnerability and your strength with me. I thank you for your unforgetable laughter and silliness, for really listening, for fighting and for forgiving.
I hope you are no longer scared and have finally found peace.
Love, Nadia xxoo
We had a painting of hers on our wall in one of my apartments in Montreal. I looked to it for some inspiration when I wrote down a few lines for a poem I was going to give her for her birthday four years ago:
“girl shape taut strings tugging all directions,
some confused marionette but some days, it seems,
she looks so nice in all those purples and greens”
I can remember writing them on the train, and couldn’t get past them and her birthday was the next day or so, so I just got her something, bottle of wine I don’t know. I’m sure each of us is wondering which small gesture would have made a difference. Take care of yourselves.
I really don’t know what else to say. I’m sorry.
We used to tiptoe around eachother when stubborness was our roadblock. I’d slither down the hallway and out the door as not to give in to the urge to stomp past her. Our common language always awkward and heavy.
Weighty, but full of passion, fiercely trying to become adults one room away from eachother.
The world is a fragile place and it is even more fragile for me now that someone I became a woman beside is no longer in it. Our delicate and tender conversations poke at me in a place that i guard gently with her softness, but with a fervor that would knock down an entire army who tried to rob me of them.
Robin, I care for you deeply. This experience has impressed upon me the intense & unconditional love I have for those I grew up with. I only wish you were here to mull over it with me. You are so especially good at that.
We are all apologizing for out shortcomings, but to be human, they are a necessity. Its what teaches us we are delicate and fragile and to always treat ourselves gently.
Only a few lush moments separate each of us from the flat passage of time. But in those moments, we are giants, striding around, wrecking things, making love, bursting with the power of our own creations.
This is what I see in your portrait of Robin: that she lives richly in your heart, a giant.
From my heart, peace to all her family and friends.
We didn’t know you well – only through the love of your father – just days ago he showed me the paintings he had framed and the love he felt was there in his smile.
May your soul rest in final peace -you will always be remembered by your father, of that we know.
Special heart felt condolences to Krystal and Gerry, your family, friends and all who love you until you meet again.
we are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars.
I just found out about this site .. thank you Philip for making a space like this for connection.
I am so sad and confused by your choice Robin. I have started talking to you now and then when I’m walking, trying to understand your decision to leave. It’s been too long since we just sat down together at the end of a night with so many people, other people who go home to sleep at the end of the night, but not you, and sometimes not me … so we would be awake and you were easy to be with, you were soft and always tried to see some colour in things. It’s been so long since that happened .. i don’t know where you’ve been but i know that other people must have seen your light too .. i see it here. i’m so sorry i missed so many chances with you, i’m sorry we had so little time, i’m sorry i never told you when i looked at you and saw how beautiful you were .. i’m sorry i was too distracted, or rushed, or self-involved to say all those things. still, i hope you knew somehow, or can hear somehow still.
Robin Are you thinking
Now you care
You aren’t at all
Robin are you saying
I showed you
No you aren’t
Robin you always wanted
To do it first
To do it better
Somehow you got this one wrong
To the Mathieson family:
I haven’t met you, but I am confident that you are a warm, intelligent and sensitive family- it was all reflected in your amazing daughter & sister. I hope you can recognize that, and it provides a little comfort.
Before I knew Robyn, I would see her around North End Halifax, and wished that I knew her. I agreed with a mutual friend that she “sure looked cool,” and we should just go up to her and start chatting. But we were too shy. Luckily Fate intervened, and I had the pleasure of working with her not long after that. Our chats through the day at work were something I looked forward to each morning.
It’s the little things about Robyn that will always both make me smile and make my heart heavy, because I can’t just have them again: the ‘chocolate’ sandwiches she would slip me mid-morning, the little cartoons she’d draw, the unexpectedly huge hugs if we ran into each other, and just catching sight of her disappearing around the corner on her bike as I came out my door.
I guess these aren’t such little things after all.
I like to think that the friends a person chooses also reflect them, just as each person reflects the love of their family. These notes say it all. (Phillip- Thanks for this.)
To the Mathieson family:
when we heard about robyn we were chocked and we didn’t believe the news
we are reallly missed a good smiley face person use drop @ rassy’s on here lovely bike for here favour rassy’s falafel pita
This site has been the first step on the long road to healing my soul. I revisit it throughout the day. I feel Robin’s gentle spirit resting among the tributes placed by those who have known and loved her and I am comforted. When I met Philip, I hugged him and whispered, “Do you know the gift you have given to me?” Thank you again, Philip.
To all of Robin’s family and close friends, I am very shocked and sorry to hear about her passing. We had the opportunity to spend time together throughout the years but not so much recently. However, I will always have fond memories of her and I give my compliments to the webmaster for such a wonderful tribute.
I didn’t know Robin, but I can understand her pain that she felt. I had once lived in that deep dark hole that she was in and was tempted to take my life. I was fortunate enough to get the help that I needed and I wish that she did too. It is so hard to see someone else go through this horrible pain and have to wait so long for the help. It breaks my heart every time I hear of someone taking their life to rid of the pain. My heart goes out to each and every one of you. I hope that you can eventually find peace with this as she is in a happy place now free of all pain.
My deepest sympathy to all of you.
….dreamt i saw robyn dancing with heather.
….was a good dream!
I just found out about Robin today. Needless to say, I’m still in a state of shock. My mind cannot grasp the idea that I will not see Robin again.
I used to work with Robin and whenever she walked through the door at the beginning of each shift, she would always give me a huge smile that would envelope me completely. On the days that I was feeling my worst, she could always say something that would make me laugh. Robin exuded warmth and compassion and a free-spirited energy and I always loved that about her. She was beautiful and her presence will be sadly missed by those she touched.
To Robin’s family: I hope that you find some comfort in the fact that Robin was so very loved by everyone that came into contact with her. She will be remembered by so many people and continue to live on in their hearts.
Here is the poem that Stephen read at Robin’s memorial service and that Robin quoted in one of her final paintings.
until and i heard
a certain a bird
i dreamed i could sing
but like nothing
are the joys
of his voice
until and who came
with a song like a dream
of a bird with a song
like not anything
until and until
into flame i can feel
how the earth must fly
is a truth is a cry
of a whole
of a soul
until i awoke
for the beautiful sake
of a grave gay brave
bright cry of alive
with a trill
Robin loved e.e. cummings. Maybe because his poems are like little paintings.
I shared many important moments with Robin as a roommate in both Montreal and Victoria. We always seemed to evoke a silliness in each other. Robin would always listen to my foolishness and incourage it with laughter. I remember all the times we dressed up and went for a night on the town in Montreal. There was our 24 hour train ride where I made her stay up all night with me and drink obscene amounts of coffee while babbling on with strangers. Our long conversations over a glass of red wine and her girly cigarettes. The bike rides through Victoria. And all of concerts we attended with our friends.
I’ll always remember Robin as an intelligent, kind and gentle soul. Although I wasn’t as close to her as others, we did share a friendship. While living with Robin, I witnessed first hand the very strong bond that many of my closest friends had with her; and I know she felt it too by the way her smile would light up a room while in their presence. I feel so sad that it ended this way, but I know that friends and family will keep her memory alive.
Robin, you will always be missed.
Such a beautiful girl. Such a beautiful person from the things everyone’s said. Although I didn’t know her, I’ve lost friends before. I’m sorry Philip, I’m sorry everyone.
I didn’t know Robin.
I wish I didn’t discover her like this.
I always saw those birds on the sidewalk, and I always wanted to meet the person who painted them.
Robyn called me into the kitchen at Mokka one afternoon to ask if I knew what the word “knieve” meant. She showed me it, printed on a cutting board or some such. A mistake at the factory, a poor translation into English, who knows? I looked at her as evenly as I could, looking into those bright and beautiful eyes. I said to her “It means to wound someone deep into their soul.” She laughed. I felt like the world wasn’t such a bad place when she laughed. I felt like a king when I was the one responsible for it. That was our word, we shared it, hers and mine.
I’d known Robyn for years through friends, but it wasn’t until I was busy hitting bottom in those last Halifax days that we came to know each other well. We were very different people, in almost every way, but I think we both needed someone who was familiar but not close, to talk about the demons that roared in our heads. Each of those conversations, every one holds a place in my heart, the dark and unmentionable things, the words we dared not say to people we weren’t sure could handle it or care. There is one which strikes me now in particular. We never felt like we were as good as other people thought us to be. We heard people praise us, but we didn’t feel it, we didn’t believe it. I was a mess then, more than I even let on, but Robyn saved my life. Maybe she knew she did, maybe she didn’t, but her hand was always there for me to take, bastard though I was. She is saving my life again now, even though the price is too high.
I’ve been knieved, Robyn, but I understand. You took a part of me with you, but you left so much more behind. You were my superhero, my amazing, my sublime. I love you and I hope things are cool now.
Many thanks to Phil for creating this “wonderful” site for us all to express ourselves, without it where would we be? Thanks Phil. You truly are special and I hope you know that.
Which brings me to the thought, where do we go from here? The grieving process of denial, anger, bargaining, depression & acceptance seem hundreds of miles away. I have checked out a website that I found interesting it is, http://www.canadian-health-network.ca. I searched “grief”. I so wish this never happened, it is so difficult to understand. Best wishes to everyone as we work through all our feelings. xoxo
I want to echo what Camille mentioned above. I know you loved your sister. You would talk about her more than perhaps you remember right now. Your friends consider themselves very lucky to have you and I know Robin would have felt the same.
I didn’t know you had a sister the first time I came by your parent’s house. She opened the door and I thought to myself “I’ll be damned… Krystal cut all her hair off”. After that, each time I met Robin I figured the two of you were forged from the same mold. Part of her will always be present in you. Better days will return.
I read this the other day and I thought it timely…
I hope everyone is feeling some sense peace…
Yes, thou art gone! and never more
Thy sunny smile shall gladden me;
But I may pass the old church door,
And pace the floor that covers thee,
May stand upon the cold, damp stone,
And think that, frozen, lies below
The lightest heart that I have known,
The kindest I shall ever know.
Yet, though I cannot see thee more,
‘Tis still a comfort to have seen;
And though thy transient life is o’er,
‘Tis sweet to think that thou hast been;
To think a soul so near divine,
Within a form, so angel fair,
United to a heart like thine,
Has gladdened once our humble sphere.
by Anne Brontë
The gorgeous long, tall woman with the black leather coat, beautiful smile and exceptional personality will walk the streets of my memory for all eternity.
Im sorry it has taken this long to write. And also im sad that I was unable to make it to the funeral, but going to Robin’s house was a real good thing for me. And it was touching to see how many of Robins friends were there to support Robin’s family.
That night Dean John and I drove up to Sarah Bennett’s house. I said to them in all truthfulness that I have had ONLY wonderful and positive experiences with Robin, and I consider Robin one of my rally good friends although since she moved to Halifax i only was able to see her from time to time. I met Robin in grade 7…she was the biggest new Kids on the Block fan that I ever knew! We instantly became friends when we met in Art class….I still have a self portrait she drew of herself that I took home by mistake..I have to find it…of course it was the most beautiful drawing in Grade 7!!!!! Anyway, I love you Robin, thank you for being such a positive memory in my life
I met this girl
She was walking through one of my dreams
She kissed my eyes
And everything that she said
Made so much sense to me
That I still feel like I’m half asleep
My dark angel
She gave me diamonds for eyes
She walked by
Now I’m hypnotised
By this dream
That just won’t stop
And I feel
Like I’ve always been lost in this dream
The rumours of heaven
Only speed the truth on earth
My dark angel
Shine your light on my curse
You are the other that I have to find
Until I do
I guess I’ll see you ’round my mind
Is a place I have to go
I heard a rumour
She loves the mountains and the snow
My dark angel
She gave me diamonds for eyes
My dark angel
I offer you my heart
My dark angel
I think I loved you from the start
‘Cause there is this face I know
That I’ve never seen
Sometimes I feel I’m living in
Someone else’s dream
Still I’d like to thank you
For stopping to talk
And I wonder
Just into who’s dream did who walk…
Oh my dark angel
Shine your light on me
Shine your light
Shine your light
Shine your light on me
– From Blue Rodeo’s ‘Dark Angel’ (Five Days in May album)
there was this story…something about a movie theatre, a large amount of popcorn, and Philip. I don’t remember the details, I just remember Robin laughing as she recounted the night’s adventure. She really loved you Philip.
I remember this episode.
It was early in 2003. I had the night off work, and Robin and I made plans to go check out a free lecture at the Museum of Natural History. She arrived at my house that night and said, “I brought a canned thing, I think you’re supposed to bring a canned thing.” She showed me the can of chick peas in her bag.
I didn’t have a canned thing, so we stopped in at a sketchy convenience store on Agricola Street along the way. There was no one in the store. I walked around for a while saying “Hello? Hello?” until finally some guy came out of the back room and sold me a can of beans for $0.69. He looked at the beans, looked at me and Robin and said, “Have fun.”
We showed up at the Museum and the lecture hall was already full. We sort of talked it over and decided we didn’t want to sit in an aisle to listen to this lecture, I’m not even sure what it was supposed to be about, something about archaeology in Halifax I think. There was a pile of stuff for the food bank so we ditched our canned things and bailed out on the lecture.
We were thinking it would be cool to try to wander around the museum for a bit. We found a hallway with some interesting posters about different bugs but a security guard gave us a stern look so we left the museum.
Instead we wandered over to Park Lane and ended up watching a movie. We saw The Life Of David Gale. The movie was so-so.
After the movie, we were hanging out in the lobby and I noticed a huge clear bag, bigger than a garbage bag, full of popcorn. It was just sitting there sitting beside the concession stand. I’m thinking they must recycle the popcorn from night to night.
Standing with my back to the concession stand, I called Robin over and spoke in a conspiratorial tone.
“Robin,” I said, “when we leave this theatre, that big bag of popcorn is leaving with us.”
We scoped out the scene, determined to find a way to make this work. There was mostly just cleaning staff left in the lobby, as well as a manager-type guy walking around in a jacket and tie.
I got Robin to stand guard. As soon as the manager guy turned his back, I grabbed the popcorn bag and ran out the emergency exit.
I was laughing all the way up the stairs as I ran. I could hear Robin a couple flights below me, laughing as well. (Later she said that one second I was there, and the next I was gone, and so was the popcorn.)
We got separated in the stairways. Robin came out on street level, whereas I emerged on the second floor of the Park Lane parking garage.
The thing is, I didn’t want to walk through the parking garage with the popcorn bag, because it just wouldn’t be the perfect crime if I showed up on the Park Lane security cameras. So a plan was hatched whereby I would drop the popcorn off the side of the parking garage, down to Robin on the sidewalk below.
Robin held out her arms, I dropped the popcorn, Robin caught the popcorn, and the bag burst open and popcorn went everywhere.
I ran down through the parking garage and came out to find Robin walking around the alley, cradling this split bag of popcorn. There was popcorn all over the sidewalk. We carefully set the bag down and went hunting in a dumpster at the end of the alley. Robin found a blue bag that was pretty clean, with only a couple of plastic pop bottles in it. We dumped the bottles out and pulled the blue bag over the popcorn bag. Now we had a blue bag full of popcorn.
It was freezing cold, dead of winter. We went slinking through alleyways and ran across the street and cut through the field beside the citadel, with Secret Agent Scarlet (Robin’s spy nickname) carrying the blue bag, and both of us keeping an eye out for the Popcorn Police.
I had to run over to the Museum to fetch my bike, so Robin headed back to her place on North Street. I caught up with her there shortly.
We ate three or four handfuls of popcorn each and pronounced ourselves full. A blue bag full of popcorn is a lot of popcorn.
Robin said, “You’re a fun date.”
Later on, Stephen or Seth or somebody was heading out to a party. We said, “Umm why don’t you take some popcorn with you.”
Writing that story made me feel a bit better. Thanks, whoever you are, for reminding me.
Thanks for filling in the details.
I would like to thank all Robin’s friends and aquaintences again for the thoughts and remembrances on Robin’s site. It is one of my greatest comforts. Thank you to her friends who were able to come to Saint John and to all those who have sent cards, flowers, food, memorials and hugs. I appreciate all those who have reached out. If you have any stories I would love to hear them.
We would like to ask Robin’s friends for some help in locating any of her recent artwork. Her Dad and Grandma do not have anything in their homes. If you know where we could obtain any pieces, please contact me at the attached address.
Keep Robin in your hearts.
I’d only met Robyn once or twice..
I remember the very first time I saw her, I glanced her way and she smiled at me. I started to blush a little. She was so beautiful. I wanted to dance my way over and say hello but my feet froze to the ground. Though I didn’t really get to know her, a tear streams down my face at the mention of her name.
This morning I was reunited with my guitar, so I sat down and wrote her a song. Words taste differently when you’re singing straight from your heart.
You are all so wonderful and she was truly lucky to have friends and family like you.
Love and best wishes,
The first time i met Robin she was holding a camera, taking photos of friends at Salvation. She saw Cookie holding a pretty green branch and right away her knowing, gazing, soulful eye saw so much more and she snapped a picture. when i saw the print later, as well as others she had taken over that time, i saw very familiar faces in a beautiful new way. Robin saw them in a way we had not noticed. i was excited by her talent in a way you are when you know someone is exceptional, above and beyond, meant to be.
i always looked forward to the next photo.
the fact that i did not sense her sadness is a tribute to her smiling and generous spirit.
i can count on my fingers the number of times i was in her presence, but i remember each and every one.
I hadn’t known Robin for a year, yet. I met her late last summer, when I started going to similar neighbourhood spots. I met both Robin and Stephen around the same time when he was just back from teaching in South Korea. I remember them each speaking so well about one another. So happy to be roommates again. It was a beautiful friendship to meet.
And then her art. First, I saw her b&w portraits. Head shots, but more so. All as unique as the individuals themselves. A nice collection of shots of interesting people of a time and place. I look forward to seeing these again some time.
She was there at the beginning of the few all nighter CKDU remote radio broadcasts. 2am-7am. The first broadcast, it was another bitterly cold night- snot-freezing cold – and inside a small bunch of folks drinking coffee and trading time playing music. She enjoyed these a lot and I believe was the common thread throughout each one of these remote all-night radio shows. She was definitely at the heart of them.
I didn’t know her well enough to know otherwise.
She had a great and easy-going laugh, a giant smile and a very unique, graceful presence about her that remain unforgettable.
Grinning. Riding her bike down Agricola.
Not too long ago, I saw you off spring garden, unlocking your bike. You smiled at me for no reason at all. Didn’t say anything. Caught me off guard once again. It struck me deep inside, how you seemed to appreciate every moment, how your eyes were so open and embracing.
I told myself, I see this girl everywhere- she seems to know me, but I have never really had a decent conversation with her. But she spoke with her eyes.
I decided I would make a point to sit down and talk with her “the next time” I saw her. That was “the last time” I saw her.
She didn’t strike me as a “next time” kind of person, anyways. Almost intimidatingly so. She was always there. Truly an angel. And I knew that the last time I saw her.
I wish I would have gotten to know you better, Robin. whatever darkness you carried, it is no match for the warmthness of your heart. I’m sure you’re in a good place.
Robin my love,
I’ve just returned form a trip to Newfoundland. When I was there I went on many hikes, in the woods, up mountains, in valleys and even through some snow. No matter what the terrain was, it never failed that a red breasted robin would fly from the sky and land nearby. I know Robin that you will always be with me, and these little birds are but a small reminder of the many times we’ve shared over the years, you’ve impacted me in so many ways.
When I think of myself as a woman, as the person I am today, I can’t help but think that you’ve helped me become who I am, you’ve played such in intrical part in my life, i’m honoured to have been your friend. I have so many wonderful memories of you from so many different parts of my life, you were always there.
I miss you like crazy,
I keep waiting to see you locking your bike to our porch and hearing the sound of your keys jangling in the front door. such familliar sounds. It was always you, stopping by for a visit.
Once, when I was moving to a different city, you gave me a going away card.
“have happy travels and take
care of you as you paint the town
Whatever colour you desire
the path of a body…
parts pieces cells bone
what sound for these spaces?
i miss you already…”
Robin my love, the town is yours to paint, you are free.
I love you
si breve fut notre rencontre , si douce
monde ephemere , eternel recommencement
profondement touche , delicate fragilitee
I knew robin, she was the first girl i had ever fallin in love with..that was many years ago now….how long had it been since i saw her last…i’m speechless….i cannot believe your gone.
Home is behind
and far ahead
and there are many paths to tread
past the edge of night
until the stars are all alight
white shores now
seas of jade
endless fields in silver sway
i hear the wind calling my name…
i love you robin, and i’ll pray that your family and we as your friends are given the strength to let you go, so that you can pass to the other side. Since you are gone, then it is the best we can do for you now, to pray for you to have a safe journey. i will pray for you…
all my relations
i had a dream about robin last night. i think it was the first time i have ever dreampt about her, in all of the years that i’ve known her.
she and nora and i were walking on the pier in st. andrews on a very sunny day. the sun was so bright, the dream was almost white. robin had to go to work, so we were saying goodbye. she had a job as an ice-cream scooper, and she really didn’t want to go to her shift. me and nora were teasing her, saying dumb things in annoying voices like: “double scoop of bubble gum on a waffle cone, please”. we were all laughing. then we had a group hug to say goodbye. robin kissed nora’s forehead, and then she started to walk away. she walked a few paces, then turned around and said “i love you guys”. she was laughing still.
she looked so clear, i can’t explain it. the last time i saw her was christmas, and i didn’t think i even remembered exactly what she looked like. but, her features were so perfectly clear and radiant. it was the most bright and peaceful dream.
Robin, thank you for showing me joy in simple pleasures. Your essense has touched countless beings. I feel blessed to have met you. Love to those healing.
Robin used to tell me stories about a little boy that she was baby-sitting. he amazed her. how fresh and creative he was, how playful. and he made Robin want to play. it made me laugh, feel like a child again. it was beautiful how everything around Robin looked fresh. always some new perspective or colour. kitchen walls painted six times before she was satisfied, a toilet seat painted pewter. a round hole punched into the plaster wall.
ah, Robin. . .
I was remembering Halloween last year. How we had decided that I didn’t look enough like a cat and that my eyes needed work. Robin, ever the artist, offered to do the preliminary touch ups. While she filled in my eyes her unused hand rested upon my cheek. I remember liking the way it felt when she touched me that day. Her warm hand to my warm cheek. Sometimes when certain people touch me I get an unexplainable wave of emotion. I felt it that night. I never forgot it. I never quite understood what was happening when I felt that way. It used to seem foreign. There are very few people who have ever induced that warming feeling of comfort on me.
I think I understand now.
youre beautiful robyn, everywhere.
It’s been sooo long.
I love you and niether time nor vails can cover it. I was in Love with you years ago and the time roles forward and I’ve been gone sooo long now. Today, it seems like a yesterday… and now Your gone…
The departing Don’t feel the loss, only the penting newness, It’s those left with a space where holy life used to occupy. You used to live and we drifted apart the way people do. I miss you
I didn’t know I missed You and now, face to face with my memories and the idea that instead of you there is a void has me feeling the lack…
I love you Robyn with a tenderness and understanding, I look forward to meeting, loving and parting again.
“artists are fallen angels, saints without sanctity seeking redemption.
between all our tears and laughter lies one heart, one soul, and one way.”
….. robyn mathieson
Wish from India
I never met Robyn and had come to know about her from my friend Kim, who is now in India with me .Kim always used to admire about Robyn ..(I got this webpage address from kim).My sympathies are with her family and all of here near ones .
Robyn Aapki Aatma ko shanti Mile(May Robyn rest is peace)
I’ve been deep in seclusion, and trying to pretend that Robyn is just hiding out in Saint John. *Sigh* Y’know, I’m a grumpy guy who likes to wallow a little too much. Sometimes I would avoid Robyn just because she could always make me smile. I’ll miss that and everything else.
It’s been a month since you took your solitary road and I miss you so. There hasn’t been a day or an hour that I haven’t thought of you. Part of me is gone and I will never get it back. I love you, Robin.
Oh Phillip, I feel so sad for you and all of her family and friends right now. I never really got the nerve up to talk to her. I always thought she looked way too cool for me. I guess I was wrong. Having spent far too much time in dark holes, it makes me cry to see how much Robin was loved. My heart goes out to all of Robin’s friends and family. The pictures are beautiful Phillip.
I still expect to hear you and your sister coming up the stairs laughing together,making me smile to hear you two together before I got to hug you hello.I go to sleep each night hoping that I will wake and find it has all been a horrible nightmare. Robin ,I miss you so.I always tried to express to you both how proud I was at being a part of creating such a beautiful pair of young women,but I never felt that I could express properly how much that I love you both.I hope you are free from your inner termoil.You have left so many behind who love you so much. I miss the sound of your laughter .It just is’nt getting any easier.
Robin knew you loved her. She spoke kind words of you. I remember you helping her fix her bicycle. That was a source of freedom and happiness for her. Stay strong and let the love we all feel for her carry you through. You will find peace with this. Robin was just too big for this world. Maybe she knew things about the world that we don’t. Maybe she knew all her options and chose to be freed. I am sure though that there’s a grand possibilty that the thought of her family and friends kept her with us as long as she could stay. She’s at peace now and your peace will come. Try to feel the comfort that she would wish for you.
You’re always in my thoughts.
Hi Everyone: I am wondering how everyone is doing? One month has passed and it seems like much longer than that. Would like to share about some of my thoughts as they are today. You know, I think about depression in it’s severe forms, imbalances etc. and I cannot imagine what it would be like to live in that world. How difficult it must be to try to live in our world of non-depression and similarly how difficult it is for us to try and understand/and or live in the world of someone who is depressed. Robin, you were brave to live in that world as long as you could, when perhaps minutes and hours seemed like days. I am thankful that you are now away from that black room of darkness, never to feel it again. When I think of illnesses such as cancer and heart, etc. I see quick reactions in myself, it is something that I can see and that I talk about, but in some cases I myself do not see such quick responses to illnesses of the mind, something that I cannot always see or understand. I pray in the future, that research will allow the time and finances necessary for improvement in this field. I am starting to think in terms of – what really took Robin’s life? Yes, she made a decision, but in her thinking those choices might have been very very limited. My opinion is what really took Robin’s life was Depression much like other physical illnesses. What I believe, is that no one was to blame for this tragedy, the illness is where I place my blame. I believe that the illness made it difficult for Robin to come out and for others to get in. That causes feelings of anger in me, because she had so much to offer and I was not able to get to know her that well.I pray for good emotional and physical health for all of us, and the strength to work through this enormous loss.
Now is the time to take good care of ourselves the best we can.
Thanks for listening. Janet
I didn’t know Robin.
I have read every message.
I often wonder if Robin knew how many people loved her. And how many lives she touched in unique and unforgettable way. I hope she knew this. My fear is that she didn’t. And that’s a horrible thought ….
I’ve long since retired. Last summer I was sitting on my front doorstep when this tall attractive young woman approached me to ‘borrow’ a cigarette. I offered her a couple. She smiled and said she would return them next day. Now where have I heard that before?
Next day though, she comes a riding down the sidewalk on a bicycle towards me, stops, returns the smokes, thanks me, and gives me a smile as she left that made this old boy feel many years younger.
I often saw Robin and her bicycle in the neighborhood. she always seemed to have a smile for everyone including those drags on society that most people ignore or avoid. Only recently did I notice her absence and inquired as to her where abouts.
My heart goes out to the family and loved ones of this truly fine young woman.
smile the while i kiss u sad adieu..
when clouds roll by i will think of u.
so i’ll wait and pray each nite for u..
’till we meet again
Visit me in my dreams, my sweet.
your pictures are beautiful. I’d really like to publish some of them in the Park Towers Press an art and literary magazine coming out in July that is doing a special issue on Halifax artists. Please contact us soon at firstname.lastname@example.org!
When the time bell
blows my heart
And i have scored a better day
where nobody made this war of mine…
Mysteries of love
Where war is no more
I’ll be there
I met RObyn in grade 12 when I transferred to SJHS from Hampton High. She was in my theatre arts class and from the minute I met her I knew that she was an amazing person. We formed a group of about five of us and together we became partners in crime in that class. I remember only wonderful things about Robyn esp. preparing for our final play. Robyn always made feel worthy of everything life has to offer and I was able to appreciate the little things by seeing it through her eyes. I had no idea that she was depressed and in fact hadn`t seen her for some time. The last time I saw her she greeted me with that amazing smile of hers and told me that she was thinking of going to Montreal (where I am) and we made plans to hook up if she came. I never heard from her but I thought-think of her often. I was looking through my stuff from highschool the other day as I was packing and I found a beautiful homemade valentine that she made for me and a picture of myself and Robyn at our grad ceremony. My thoughts are with her family and everyone who has ever been blessed enough to have met Robyn. I am so sad that this exquisite creature is no longer with us but pray that she has found the peace she was looking for.
Everyday, everywhere Robyn, I see and feel your presence in countless places throughout the north-end. Images sprayed on the sidewalk, short-cuts worn in vacant lots by your bicycle, places you frequented, and echos of your laughter beneath the harbour breezes.
Robyn, my friend, you gave me so many smiles and special memories. I will keep and cherish them all.
i wish I could email you sushi.
thinking of you…
the fist time i saw you, i was late for class.
you sat amongst about 9 others, in a white window lit studio. i looked around the room for an easy face to find, and there you were, your smile as big as an ocean and your eyes giant and beautiful. i will never forget the first moment i saw you. you are one of those girls that you meet and right away you think, this girl has something.. there is something about her that is inviting yet untouchable at the same time.
that room we painted in, shared ideas, smoked cigarettes, drank coffee, listened to old cassette tapes. you always had the coolest clothes and i wished i could live in the north end like you and then maybe things would really fit.
i was away when you died. i heard about it a week later, right before a show. between the songs i cried in the bathroom in frustration like a lost fool not to be consoled. the weekend that you died, i was so upset myself, and i hadn’t really talked to you in months. i wish some stroke of fate could have been placed by god or someone. by me or by you, to help each other. where are you now?? i dream about you sometimes, and wonder, what’s happened. what has happened?
your smile remains. your pallete knife has lent itself to me. and i rough and ravage the canvas in pale mint greens like a small drop of you has leaked into the water can.
you remain in me. you remain in the air. you are as precious as forever.
Our paths crossed many times, but never really went the same way. We always had a smile for each other. It saddens me so much to think of our collective loss… She was an amazing person who will live on in all of our memories.
I remember hearing on the news about a girl they found, then I discovered it was her. An awful feeling. There’s a weight that presses on my heart when I think of her. I feel the void she has left behind, and I will aways miss her.
Robin, you still have our love.
I lived with Robin on Crieghton Street. We bonded immediately. We had many adventures together living in that house. Many cups of tea, glasses of wine, long discussions on love, life, mysteries of the universe. Robin was the most beautiful person,her magnificant warm smile, her huge brown eyes. I just heard about Robin yesterday, as I am living abroad. It was shocking, and my heart is heavy. She inspired me in so many ways. I will miss her poetic letters, and her philosophical musings.
Words fail me.
I will miss her very very much.
When I last lived on Agricola st. Robin was my neighbor. I had just moved back into the neighborhood from Albert County N.B and was pleasantly surprised to have such a lovely woman so close by. During the next few months I had the privilege of getting to know Robin a little bit at a time, running into her at parties and on the stoop. The longer I live my life the more aware I become of how few people with whom I will feel deeply connected. All that was required with Robin was an instant of eye contact for me to know how very deep the waters of her soul are and how very special and genuine she is. It was only 5 months from the time I had set foot back in town till I was packing to move again this time to Montreal. The day I was to leave I was running up and down the stairs cramming everything I had including two aprehensive cats into a very small car when Robin pokes her head out of her front door to sit on the stoop. She laughs at me with my arms full of random things and says “Can I come too?” and I said “Cute girls ride for free, hop in baby” Robin was the last person I saw in Halifax before I left for Montreal. Without hesitation if she had been serious I would have run away with her in a second, she’s just the kind of person who is perfect to run away with, deep, dark, mysterious, intensly creative, vibrant, intelligent, funny, kind, mischevious and spontaneous, the kind of person I fall head over heels for. It has been three years since that day and I have been back in Halifax for about a year, I thank the universe for allowing me to see her just a few more times, her and I we have unfinished business and I have no dought we will cross paths again. We have all been truly blessed to have shared the world with such a wonderful creature even if only for an instant.
“Where is it that I want to lead mankind and myself above all? Out into the open. What doctrine do I preach to them? Brothers, let us dedicate our souls to our cause, put our hearts into our work, and truly love what we love.”
-Vincent Van Gogh
Robin I truly love you.
yours, Alyssa xoxox
When I returned from abroad, a friend told me that Robin had died while I was away. I didn’t know who Robin was but my friend gave me the link to this website and I recognised Robin right away. Halifax is so small, there are so many familiar faces here and together they are what makes this place my home. Robin was one of these faces; she was a fixture here. She made my coffee so many times at Mokka. She was at NSCAD when I was a student there. She always had a huge smile and seemed to have so much life beaming from her. She stood out in the crowds of new people passing through the city each year. I had no idea that she had Depression.
I had no idea that I had it either. I was diagnosed with Depression just over a year ago and surviving it has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done second only to dealing with it untreated day after day. Depression is an invisible life numbing illness and it can happen to anyone. From everything I have read about Robin, I would never have guessed that she was depressed. I had a harder time hiding it and isolated myself from people. It was a difficult time for me and for my remaining friends and family. Helping a depressed person can be an overwhelming task at time but it it WORTH IT.
The arts allow for expression of the human condition. It’s a medical fact that a lot of creative people suffer from Depression and are more susceptable to it. If you know someone who is depressed, hold them tight, tell them that they aren’t alone, that they are loved even if they don’t love themselves or feel deserving of that love. Especially if they don’t feel deserving of that love. They may not believe you so keep telling them. It’s brain chemistry that locks a person into these beliefs so it’s difficult for depressed people to believe that they are loved even when the evidence is right in front of them. That evidence is what lent me the strength to get the help I needed to fight back and regain my strength. I am now in remission but the fear is there that it will return.
If Robin’s passing has taught me anything, it’s that accepting our own human flaws is so very important. It’s important to accept them in others but it’s also important to accept them in ourselves. Robin’s story has inspired me to reach out more, to love more openly, to take a deeper breath of life and to let my creative juices flow again without the fear that Depression brings.
Thank you Robin.
This is a poem a friend sent me.Please remember it when you see your loved ones.Robin’s dad.
IF I KNEW
If I knew it would be the last time
That I’d see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.
If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.
If I knew it would be the last time
I’d hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.
If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute
to stop and say “I love you,”
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.
If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
Well I’m sure you’ll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.
For surely there’s always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.
There will always be another day
to say “I love you,”
And certainly there’s another chance
to say our “Anything I can do?”
But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
I’d like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.
So if you’re waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you’ll surely regret the day,
That you didn’t take that extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.
So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them
and that you’ll always hold them dear
Take time to say “I’m sorry,”
“Please forgive me,” “Thank you,” or “It’s okay.”
And if tomorrow never comes,
you’ll have no regrets about today.
hello * *
this is a copy of a message i sent to everyone who left an email address at http://robin.swordfight.org .
i wanted to make sure you all knew about the show at stage nine bar & grill in halifax this friday night, july 9 at 9:30pm.
the show is entitled ‘remembering robin: a night of music in memory of robin mathieson.’
heavy meadows will be performing at this show, their first show in almost a year. and i will be opening for them as ‘spinoza,’ my one-man band consisting of bass guitar, drum machine and voice.
admission is $4 with all proceeds going to eastern front theatre, where robin used to work with kids.
i’ve been asked if anyone will be bringing artwork or other mementoes. that would be welcome, although i don’t want to pressure anyone. i have a very simple display in mind that i will be setting up on the stage nine patio, weather permitting.
thank you all for sharing your thoughts and memories on the website.
for more information:
The poster for the show may be found here.
It’s been years since I last saw Robin. I never knew her very well, despite living on the same street as kids, and being friends with Krystal. When I read the news of her death in The Coast, I immediatly knew it was the same Robin from Meadowbank Ave, the same quiet, intriguing girl who looks so much like her sister. Krystal, my heart goes out to you and your family. I’m so sorry for your loss.
Another among the many who will continue to miss you Robyn. All my love!
My trip to Halifax this weekend was healing to be among Robin’s beautiful friends who hold her in their hearts: Nora, thank you for your open heart and love; Scott you have a warm easy personality that spans generations; Philip, you have done so much to help me and I say thank you again for all the love you put into ‘remembering robin’; Stephen, I understand why my daughter held your friendship so dear; Claudette, thank you for the whisperings and please believe my daughter had an eye for beauty; Amy, thank you for the hugs; Mora, thank you for a delicious breakfast which I will always remember; Virgil, your voice calmed my heart; Seth, your energy makes a guitar sing; Dusty, take good care of my little friend; Cameron, your artwork on the windows is impressive; Jessie and Trish and all the others who filled Stage Nine with love Friday night. Krystal and Chuck, thank you for your love and support and for taking me.
another angel…wish i knew you more…
paula & krystal
many of robyn’s friends that gathered at “stage nine” had no idea you were there. several of us feel very sad not to have taken the moment to express our love for robyn and to make you feel welcome.
at the same time, it is comforting to know that you were there with us. thank you and please come again!
Robin came into my dreams and I was so lonely when I woke up and she was gone. I could still feel her in my arms, how they easily encircled her slender frame. Sleep is gone replaced by tears. I love you, Robin. I miss you so much.
for Gerry, Paula, and Krystal
Lots of love, hugs and kisses from all Robin’s friends!
When tomorrow starts without me,
And I’m not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
all filled with tears for me,
I wish so much you wouldn’t cry
The way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn’t get to say.
I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
and each time that you think of me,
I know you’ll miss me too.
But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,
and said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I’d have to leave behind
All those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye
For all my life, I’d always thought,
I didn’t want to die.
I had so much to live for,
So much left yet to do,
It seemed almost impossible,
That I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared,
and all the fun we had
If I could re-live yesterday
Just even for a while,
I’d say good-bye and kiss you
And maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven’s gates,
I felt so much at home
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne.
He said, “This is eternity,
And all I’ve promised you.”
Today your life on earth is past,
But here life starts anew
I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
And since each day’s the same way
There’s no longing for the past.
You have been so faithful,
So trusting and so true.
Though there were times
You did some things
You knew you shouldn’t do.
But you have been forgiven
And now at last you’re free.
So won’t you come and take my hand
And share my life with me?
So when tomorrow starts without me,
Don’t think we’re far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I’m right here, in your heart.
___Remembering Robin___(to be con’t .
You remind me that it ‘s okay
the bunny rabbit
To express my vision
letting go of Me
On to the newsprint
You remind me
breathe — eternity
pick my nose if I want to
Shake my tits if I’m bored
it’s not a race!
(unless I want it to be.)
And then when
… spirit jostles free
bunnys shape appears
what is inside
is out of me
the Child in me
is set free
I breathe you in lovingly
you are my friend
trusting me and what I see
not fearing me
you refused to judge me
and the girl in me
in your space
with your smile’s
continue to create
without a trace
of fallen grace
on our face
we grin peachfully
at my bumbled capibility
(and my Buck 65 humility)
And my unleashed creativity!
I see that you are proud with me
I feel a sparkle in our eye
you stretch your
Lets go smoke a joint
your giggle makes
I can’t help but feel
the child in me
I have to look way up
to see into your
I still look up to you my friend
Only now I’ m looking at the sky.
I will miss you many time yet
(Shake your tits if you’re bored
we’ll see you soon enough.
Hello Phil… and Family and Friends of Robin,
I am so sorry to hear of this. I didn’t know Robin… I don’t even know how I wound up here today, but I guess everything happens for a reason. I was browsing music on Zed and found an old friend, Phil’s, page… then discovered the Swordfight website… then, suddenly… I was here, learning all these precious things about someone I never met — and through these glimpses each of you has offered– I see an angel shining through. You have all been so blessed! And she, too, was blessed to have so many beautiful souls love her so. I am sorry I never knew her, but thanks to you, I feel like I do.
It is said that the robins were made purely from the heart, and that is why their songs shine the brightest.
With all my heart,
Robin made a remarkable short video called, “revolutions” that I would love to see again and maybe get a copy?
She strung together clips of spinning objects like bike wheels, fans, I can’t remember what else.. I’d like to see it again.
If anyone knows how I might get a copy to see it again, please contact me at email@example.com. And if you haven’t already seen it, you really should. A short piece, i think it was her best.
Or hm, maybe someone could post it to Zed or something?
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment
To be free
Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night
oh dear….what to say. I have just heard about this 2 days ago. I hadn’t seen Robin or any of you wonderful Halifax people for 4 years now. I spent a year there in 2000, but have been back in Aust since then. I wish i could make a pot of tea with all these tears and sit and drink it with you Robin, and everyone else. You were such a beautiful woman.
To all of Robin’s friends: I just want to say that Robin’s beauty will be remembered and admired by a larger audience than she (or I) had anticipated, as the model for the muse Erato in my novel of the same name. It has been nominated for the Governor-General’s literary award, (what the hell let’s shoot for the moon), and although literature is ultimately judged from a certain mainline (oh so Canadian and proper perspective), no one, no one can dispute the beauty of the twelve images (Scott Munn’s collaboration). You all will know who this beautiful woman is; others can only marvel. Their loss – and yet, their gain.
Are some messages for Robin now being deleted from this site Philip, was it full, or was it something else? Thank you!
Sorry Philip. Yesterday when i visited the site, a large portion of the messages were not there, but today they all seem to have returned. Glitch or something.
It is very comforting to visit this site when I think of Robin. Thank you again!
My heart and mind do
what my arms and eyes can’t…
I love you Robin.
Was away for the last four months and just returned to Halifax for the fall semester. Must have been in isolation or something all summer because I did not know about Robin until I got back yesterday. Was just told about this site about an hour ago.
Thought I would have lots to say, but after reading all the love contained here it just isn’t so. I find it hard to breath, much less think and express what I feel. Like so many others, I will miss my friend.
Love you Robin!
I miss you so much. We talk about you all the time. Even in Toronto we’re talking about you. I’m going to stencil my neighbourhood, and someone is knitting me some long fingerless gloves in honor of you with your bird stencil on the wrist.
I love you.
How impossible that
You have this myth
And I subscribe
To know you in such retrospect
(And, in dream)
To reverse the effects of time
And somehow from me
You would celebrate your life
This was never my place to say
That I never met such impossible, beautiful eyes.
Robin I miss you so much
I just dropped in, or so the saying goes, to see what condition my condition is in.
Every day I see your stencils in so many places. They keep reminding me of the lose so many of us share.
I guess it is okay for us to say “I miss you Robin!” again, and again, and again.
And I will!
I have visited this sight too many times to count yet for some reason I haven’t written. It took me so long to come to terms with what happened, and then to get my feelings straight in my own head before I could share them with any of you. I’m not sure that they are completely straight but they are as good as they are going to get. Right off the bat I have to appologise for the length…but it is over 3 months coming.
Most of you do not know me and I do not know you. You are Robin’s Present and I am her past. I am Robin’s oldest friend and even though I have not seen her in quite a few years I still consifer her one of the greatest friends I have ever had. Paula, I loved you like a mother growing up. You were the creative force behind who we were and we most definitely bennifitted from you. Gerry, I remember playing computer games with you on your commodor 64, how long ago was that? To me you were always silently present and such a great influence. Krystal…It’s funny when we were young you were always around trying to be involved in everything we did. At the time it was aweful, the age difference was huge. As I got older I thought it was great the way you tried to emmulate your sister. To me you were a little version of my best friend. It was the most sincere form of flattery anyone could receive. Because I knew Robin I know that you have grown into a spectacular young woman.
Robin entered my grade two class two weeks late. She had skipped grade one, which I thought was the coolest thing ever. When she sat down beside me I said hello and I decided that we would be friends. From that day forward we were inseperable. We were like night and day. She was pink and I was blue. When ever we went shopping we would try to find matching accessories, hers in pink and mine in blue. We called ourselves Bert and Ernie because of our mismatched appearance, her long, thin face compared to my wide pudgy one. No matter what her strengths were, though, she never made me feel any less than she was. I remember specifically one time we were making paper dolls (one of our favourite things to do…we had about fifty hand-made dolls)and Robin left the room for a moment. when she returned I had finished the circle I was drawing. Nothing big, just a circle. When she looked at it she said to me, “Wow what a great circle. Did you do that by hand?” When I answered she told me again how great it was, so great in fact that it looked like I had traced it. I felt so good about myself after she said that. I guess Robin always had that about her, she makes other people feel good about themselves.
Robin had no interest in sports what-so-ever, unless I was involved. I remember one time she got her mother or father (I cannot remember which one) to help her make me her own basketball awards one time, which I still have, on the computer. She presented them to me at dinner and told me that she was proud of me.
In grade six I got into my first and only fight to, in my own mind, protect Robin. There was a boy in our class named Brian and he had reached his growth spurt very early, he pushed Robin and she fell over a desk. Well that was all I had to see. I ran at him, fists ready and started punching. I guess that ever since that day that a shy, quiet girl who was younger than anyone else in the class sat beside me I became her sworn protector. I think that was one of the hardest things to remember, protecting her…because where was I this time?
I recently went to school in Maine to become a teacher. One of my assignments was to write an autobiography based on my readign and writing history. What emerged was a 10 page story about Robin and I and the fun we had. Whenever I think about anything concerning my childhood Robin is automatically attached to the thought. After completing the assignment I decided that enough time had past, I needed to get in touch with Robin. Three weeks later when I moved back home I decided that Thursday would be the day I called to find her because I had a day off of work. This decision occured on Monday. My mother called me with the aweful news on Wednesday.
I have just dismissed my class for the day and it seems fitting that I write about my friend in a classroom setting. I look out in my classes and I see her sitting there. I see her in some of my students and I smile because I know these are special people. Robin was so much on an influence in my life and I think about her so much. She was a big part of making me into the person that I grew up to be. I love her so much. I am so grateful for the day, 20 years ago, when she came into my life and I know she will never leave it.
There are so many memories and stories that I could (and probably will)share. I wanted all of you who were lucky enough to know Robin, the girl that I knew. I missed seeing the woman she turned in to but, through reading all of the beautiful words everbody shared, I know I need not be disappointed. I wanted to share with you the girl she was before she came into your lives. I appreciated reading about the woman she became and thought you all would appreciate some early Robin stories. She was just as special then. I would love any e-mails from any of her friends sharing stories with me. I regret not making up my mind to see her sooner. Reading these pages has made me feel closer to her. Thank you, everybody for making this easier for me, I see her smile again because of you.
Sheri; Thank you for the wonderful memories.You were the friend of Robin’s that I missed the most as you grew up and each went your seperate ways. It’s sad but we all lose close contact with the ones we care so much about as we go through our life changes.You were the first of many extra daughters that passed through our household.I hope you are enjoying your teaching,I know Robin would be so happy for you.I hope your pupils get to see a lot of your beautiful
twinkling eyes as you laugh at lifes happier times.
Thanks again, I can hear the two of you giggeling as I sit here. Robins dad
I want to share something with those who loved Robin and are having difficulty understanding how someone who could so easily open her heart and accept anyone as worthy could not accept the value of her own life. How someone with such a heart could inflict such pain on those who loved her – because if you loved her, you are feeling the pain of loss.
I learn best visually and if I can get a picture of something, I can understand it better. A friend who has had experience dealing with those in grief told me to imagine I was alone in a gray concrete room with no windows and one small door. Everyday the room gets a bit smaller and darker. Finally the room is so small and so dark that you take the small door to escape. I am sharing this in hopes that it may help someone else understand Robin’s decision. I am having difficulty, and always will, in accepting my daughter’s decision but this has helped me understand it. I hope it will be a help to someone else. I know Robin never, never would want to cause anyone else pain but I feel she took the only door she felt was there for her.
Thank you to all who have made entries on Robin’s site and thank you Philip for setting it up and maintaining it. I visit every day often more than once. I feel close to her here and I am comforted.
Take care of yourself and those you love.
Twenty years ago, almost to the day, Robin walked into my life…Monday morning, second week of school. I am so grateful for that day. I pasted her picture to the inside of my lesson plan book so I can begin each day thinking of her and how she influenced my life. I only hope I did half as much for her as she did for me. Love you.
….. la rue!
I don’t know where to start. I met Robin a little before Sheri did when I moved to somerset park when I saw six years old. We became quick friends and I can distinctly remember the first time we played in the hill surrounding our townhouses. I was thrilled, as was Sheri, when she joined our grade two class. To me it was like we were destined to be friends. I see it more now that she was destined to play a huge part in the person I am today. I have so many memories of her that are busting to be told. I remember staying over at her house for the first time and being tucked into bed by Paula. That’s when Robin first introduced me to reading (which wasn’t big in my house); even if it was just Archie comic books. Later on in junior high, I remember when Michael Jackson’s “White or Black” video came out and we rollerbladed in her basement to it over and over because Gerry had taped it off of Much Music. It seems like years ago but I can still recall the way she smelled and the way the house smelled. I can think of chocolate chip pancakes that Paula used to make us in the mornings.
Robin had the most influence out of anyone in my life. Even though we hadn’t been close in years, I bring her up often to my husband and have always told him that he should’ve have met her. She alsways made me feel special and never critisized me. I always felt loved for exactly who I am and beautiful even when I knew better:).
To Gerry, Paual, and Krystal,
I’m sorry it has taken me so long to write or get in touch. I’m embarassed by it to be honest. I just didn’t know what to say or what to do. I still have not really accepted it. I know I wasn’t a part of her everyday life now but she still plays a huge part in how I look at the world today. I miss her.
Jeni (she decided in junior high that i should spell my name that way)
oh i miss you, i miss you so much
Krystal reminded me today that next weekend is Thanksgiving and my first thought was “Oh, no”. I did not want to sit around a table with another empty chair. Upon reflection, I have so much to be thankful for. I have a beautiful daughter who I am so proud of. I have a mother who has shown strength in the losses she has faced. I have Chuck who I am pleased to include in our family. I hold these three people in my heart. I have my health, my friends and enough to keep me comfortable. I also hold my Robin in my heart. I miss her so and her memories are both precious and painful. I am thankful.
To Robin’s friends – If you ever wish to drop by, my door is always open.
i visit here often …..
seeking memories along a river of love.
26 years – such a short life
but you touch so many
I miss you so
I’m not religious, but I have read that those considered to be closer to god and heaven release a celestial perfume.
I got to know you just enough to miss you. Please save a chair for me and one day I hope to get to know you better.
To Electricmayhem: That is beautiful, it reinforces my true belief which has been fading lately. Thank you ever so much for your words of wisdom.
The silence of a shooting star lights up the purple sky
and as I wonder where you are, I hang my head and cry.
Robin I miss you so much.
We will never stop thinking of you.
Oh how you loved Halloween! You had so much fun. I miss you tonight and always. XOX
God i still cry so hard when i come back to this site and read of all your beautiful stories and your feelings. I wonder how all you who were so close to her are. I hope you are feeling strong and happy and allowing the simple bliss that is life, to fill your hearts. I hope it is not too cold and that eveyone has people around them that they love.
I think of Robin all the time. I am having a hard time letting her go. She will always be in my heart. I miss her so much.
Last night I learned of the early departures of two women I met at the same time together at the defunct ‘And’ cafe, and saw together talking on Agricola St. for the last time shortly before I left Halifax two years later. Although I knew Heather Randall on more of a personal level, I considered Robin more of a kindred spirit. I am in shock at the loss of both of them, and have few words to describe the emptiness I feel. Robin’s shy smile and warm, caring eyes will be forever etched in my memory. I am so sorry for her pain, and the inadvertent pain that she has caused. May it be a lesson to all of us for the future – about the necessity for sincerity and caring amidst the iniquities of life, and the often cruel ways in which they present themselves. My love and symathy to you all.
They both had beautiful hearty laughter sewn into their beings…
I miss all of you.
My dear Robin – Six month ago you slipped away and no one even knew. Losing you hurts so badly, just breathing is an effort. I miss you so much. I need one of your hugs. Love from Mom xox
ye banks and braes o’ yorke redoubt,
how can ye bloom sae fresh and fair?
how can ye chant, ye little birds,
and i’m sae weary, fu’ o’ care!
ye’ll break my heart, ye warbling bird,
that wanders through the flow’ring thorn
mind me o’ departed joys,
departed, never to return.
aft hae i roam by yorke redoubt,
to see the rose in woodbine twine;
and every bird sings all its love,
and fondly sae that i o’ mine.
with lightsome heart i put a rose,
for sweet upon a thorny tree.
but robyn o’ heather staw my rose,
and ah they left was the luv in me.
Yes, very beautiful!
I just wanted everyone who attended the ‘Remembering Robin’ night on July 9th to know that there was a posting in the Eastern Front Production Company’s program for ‘The Fighting Days’ acknowledging the donation made from proceeds of that night.
Robin Lea Mathieson
1978 – 2004
Eastern Front Educational
From Robin’s Friends and
Thank you Philip and all Robin’s friends who made this possible. Keep her in your hearts.
heather marie randall
dec. 26, 1970 to dec. 23, 2003
one year ago today.
we went to yorke redoubt this afternoon. very foggy!
arranged and lit candles in the shape of a christmas tree for heather and robyn on their rock.
went back this evening. still foggy!
saw a delightful, dancing radiance.
the candles are still lit and will probably continue burning throughout the night.
thinking of heather, thinking of robyn and thinking of our friends and families.
merry christmas everyone!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all Robin’s friends and family.
My dear Robin – I am trying to keep busy with last minute things, but you are never far from my heart and mind. So many things bring you closer. So many of my decorations have a part of you with them – the ornaments you made, the popcorn you strung… ‘Blue Christmas’ on the radio has a different meaning now.
Thank you so much to friends who have stopped in or sent best wishes. Byrd, Trish and Sara – thank you for your tribute. Blessings to you all!
Robin, I toast your good taste in picking friends. You have many who love you. Rest peacefully my daughter. Love – Mom
Tears cannot fill the hole you have left in our hearts.Christmas was always special because you always came home to be with us even if only for a few days.I could not even talk to your mother on this day because I knew it would hurt so much for both of us. Robin I miss you so much.Thinking of you as always.Love Dad
I miss you Robin. I’m back in Halifax, in the homes of our friends and everywhere I go, you’re there. There are prints of your beetle on the walls and fridges, someone has your mannequin patch on his bedroom door, a stencil at Virgil and Nat’s signed La Rue 2004. I think of you every day and I love you so much.
This was my first Xmas holiday in Saint John in four years that didn’t somehow involve Robin. I had forgotten how bleak and depressing this city can be. I cried in my brother’s bathroom and I cried walking across the causeway at night and right now I think I’m going to go outside and walk around in a snowstorm.
I’m not sure if I don’t have many dreams or if I just don’t remember them. In the two and a half years since my dad passed away, I have never remembered seeing him in a dream. Tonight I saw him and he told me Robin was with him. Robin was named for her grandfather Robert as she was due to be born on his birthday. Her Papa will keep her safe.
2005 will have a abyss where a special robin should have been
remember how I used to just blab and blab, and go on and on? You would smirk and teasingly call me “motor-mouth”.
That big smile and mischievious look in your eyes told me not only were you laughing with me, you were also laughing at me. No doubt you’ve heard that one before. So adorable! And so you!
I loved you from the moment we met Robin. You were instantly a friend. It is so hard for me to fathom that only one year ago today it would still be almost two months before we would meet.
I feel so blessed to have known you Robin, if only for a short time, and I want to thank you for making that time so special.
I had to work this boxing day… I work at a store in the mall.. and as you can imagine it was insanely busy. I stole away for a five minute break and decided to stop by Robin’s website… it had been almost exactly a year since I last saw her at that point and the pictures posted of her always make me smile. I glanced through the web site for a bit and then went back out on the floor as break was over. All of a sudden I was standing there and amidst a sea of faceless shoppers…… I broke down. This was my first xmas away from home and… as I was out on the floor it dawned on me that I could not remember a Christmas where Robin and I didn’t get to hang out. We have lived in different cities since we were 17 but Xmas was the time I was guaranteed to see her. Not seeing my family and friends at Christmas was very tough this year Robin… knowing that you would not have been there to share it with me was tougher. I miss you honey. I’m still holding on tightly . xo Rob
ps – I have so many funny maniquen stories from working here that I think you would love. Customer’s do the strangest things to them. I swear, I love people. 🙂
peace, Robin – peace.
ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…..sorry it took me so long to say something.iv been trying to figure stuff out in my own head.that diddint work.nothing got figured out.i almost wish it had.thank god i had people here tohelp me.ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……sorry about my inconsistent ramblings. i just wanted tosay i miss you robin.im still dealing wit this everyday.and it just proves to me how much i realy do miss u. love ska
dont forget to remember your friends today. or any day. embrace everyone.
“Do not believe that he who seeks to comfort you lives untroubled among the quiet words that soemtimes do you good. His life is filled with much difficulty and saddness… were it otherwise he would never have been able to find the words’
I miss sending my love on Valentine’s Day. I miss you so much. This is the saddest day of love I have ever had to endure.
I miss you Robin. Your understanding and kindness surpasses that of most people. I draw my strength from you.
yesterday. i found a wide black leather snap bracelet. i wore it. it made me think of your and the black/red leather bracelet. i love you, everyday.
Once again you visit in my dreams. It felt so good to have you close. Sadness envelopes me like fog when I awake. Novi is sleeping on my bed. I cuddle him and his softness and soft purrs are a small comfort – his licks are annoying. Sleep will not come for awhile but I will wrap your visit around me like my blankets. I love you Robin and I miss you so. xox
birthdays. good for thinking. even from far. love you, robin.
always thinking, paula.
On February 26, 1978 at 6:29 PM, my firstborn entered this world – quietly as she did not breath immediately. I had loved carrying her and now I could hold what had been my greatest wish – a child. I loved her so much. Then her sister joined us and I was doubly blessed. Robin touched so many lives with love, tenderness and quiet ways. She had such talent in so many areas and these were blossoming. She had many friends but allowed a few into her inner soul. Robin left just as quietly as she came into this world but she was alone.
Robin, I will never understand your decision to leave but it does not affect my love or the empty hole that I now have in my heart. This is such a sad day for me. Happy Birthday!
Love – Mom xox
(Thank you for remembering, Stephen. Take care.)
Happy Birthday Princess Where ever you are.Your Dad misses you always but today really hurts more than others. I had no idea when I first feld you that you could turn out as Beautiful on the inside as you were on the outside,I just hoped for your happiness and to watch you grow and someday have a child of your own to hold and love as we did you.Thank you for your love but it was just to damm short of a time.Love you always Dad
Happy Birthday Robin. miss you.
Happy Birthday Robin. I miss you. I love you.
i miss you every day
I think about you all the time. I miss seeing you so much. You always smiled at me, no matter what.
Robin wore her overalls on her birthday last year. She looked so cute in those that I nicknamed her “Hopscotch Jackson.”
I took her out to lunch at the Lebanon. Then it was me, Robin and Ger on the corner of North and Agricola, and Ger and I rolled around in the snowbanks and yelled our heads off while Robin stood there and laughed at us.
I have to leave this neighbourhood but my memories of Robin and of the North End will be intertwined forever.
Thou too art gone, thou lov’d and lovely one!
Whom youth and youth’s affection bound to me;
Who did for me what none beside have done,
Nor shrank from one albeit unworthy thee.
What is my being? thou hast ceas’d to be!
Nor stayed to welcome here thy wanderer home,
Who mourns o’er hours which we no more shall see–
Would they have never been, or were to come!
Would he had ne’er returned to find fresh cause to roam.
from Childe Harold by Byron
I think Robin’s purpose and meaning during her lifetime were huge; and now, the beauty of her life has many new purposes.
One of them is to remind me how precious and fragile life really is. And that when you feel completely alone and helpless, you are probably wrong.
I have been grappling with depression for a while now, and have had recurring thoughts about ending my life. But ever since I stumbled on this site and discovered Robin, her life, her friends, her family – I think twice now and remind myself that I AM loved, and there is always a way. It prevents me from going through with the dark thoughts I have… Your face haunts me in such a lovely, caring way. Thank you Robin. And I am sure that my own friends and family would thank you for lending me some of your strength, so as to prevent the situation from being repeated. I am humbled and grateful to you, although I wish it didn’t have to be like this, I wish I could bring you back.
Dear Friend –
I am so glad you found my Robin and that she was able to help you through the love shown in the correspondance of her friends and family. You have given me a silver lining in a cloud that is often very dark. A friend once told me that happiness is wanting what you have – not having what you want. I hope you can look at what you have and find happiness and build on it. Take care of yourself.
Thank you, Philip!
Happy Easter Robin
Thinking of you and missing you
I saw Paula the other day at the gym I work at and as always I worry about her and how she is doing. I think of Robin every day; I’ll see something that reminds me of her: a piano, a song that we used to listen to etc. Anyway, I was hestiant to go over to Paula because I’m expecting my first child the first week of June and I feel guilty for being so happy when I know how sad Paula is and I was scared it would remind her that she won’t see Robin carry her own child. But I just wanted her to know, and Gerry, that if the baby had been a girl, instead of the boy we are expecting, she would’ve been named Robin. My husband, even though he never met her, knows how much I respected her and cared for her and agreed with the name. I would have been very lucky and blessed to have a daughter even close to how special Robin was (and is).
Miss her constantly,
Jennifer (Griffin) Perry
my heart still tremors every time i am reminded of you. not just pangs of sorrow, but i don’t know, it’s as if it’s trying to understand a life, trying to compress all of the meaning and depth you brought into this world, all in the length of a shadow. i will never understand my heart, and i will never understand you. but i don’t think it matters, this lack of comprehension is meaningless in the greater context. our hearts are forever linked through the infinite soul.
Byrd and I wound up out at Yorke Redoubt today. Didn’t plan on it. Just sort of happened that way. Sat on Heather and Robin’s rock drinking tea while watching a couple of sea king helecopters doing manuvers below us only a few feet above the surf. The water was kicking it up today.
Neither of us spoke the whole time. Lost in our memories. As we left, we saw a doe and her fawn down by the rapid fire battery. So beautiful.
And so peaceful!
you’re never far from my thoughts robin. its almost been a year since your passing, but i keep recalling every single conversation we’ve ever had. the times when i could tell you were sad, i wished i had reached out more to you. i wish i didnt feel held back by trying to respect your space. sometimes the replay of everything drives me mad.
i remember before we became friends at salvation, you used to live below me on north street. i remember falling asleep a few times listening to the music playing in your room beneath me.
i had been shy to become your friend at first, i was intimidated by you. when we finally got closer i remember thinking how ridiculous it was that i ever felt that way. you always were a comforting presence in a room. i felt safe having you there.
i remember the good times too.. how we planned a video screening at sal…i remember being so excited by your art work. i wish we could have worked on a video project together.
i remember us making a crazy snowman with an alien head and strange protruding limbs. it was the day after ‘white juan’ and there must have been 5 feet of snow everywhere but we had both ended up at sal that day.. you were able to play in the snow like a child with me. i treasure that. i keep photos of you around my bedroom from that day. you and colleen infront of spray painted snowbanks, grinning. i dont want to forgot the lasting impression you made on me.
god the backroom of salvation the shitty couch you there rolling cigarettes..me smoking alongside you..having political, religious, silly, encouraging conversations.. you always made me feel beautiful.
i remember one time walking into the cafe and you came out and said, i was just talking about you. i like how syncronisity happened when i was around you.
i miss you dearly.
Everyday I check this site out and get excited when I see the posting count has gone up.I wait impaitently for it to open on my screen, hoping it will carry some of your memories of Robin to me. Thank everyone so much for your thoughts and for sharing them with all of the rest of us.As I go over old photos of Robin and her family and friends from her youth,everyone of them reminds me of how much we love Robin and how big a hole She has left in all of our hearts.May her memories continue to touch all her Family and friends and warm their hearts in a special way that her smile could.Again thank you all for sharing. Robin’s Dad
Larue–I dreamed about you last night. Rays of sunlight converged to form a golden hologram of your face in the corner of the living room. You were saying something, but I couldn’t make out the words.
All I wanted was to be closer to you.
Thanks Phillip ever so much, this website truly is a blessing for all who loved and continue to miss Robin.
month of contrasts
sun and rain
warm and cold
birth and death
i do not like you, may
for a return
a new normality
i need calm, not storms
i love you, Robin
i miss you
this morning, up to the same, I weep.
more and more I feel you in me.
and can I make you some tea?
steep, this mourning, steep.
the days keep approaching, what’s up?
you, like always, sleep.
this time of year is hard the daffodiles are sad, the crows haunting…
i think of you often
wish i could see your smile again.
love from me
Gerry: One year has passed and I am thinking and praying for you. Hoping the years to come will soften a bit, this heart-breaking loss. May time also help to shadow the hurt a bit, just enough to let the memories of good times shine through.
God bless you and all the family,friends and acquaintances who have loved and continue to love
Gerry, Paula and Krystal,
She is always in our hearts and we are always here for you. Love always, Sherri, Ken, Evan and Kelsey
I think about you today Robin. I am trying to think of good memories. I do not want to think about what was on your mind a year ago.
I love you and I miss you so much.
All day long I think to myself ,I wonder what Robin was think at this moment a year ago.As the end of the day draws closer it gets harder to keep my mind occupied with other thoughts.Thank all of you who share the loss and hurt with Robin’s family. It doesn’t get any easier dealing with the loss but the
support of all helps ease the pain.Robin we all miss you so much.Rest in peace my beatiful daughter.Love Dad
anna and i went out to yorke redoubt to heather and robyn’s rock just about supper time and stayed there until well after dark. was snowing when we got there but stopped less than an hour later.
the wind was nasty, comming out of the bedford basin from the north. must be one mean north-easter blowing out there somewhere because the swells below the rock were six to seven feet high stretching between yorke redoubt and macnab’s island.
(part of the path to the rock washed out in last weekend’s terrific rainstorm, so now the safest way to the rock is through the cave / tunnel of the rapid fire battery. suggest future visitors bring a flashlight as the tunnel floor is somewhat treacherous.)
(and for anyone planning a visit to heather and robyn’s rock who isn’t familiar with the banks at yorke redoubt, please don’t go it alone. it is seriously dangerous out there.)
anna and i built a fire back of the rock to keep warm but basked in the warmth of fond memories of heather and robyn.
and we lit a queen-sized magnolia scented candle for robyn, for her family, and for everyone blessed with memories of robyn.
it casts its light from the cliffs of yorke redoubt as i write this and will continue to shine as a beacon of everyone’s love for you robyn throughtout the night.
we love you robyn and we miss you dearly!
I just returned from Muskoka tonight, and thought that I would share a moment I had up there alone this afternoon. As I had finished the bulk of the work I went there to do, I sat and rested on the dock under the gazebo watching the waves froth up and the wind blow the spray from the East. I was listening to Amelia on the sound system I had just hooked up – very loud – enough to hear clearly on the other side of the lake on a calm day. The rain began to pelt my face and I closed my eyes. Almost instantly, I was transported to that very rock where Heather and I used to sit doing the very same thing, although we made our own music there. Then I realized what I had been missing for the last couple of days. It is you Robin, and our friend in common. You’re in the wind.
I could not stay in Saint John this weekend and I also was at Yorke Redoubt. Thank you Nora for your love and support. I did find some peace as this was something I had needed to do. This has been a very sad year. I miss and love you so much, my daughter. I hear your laughter in my head but I also feel your pain in my heart.
Love, Mom xox
this site makes me cry. but i always come back.
i never knew her. but i wish that i did.
the only thing i can say is that she must of been needed elsewhere.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about you. I wanted to talk to you today about how much you touched us all. Every kid in the North End knows your name, sees your mark and thinks of you, misses you, wishes they could have done something that could have made a difference in your suffering. I’m sure so many did, but you’re not hear anymore & all we can do is tell your story and try to understand.
Sometimes I pretend it’s possible for you to bike around the corner and smile at me again.
Sometimes I walk into the grainery and try to smell you again.
Sometimes I dream of you and I see you dance. I know it’s a dream because you would have never stood up in front of a crowd and danced like you do in my dream, you were too reserved for that, but I always wished you could have been as proud of your shine as we were because it was brilliant and I miss it/you.
You are laughing in my dream and as I awake, your laughter stays in my head and a deep longing fills me. I miss you so Robin.
Love – Mom
As I sat and read every comment, it made me think a lot. I have no idea how I found this site through a tangled web of blogs. Actually I’m not sure what I’m doing up at this hour, as I’m usually not, but it seems I’ve stumbled upon this site for a reason. I only know of Robin what I’ve just read tonight, but as I look at the picture of her face, I see warmth and pain. What an artist she must have been. I guess it touched me so much because I feel so badly for Phillip. I can see myself in his shoes, my wife in hers. My wife and I both struggle with depression, and it’s a daily battle (imagine how our poor kids are going to turn out…hahaha). The analogy of the concrete room was as explicit and accurate as you can get. My sincerest condolences to all family. Although we’ve never met, you’re all with me in spirit. I wish you all the best, and hope to see the popularity of her art rise.
Robin I miss you.
I was watching Novi clean his chest today and had a flashback to the day you were imitating him and how we laughed. I remember the day we went to the Animal Rescue League and you picked out this friendly little ball of fur named ‘Tommy’. Well, love, you gave him a better name and a better home. He is definitely no longer ‘little’! He is content here, I think, but I’m sure he misses you, too.
Love you always – Mom
hey its been a long time,iv come to realize a few things since.Robin i was and am very very inspired by you and your art.when ever i saw you taking pictures,i always thought to myself thats what i want to do,i mean fashion first but photography comes in a high second.your paintings have also inspired some of my own.i understand how hard this is for my mom,but sometimes i wish she could sit back and smile at how far wev all come in the last year,i know how hard it is on her because its still just as hard on me.im ok.i mean im a sixteen year old girl who already knows where she wants to go in life.iv decicded that im going to go to Ryerson and study photography,film,and fashion.my succses right now is inspired by you.i love you.i miss you.infact we all do.anyways my tears are blurring the screen.sleep in peace.we all love you dearly
this comment is dated for yesterday….
today is the first day of summer.
last night i diddnt sleep,i stayed up,and watched the sunrise….i know you would have loved to have seen it,just to let you know it was stunning and it kinda reminded me of you in that way. anyways just wanted to tell you about the sunrise.Happy solstice!!!
hey sorry i forgot to mention this earlier ….ok i know its been awhile but i started a pg for robin on my site just for pics really so if anyone who has pics of her or pics of her work that would be willing to send them to me it would be appreciated thanx….
the site is http://www.morbidlittlegirl.piczo.com
and my email is
Gone from us but never far from our thoughts and hearts. I visit often just to see you.
Miss you, Robin
My dear Robin –
You can look after Coffee for me and I’ll look after Novi for you.
Love you and miss you every day.
Love – Mom XOX
I’ve missed you so much over the summer. It was a time when we could spend some alone time together. You loved the warm summer nights. I see you in my mind and I hold you in my heart.
Love – Mom XOX
I miss your laugh and smile and most of all your hugs. It hurtss to come here and see the messages have almost stopped.You are in my heart every breath I take.Love You DAd
I come here often and think of Robin every single day, though I never even met her. The messages on this page gave me hope at times when I needed it more than anything else. I feel connected to Robin in some interesting unexplainable way. Just know that though the messages may be dwindling, there is no way that such a beautiful soul could be forgotten.
I just wanted Robin’s friends to know that a blue marble memorial stone now marks the place where she rests. It carries the black bird print that Robin stencilled throughout the North End of Halifax. Saint John now has a copy. I miss you, my beautiful daughter and you are ‘always in our hearts’.
Love, Mom XOX
My dear Robin –
I am thankful for the 26 years I had to share with you but I selfishly want more. I wish you were here with us. I miss you so.
Forever in my heart –
Love – Mom XOX
Robin – while I never had the privilege of meeting you personally, I have grown to know you through your very special mother. She and I share a bond as my daughter Heather joined you six weeks after you left. I wanted you to know that you were constantly in my thoughts when I travelled in Europe over the past few weeks. I thought, as an artist, how you’d have marvelled at the wonders in St. Petersburg, at the mind dazzling art in the Hermitage. I wanted to let you know that I lit a candle for you, and Heather, in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin on September 26th, 2005. Sleep peacefully little girl.
not a day passed by over the summer in halifax for me without seeing your stencils in the north end. the over-spray has faded but the emages remain clear and strong. i am continually finding them in new and unexpected places.
byrd and i went out to yorke redoubt and haynes gardens to picnic a few times over the summer. we did the wine, cheese, bread and talk thing. we totally avoided yours and heather’s rock (although it was visible from where we were.) hope you don’t mind.
byrd is exhibiting his art for the first time since he left nscad. he has a show at “one world cafe” (where “salvation” was) until the end of the first week in november. i see your friend stephen fowler working there occasionally. he is such a pleasant person.
left for europe before byrd’s opening but heard it was a good time. (tyler messick and andy march provided the music so you just know it rocked!)
i’m now in germany buried in a master’s program. never thought i would ever miss the bay road.
i visit this site often. glad it is still here and hope it stays. hugs and kisses for all your family and friends!
somedays i feel like i am talking to you robin. other times i feel i am talking to myself. (and worse yet – answering back!)
but it doesn’t matter robin because you are in my heart forever.
Krystal came to the door tonight collecting for the food banks. She looked so beautiful in the geisha costume she made. I remember all the costumes I made and think of all the fun we had on Halloween. You and your sister carved such wonderful and creative pumpkins – a rabbit, a bat, a baby, a clown, a witch flying in front of a moon, three-tiered….you both had such imaginations. I have so many memories as I am sure your friends have also, as you never lost your love of dressing up. I will always have this terrible feeling of loss – it is just stronger and blacker sometimes.
You are forever in my heart.
Love, Mom xox
I was back in our old neighborhood this weekend & I went to see your street art.
I made a special trip to see it & I want you to know that I will always remember you. I keep you with me in the most base ways and you remind me of so much. Thank you for all that you are.
I hope you’re continuing your art in the next realm & I like to remember that your grandfather is with you. I like to feel that at least you know now how much love the world has for you.
Peace my sweet.
Did you ever make her cry? It’s too late for so many things…
I remember Robin’s inquisitive stare, her sad face, her seductive look, the defiant fire in her eyes, and a smile that brightened any day.
But I never saw her cry. I don’t believe that was something that Robin shared willingly with most.
And why would she?
And why would anyone who shared something so special want to part with it?
Hello Robin. I have been painting again. Painting makes me so happy. I would like to share what i have been doing with you. I remember how encouraging you were when i first met you. You dropped by my place with a friend . You said you really liked a painting i was working on.
I really respected your feedback. It felt so good to feel appreciated. Thank you.
p.s… About a 2 weeks before you crossed over, we landed a job at the same worksite.We had so many laughs working together. We were rolling white paint on the walls of jay wells salon. There was a dummy head in the corner, and i couldn’t stop grabbing it and pretending it was talking to us. All the head would say was “dummy head this, dummy head that.” We were pissing ourselves off the ladder.
….I love you
It must have been cold there in my shadow,
to never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that’s your way,
you always walked a step behind.
So I was the one with all the glory,
while you were the one with all the strength.
A beautiful face without a name — for so long,
a beautiful smile to hide the pain.
Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
and ev’rything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.
It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I’ve got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it,
I would be nothing with out you.
Fly, fly, fly away,
you let me fly so high.
Oh, fly, fly,
so high against the sky, so high I almost touch the sky.
Thank you, thank you, thank God for you,
the wind beneath my wings.
Robin – I heard this song today and cried as I thought of you
… and I miss my wind so.
Love – Mom xox
Why is it that the people you care about most in life are taken from you much to soon? Robin I miss you so much.My heart aches every time I see pictures of you or of your artwork.If I could turn back time ,it would be to when you and Krystal were small children,laughing and running through the house without a care in the world. Christmas was a time I looked forward to, sometimes more than my two beatiful innocent children did.Now a big part of me dreads it knowing how much it will hurt because your not here. Thank you for all the wonderful memories,sometimes they help fill the hole torn in my heart.How I wish I could hug you once more.I miss you so.Love Dad
well here i sit,my hair dripping down on to my shoulders,i have just stepped out of the shower,my mind tends to be the clearest in there… i had a dream last night,there was this beautifull figure dancing in a broken sunrise, smiling, i look deep into her eyes, all i saw was reassurance that life would go on and that i would be ok…the figure i beleive was a reprsentative of you,you always made me feel as if everything was going to be ok…i have been thinking again as i tend to do on a reguler basis…iv been thinking about how life works, why we all go through what we do, again i have come to no conclusions,but it was a good thing to think about…it made me think about how i live my life,so instead of being my regular grumpy old self lately i have tended towards the more happier bouncier side of things,yes i am still quote unqoute goth but i am now a happy “goth” lol anyways iv been rambling on again my point was im happy now i love you and i miss you and someday we will meet agian but untill then keep happy ciao bella XOXOXOX
At Robinâ€™s grave, November 19/05
I stand here (and yet wish not)
And try to understand (and yet cannot)
For all the reason in the world (and yet reason not)
For each we touch in our life (and yet do not)
We go in good company (and yet will not)
To acknowledge that we mean (and yet say not)
To hold each other up (and yet may not)
Know all will be broken under this stone (and yet want not)
And yet love and hope do not die, but sleep in our pain, until we are not.
And yet, even then, they, and we, still are.
The marker is beautiful, Paula. She has a claim upon the earth more eternal than we are.
I’m sitting downstairs as my new little one, Jake, sleeps soundly on the couch and I stumbled upon Robin’s website and starting to get caught up on what had been written since I last visited. Even as I glance back at the first few messages that had been written by Krystal, Paula, and Gerry it’s amazing how far they all seem to have come in their grief. It gives me hope that now, as I prepare to lose my mother to cancer, that I can move forward too. The pain will always be there but you do move forward and continue to live and remember. This website also helps because it reminds me that people don’t forget those who were important to them. To know that all of the people reading this still think of Robin brings me comfort that my mother will not be forgotten either. People will remember her.
Like a lot of other people who have commented, I never knew Robin but for some reason I feel as if I can share her experiences. Whenever I feel sad and alone, I visit this website and read as many of the comments as I can…just to let me know that it’s not always about how I feel. Coming here really grounds me and puts a new vitality in me that helps with all of the tough days I may have. I’m so sorry that such a beautiful and inspirational person isn’t here anymore when I am. It may mean nothing, but if I could replace her so that all of her loved ones could have her back…I would. Robin, I never knew you, but you’ve touched my life more than you know.
My dear M. –
I visit Robin’s site daily and I thank you for your entry. You need to realize that your life has worth and I hope you take from Robin the fact that you can make a difference in someone’s life in our mixed-up world. I don’t think Robin ever realized how much she meant to so many people.
We have an award at our elementary school that is given to grade 12 students. It has been named the ‘Robin Award’ after my daughter and it is for kids who may not realize how important they are.
You are important even if you don’t realize it.
Take care – Robin’s Mom
My dear Robin –
Today, trying to awaken some Christmas spirit, I decided to decorate the house. It certainly didn’t work. With heavy heart I put out the decorations that you had made and painted over the years with your sister. I looked at the family portrait that we had done and there are four people who have left my inner circle.
I have a friend who also lose her daughter and it saddened me when she said ‘I just wish Christmas would go away’. Today Mad, I agree with you.
Someone who called today asked if I had a cold – yes I have a cold – a cold heart.
Sleep peacefully my beautiful daughter. I miss you so.
Your spirit is still wrapped around all things beautiful and happy, and in the celebrations that still take place. Although it can never rival your actual presence, there is much worth in the ethereal legacy that you have left behind.
I send my own energy to the Mathieson family and friends during the holidays, so that you might all find some smiles and love to warm your hearts.
i too have wished christmas away on a few occasions this year…all i seem to be able to think about is the past…and the past is what makes me wish christmas away…i have lost to many people in the last 2 years, one of which on christmas day…sometimes it is really hard on my head…but then i remember i still have my mom and my family (related or not)….i wish i could say that i still had you and heather…but i have learned in the last while that moving on is still the best thing for me…i will always remember you, i have reminders of you everywhere…there are memorys ofg you in my poetry and there are memorys of you in my paintings they truly are everywhere…i will be visiting york redoubt sometime during this holiday season.. there will be a candle lit in yours and heathers memorys…i love you…
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ROBINS FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND ALSO TO NAYONE ELSE WHO DECIDES TO VISIT HERE…
much love to everyone…
Merry Christmas Everyone:
May you all see Robin’s great smile in the faces of happy Christmas goers, hear her laughter in the joyous celebrations, and feel her presence in all the excited children enjoying Christmas and Santa. Her memory lives on everywhere, in routine days and in holiday days. Best Wishes to all, our past is a memory, today is a “present” and our future is unknown and I pray pleasant. God Bless.
I’m scared!I have a friend who is sick and she has tried to leave us a couple of times now. I don’t know what to do to help her. I want her to stay with us. I don’t want to loose another beautiful woman to sadness and fear. Please, please… If you can do anything to help her… If there are Angels please send her one…
I feel so helpless. I don’t know who to turn to who can do anything but she makes me think of you & I’m so terrified to have to live through another untimely death… She’s disapeared and is paranoid and now alone. Fuck sickness & the world… I don’t know what to do.
Please, please help her if you can… I don’t know if praying works, but it’s all I have right now. Robin please reach down and whisper to her… otherwise I fear you’ll be seeing her before I do…
To KP. When Robin tried to leave us ,before the one thing that her family told me had worked was when I got firm with her and told her that she had no right to hurt the people who loved her so much. I tried to explain how each member of her family would be personally affected and would be hurt forever.This seemed to help for a while ,but now that it has happened I can only tell you it is worse than we could even imagine. For you personally ,the Dr.s that we saw told us that as an adult that the final decision rests with the individual, you can not lock them up or commit them even though you feel that it would help. You are right to be afraid. I wish there was more that i could tell you to help. Sometimes this season brings feelings of loneliness and dispair,if this is part of their problem maybe explaining that it is only a day and it will soon be past.Good luck and may someone or something interviene to help you both.
Dear KP: I am so sorry that you are being faced with the pending fear of suicide. Thank you for sharing with us, it helps. I hear your feelings of fear and powerlessness and these feelings can be overwhelming for sure. Please keep us posted, I am most interested to hear from you again.
I have checked some of my notes from a Suicide Intervention seminar and would like to share some of these with you, in hopes that maybe one little note will help you.
-How? Approach head on, give person persmission to talk about it, allow them to vent.
-They have feelings of lost, alone, we cannot argue that, be respectful of those feelings.
-Is there a hook? Something that may be keeping them alive, pet, long lost friend, try to connect with this person about this hook.
-Try and let your friend control conversations, they need to connect.
-Express how you are concerned about their thoughts of suicide,keep focused on how they are feeling, ask if they have a plan, ask if they have a time, how are they thinking of doing it, have they ever attempted it before & if so what helped before when they were in crisis, why are you thinking of suicide in this time of your life, etc?
-Assess (CPR) Current Plan, Prior Behaviour, Resources, (Community Mental Health, Health centers, crisis lines, etc.)
KP, I hope this may help a bit. I am very concerned about your well being.
candles are burning for heather randall and robyn at their rock, at haynes gardens and on the church doorsteps at yorke redoubt as we write this.
merry christmas to all heather and robyn’s family and friends.
My dear Robin –
You have been on my mind and in my heart today. I lit my candle from the Christmas Eve service when I visited your resting place today. I miss you so. Be at peace my daughter.
Love – Mom XOX
To Robins friends and family.
Iam so sorry to hear of your loss. I never knew Robyn personally, only met her a few times out in Halifax.Also my cousin was one of her students at the theater. She smiled so warm and her disposition so caring to complete strangers on the street . One time I was feeling really down, my friends took me out to the Khyber club (I think it was the khyber)to get me to come out of my depression. She was there.She smiled at me and said hi.She told me I looked beautiful. There was something warm about her, very caring. I saw her out a few other times. She must have sensed my sadness because she always made an effort to say hello to me and smile .I wish I had of talked with her more.
When I stumbled upon Phillips site, recognized her from her picture and saw a tribute to her I felt devastated. A truly special person has left this world for sure. I have a feeling she was too good for this earth. There are just some people that are closer to pureness and good.Their sensitivites and artistic abilities – though a gift- make them more vulnerable to episodes of sadness , and the deep injustices of this world. I feel they internalize these feelings and take everything onto their shoulders. Sometimes even angels need a helping hand.
Robins mom and dad. I suspect the holidays may be a very difficult time for you. I can never even imagine the pain of losing a child. I do however know the pain of depression and fighting through mental illness. Though it is probably a small consolation to you, your daughter made me feel so much better when I was in the throes of deep depression. Her kindness was so simple, yet meant so much to me. Years later I still remember it. Please take care of yourselves and treat each other well .We never know really how a person is feeling about themselves.All we can do is treat them with respect and dignity.Let them know we love them and be there as much as possible.You sound like a loving close family, I hope you can make your way through this tragedy into the light.
God Bless you and your daughter.
I miss your phone call – I miss you!
I am pleased to let you all know that my friend has returned home and is for the time being, safe.
I cried so much when I first spoke with her and I told her about my feelings of panic and fear. I shared with her about Robin and all the pain I felt and saw surrounding her death. We made a deal that I can only pray she will honor. She vowed that she will always talk to me or her family about her thoughts & fears before she does anything rash.
Thank you for the advice! I copied it out and keep it in my purse. I will do anything in my power to help others know that they are loved far beyond their own capacity to understand it. I don’t want to loose anyone else.
Thank you Philip for this site and for all of the support.
Robin, your smile will live on in my heart forever! Iâ€™ll never forget you or how your leaving, left us all wanting to live, live, live life to the fullest. Cherish every momentâ€¦
We are but shooting stars.
Dear KP –
Please keep your friend close. Robin also assured me that she would let me know if the ‘blackness’ ever came back. I think she tried to fight it by herself rather than share it with those who loved her and it overpowered her. When the blackness surrounds you, it is hard to see the love of others through it.
You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Thank you, Philip, for allowing Robin to still help others through her website. We will never know those who have been touched and hopefully helped.
I often wonder what more she could have added to this world had she chosen to stay. I miss her every day.
– Paula Mathieson
If nothing else…please know that you are loved…..through all that life can throw at us… this will never change…unconditional…never ending….forever
Whenever I saw a single crow flying, I always thought of the childhood rhyme –
One crow sorrow,
Two crows joy ….
Now when I see one crow, I think of Robin. As I watch it fly out of sight, there is sorrow but there are also many memories that fill me.
Love you always my daughter. XOX
speaking of crows paula, a little over three years ago, at charlie’s pub in halifax’s north end, on a perfect fall evening, robyn, roy (a respected mi’kmaq elder) and myself were enjoying a few garrison browns and yaking up a storm.
robyn asked roy to give her a mi’kmaq name
without hesitation, roy said “ka’qoquj” (gaa haa which) was already hers.
the smile never left robyn’s face for the rest of the evening.
shy wildflower found…….peeking out from winter’s bed…..serendipity……seeing you after so long….a brief collision of joy!
Brad Paisley Song –
When I get where I’m going
On the far side of the sky
The first thing that I’m gonna do
Is spread my wings and fly
I’m gonna land beside a lion
And run my fingers through his mane
Or I might find out what it’s like
To ride a drop of rain
Yeah when I get where I’m going
There’ll be only happy tears
I will shed the sins and struggles
I have carried all these years
And I’ll leave my heart wide open
I will love and have no fear
Yeah when I get where I’m going
Don’t cry for me down here
I’m gonna walk with my grand daddy
And he’ll match me step for step
And I’ll tell him how I missed him
Every minute since he left
Then I’ll hug his neck
So much pain and so much darkness
In this world we stumble through
All these questions I can’t answer
So much work to do
But when I get where I’m going
And I see my maker’s face
I’ll stand forever in the light
Of his amazing grace
Yeah when I get where I’m going
There’ll be only happy tears
I will love and have no fear
When I get where I’m going
Found this poem in the book “Chicken Soup for the Unsinkable Soul” right after an article about a mother loosing her daughter to suicide.
This is a wonderful easy reading book with 101 inspirational stories of overcoming life’s challenges.
In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all,
and it often comes with bitter agony.
Perfect relief is not possible,
except with time.
You cannot now believe that you will ever feel better.
But this is not true.
You are sure to be happy again.
truly believing it,
will make you less miserable now.
I have had enough experience to make this statement.
Do I Dare – A song by A.Z
God how I love your smile
Crushes my heart your smile
Leaving me grasping for life
Exhausted and gasping for air
Always a comfort to me
My source of serenity
Never failing me
Always remaining so new and
Close to my life
Do I dare to tell you
One day youâ€™ll leave me
Wonâ€™t ever wonder why
Will go days then months apart
The years not deceiving
The distance Iâ€™m feeling
Take the fear that youâ€™ve seen in me
As a strength when you need it to be
Realizing when you lose your light
You will still always find your way
Do I dare to ask you
Could I have done better
In confessing my greatest fears
Would you find me weak say you understand
Iâ€™ve given you all and more
Youâ€™re life that Iâ€™ve lived for
How much Iâ€™ve loved you
Tenderly when so small
Proudly now when you donâ€™t need me at all
Itâ€™s never over
As I get older
I had a dream that I dreamed that Robin had died and woke up with a hollow heaviness in my chest. Then I heard the front door open and Robin returning to the house. I got up and ran down an elegant staircase and then a long hallway to her bedroom but upon opening the door realized that my dream had been true. I woke up with that familiar hollow heaviness and I cried. I miss you so.
yes…the dreams are not so bad…waking up is the nightmare.
Take care and much love
I never knew Robyn, but after reading those comments, I almost feel like I do, to some extent. I’m not really sure what to say – I’ve been here a few times and I’m not sure what draws me, but there you go. I cry everytime – its cleansing or something. What a wonderful tribute – I hope the sharing of fond memories has helped the people who cared about Robyn ease their pain, somehow.
hey Robin….. you’ve been on my mind a lot lately. thought I’d stop by and say an official hello. I’m planning a trip to Halifax soon… my first one without you there.. it makes my chest feel a little tight. I have a million stories to tell you….. deep down I feel you are following along with the current storyline of “the adventures of Rob”…. and I think we’re smiling at the same places…. missing you always and thinking of you daily. ps – I ran across a picture of you and me in a photobooth the other day… we were such geeks. 🙂 xo Rob
I don’t know of whom you speak, though I can tell from what I have read that this was a much loved person.
For what it is worth, the Black Dog of depression is often the unwelcome companion of creative/introspective people. It is as though the very thing that enables such a person to feel so intently, and to then create “thin” forms that evoke powerfully also curses that person with an awareness of aloneness and suffering in life.
When I look at many of the most powerful artistic forms, (in music think Gustav Mahler, in paintings the self-portraits of Van Gogh, in poetry Rumi), I see that darkness and light cohabitate and whirl the creative soul between ecstacy and desolation. There is a place where these two seeming opposites cease to be in opposition, where they are compliments that together form the dense, complex and beautiful forms in life.
It is very sad when desolation overcomes ecstacy and silences a precious jewel of light.
Young people especially need to find a way to sit on the razor’s edge, on the event horizon of creativity, between being and nothingness, and to experience inspiration’s power without being overcome. It is a very difficult thing to master, and the more sensitive the soul, the stronger the forces that are whirling around beneath the surface.
My best suggestion is to always see beauty as it arises even and sometimes especially out of the darkness. Before the pinks of dawn in spring, and the freshness of new flowers and bird song, is the darkness of night and the cold of winter. Even so, the promise of spring and the beauty of life’s return sit over the horizon and approach, and it is from that naked space, stripped of all the layers that a person normally wears, that the heart is longing so very, very intently for the return of light. It is a difficult place, it is a place of awe. It is a place where God speaks without an intermediary, without word, intimately and powerfully, as a thundering silence.
I am going to include a poem I wrote a few years ago based on Ang Lee’s film, “The Ice Storm”. I will change the gender from male to female. I think it will have a certain resonance for some who were close to Robyn.
Death has come and made life real.
The gray of drab November rain,
Clings to my cheeks, like ice tears.
See the quivering of my soul,
Shaking beneath my frozen skin.
A child has died today.
Can you know such dread as touches me?
My daughter has fallen in the night.
Her steps once sure, are silent.
A breath like icy crispness hangs upon her corpse.
The crystals shine as jewels.
But oh, for all the diamonds of the world,
That would I gladly give, and more, for her.
How can I bear the knowledge that shatters all illusion?
Can love break apart the cold and lifeless lips,
And place the warmth of living breath within?
Will the sun ever rise again?
In the darkness, mumbling incoherent mutterings of grief,
Broken and sliced open with shards of desolation,
A drop of love in ocean’s sorrowful depths reminds me:
Death has come, and made life real.
Twenty-eight years ago, I got the first of the two most precious gifts in my life. Happy birthday my daughter – I love and miss you. You are on my mind and in my heart.
– Mom XOX
Happy Birthday Baby, This is another hard day to put in, Thinking about what could have been. You will always be Daddy’s little girl.Rest in peace your earthly suffering has past. Love you and miss you every minute of the day with every beat of my heart. Love Dad
when i see crows i too used to think of the childhood rhyme, and it has meant a lot to me over the years, for my own reasons. i was away when robin died and i didn’t find out for a long time that she was gone, and still don’t really understand what happened. but can you ever really? i never knew her well, but because of who she was she was someone i felt that i knew. someone that i would love if given half a chance. she was truly brilliant, radiant and so genuinely beautiful. i am glad to have had the opportunity to even cross her path. it is so beautiful, yet so sad, to see how much she was loved by anyone who was blessed enough to have caught her eye, or see her smile. My heart aches for her, and for all of you who grieve her loss. now when i see that jet black bird i will first think of her, and of all of you. then i will smile.
the robins have returned but one soars free yet remains forever in my heart
My Robin –
It is a beautiful morning although my mood is dark. Memories flood in to make me smile and cry. I can hear your voice still when you called on Mother’s Day and said ‘I wish I was there with you’ and I said ‘I wish you were, too’…… oh how I wish you were, too.
Rest in peace my daughter.
Forever in my heart, Love – Mom XOX
we lit some candles out to yorke redoubt at robyn and heather’s rock for all their family and friends and they are burning as i write this and will light the rock throughout the night.
love you robyn …. love you heather …. miss you both ….
…. very much!
I visit this sight often to listen and remember. Your image is frozen in my memory and I pray it never thaws.
Love you heart and soul Robin.
I drifted all day long as memories of my beautiful lost daughter floated through my mind. I miss you so much, I could not even call your sister or Mother today because I knew I would break down and that would cause them even more pain than they already has on this day. This is so sad an anniversary to look forward to each year. Love you always.Dad
The Stephensons remember Robin as a special and talented person and our first baby sitter.We miss her.
You’ve been much on my mind, Robin.
And I’ve been enjoying the days.
I still miss you so much.
I am home for a few weeks and it is so nice to be back. Byrd and I spent some of Sunday gone by out at Yorke Redoubt and Hayne’s Garden. It is beautiful there but it makes me so very, very sad.
So tyhe other day i couldnt find my sweater and had to go searching through my room for one… the only one i found was this really comfortable black sweater… it just so happened that it was the sweatre that steven had lent me the night we found out what had happened because i had rushed up there so fast wi th bubbles i hadnt even botherd to pick up a sweater, i wore it yesterday… it felt good…
i plan on getting a crow with a halo around it tattooed on my back
i love you robin you may be forever missed
Spent the last days reading here and sometimes weeping as I bore witness to the incredible arc of your collective grief and healing. It’s affected me deeply, not as stranger, but as human being.
Know that Robin continues to touch & teach people through your love of her.
Writing that, I smile. That’s what love does.
Having seen Philip’s still-strong sadness and wondered at its origins, you’ve helped me see whence it grew.
Philip, I hope one day your heart is able to open again, dear man, for I have seen your heart’s beauty, and beauty longs to be shared.
It’a my hope that you all find some consolation knowing that in your expressions of love, grief, and memories, your beautiful Robin lives. The courage to voice it here brings love and deeper understanding into the lives of many; today, it brought understanding to me.
Thank you. Thank you all.
When I hug you in my dreams, I am startled at the realization of how slender you are just as I was when you were here with me. You have been with me so much this summer and I miss you so. It will be good to get back to school and be busy.
Love you always – Mom XOX
I check this site periodically and so want to see new messages.
As time passes, the messages are dwindling.
I am sure that this is not a sign that Robin has been forgotten, for her memory lives on within all of our hearts. Robin influenced so many lives in a positive way she will always be remembered for being the kind, companssionate, caring, loving person that she was and still is in our hearts.
I hope this new message helps to put a smile on your face today, if only for a moment.
The last night I saw you we had a sushi party. It was last minute inspiration and we didn’t even have rice. let alone a guest list. I miss the life that let that never matter.
Before we went down to the korea store (it was about to close) you were deflected by a mysterious urge to do something else. (I knew you weren’t dressing up for cold walk to the grocery.) You came back in time for the party, and I went hunting with my last ten dollars. We had to do without kimchi ’cause I was too poor to shop for extra.
Last night our preparation for a pasta making party saw me similarly deflected by a mood. My stomps got the kitchen scrubbed while my love found tomatoes and garlic without me, and he brought back the tools to a dinner of decadently mood swinging debauchery. We all raged as we rolled out ravioli. Mmmm, pumpkin mush.
I had a lot of fun last night. Extra good time for my new trench of a town. It felt like you were there quietly smiling at our antics.
As we planned for our next Friday night noshing fest, I remembered the last sushi party was years ago, for you. I remember the disappointment followed by the huge love. In retrospect, sadness only serves to throw pleasure into relief, throw it into the pot with the pasta until it floats to the top. Burns before it slips out of your fingers and almost escapes.
We’ll all transition to the sushi via kimchi ravioli, and I’ll continue to celebrate your life every day and every time I dine with well loved friends.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my beautiful daughter and miss her. I visit her website daily. I sit here on this beautiful Thanksgiving Sunday – drinking my coffee from her favorite blue mug – and reflect on my wonderful memories of her. I am so thankful for the 26 years I had to spend with her. As I prepare dinner for my Mom, Krystal and Chuck, I am thankful for those I love and have with me, however, I selfishly wish she were joining us.
Forever in my heart –
Love, Mom XOX
On this Remembrance Day, thoughts of my father, who was a veteran of WW2, are with me. Robin was named after her Papa, Robert and she seems also very close today. Rest peacefully my two precious souls. XOX XOX
– Paula Mathieson
I’m writing you today because I lost my best girl friend on Dec 7th, 2006 & she was a Saint John girl too. I knew her as well as anyone could know a person & I feel in my heart of hearts that she left us because she couldn’t bare it any longer – her life.
It’s strange how I think of the two of you seperately but at the same time. I wish I knew how it worked – Death. I wish I could introduce the two of you so you could celebrate all the ways you were so similar. Both so beautiful, sweet, always smiling & both so talented. The pictures are so hard to look at… It was so rare that she wasn’t seemingly full of life. The same way your pictures make me feel…
I wrote to you around Christmas last year asking you to send her an angel if you could, if they existed, to help her conquer the sadness and urge to leave all who loved her so much behind. I wanted you to whisper to her and tell her to stay, but here I am one year later asking you to be her friend if it works like that, if you can.
I can’t explain how alone I feel. She was my Best Girl & now the best I can hope for is that she knows in her spirit how much I love her.
It was so hard to watch the world keep spinning when you left us. I remember feeling angry and lost then & wondering so many things and if others thought on you as often as I did. I felt then like everything was out of my control and now I’m twice as angry and lost in the reasons for this pain and loneliness that well up in me daily. I am so sad that I can’t control it & I’m scared I’ll never feel the same spark for life that I did before her leaving.
I’m sure so many people who write and read here understand my feelings & so I share them.
I do it to relate, to feel human & so I know I’m not alone in my current anger and pain in waking every morning to know that my Best Friend is no longer here with me. I do it because I know in my heart that I did everything I could do for her to make sure she knew how loved she was, how valued and important she was, but she still left.
She still left! She still left!
But Robin I want you to know that I’m also twice as determine to live life as best I can. That I’m twice as sure that kindness is always the best way & that I know now no matter what I do sometimes, I can’t fix things for others. So in honor of you and her, I go on.
I will go on missing… & it fucking hurts and it fucking sucks… But I will go on. I will conquer this place and with the memory of your smile and hers. I will fight & live and go on!
KP – I visit Robin’s website daily and when I read your entry last night, I cried – for you, your Best Friend, those who loved her and those who loved Robin. We will never understand the darkness they lived with and endured
I have no words of wisdom or assurances that it won’t hurt for a long, long time. I too felt the anger and pain but with time the edges are not as sharp. You will never be the same person but I am comforted that you have honored them in your determination to go forward.
This is the hardest time of the year to be without those you love. So many of the things around my house hold precious memories of the daughter I loved so. Many of the ornaments on my tree were made by Robin and her sister when they were young and each is a reminder of happier times. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
– Robin’s Mom
I just passed the first anniversary of my mother’s death and with that day many thoughts of Robin passed through my mind. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since she died and I still think I’m absorbing the reality of it little by little.
I just wanted you to know, Paula, that you helped me more than you know when you came to my mother’s funeral one year ago with that special little present for me. I still hold it dear to my heart and think of you and Robin whenever I hold it in my hands.
All the best over the Holidays and know that Robin is looking down on you and ever observing in her quiet way.
Hi. I stumbled across this site, and was awstruck at the messages and tributes of love to this soulful young woman. I have weeped upon reading the most visceral, honest messages of hearts filled with love, memories and pain. I never knew Robin, and wish that I had. She had a tremendous impact of those who knew her, this is clear. It seems that her depth, intensity, encouragement, compassion, etc…reached directly to others hearts, and that is a gift. It seems as though (if I might say so) we have lost an angel here on earth. The gifts she has left with others is so encouraging. To know she touched so many lives in such an honest, fundamental way. I’m so sad for you loss, and wish you only solace, comfort and peace. May you find continued comfort, healing, love, support and encouragement as you share here, and read about how she’s touched so many lives and continues to do so. She’s touched mine. With love, and hope –
2007 and another year of memories begins…..
Just saying hi. Hi.
I do not write here often as words are so hard to find ,but this poem so describes my feelings I had to share it.
No farewells were spoken,No time to say goodbye
You were gone before we knew it,and only God knows why.
I think of you in silence, And often speak your name
And all I have are memories, And your picture in a frame.
So many times I needed you, So many times I cried
If love could have saved you, you never would have died.
To your place of rest I travel, My heart is placed with care
But no one knows the heart ache, As I turn and leave you there.
My heart still aches with sadness, My silent tears still flow
For what it meant to love you, No one will ever know.
When night time falls, And I am sitting all alone
I have a longing in my heart, That you would come back home.
If I could have a lifetime wish, A dream that would come true
I’d pray to God with all my heart, For yesterday with you.
In Loving Memory of MY Sweet Daughter ROBIN –dad
I would like to do an art show in honor of Robin. I am not sure where as of yet, but I am thinking that I would like to do this soon… My idea for the art show is to take the stencil my mom has made of the crow that Robin spray painted on the sidewalks in north end Halifax and use them in as many differnt art forms and ways as I can possibly do…
If anyone has a comment or a suggestion for me it would be greatly appreciated… Please send this information to my student account where I am more likely to get it…
29 years ago around 5 p.m. I held you in my arms for the first time. Tears always filled my eyes when I remembered that moment. It still amazes me how I could be a part in creating anything as beautiful as you and your sister, when she joined us. Please be in peace ,where ever you are.
This day is filled with such mixed emotions. It is one of the two most precious days in my life. At one time, I held you in my arms – now I hold you in my heart. I miss you so.
Love – Mom XOX
Sometimes I think about how I’m sort of older than you now….
I saw a robin this morning when I was leaving for work, it made me think of you. XO
I saw a girl today with long brown curls, big brown eyes and a pretty, shy smile and she reminded me of Robin when she was in Junior High. Robin was one year ahead of me in school, from MGT to Lorne to SJHS. I regret that I never knew her more than to say hello in passing, but I surely remember her quiet presence and kind eyes. I thought of her all day today and randomly found my way to this site. What a wonderful tribute to Robin… I was touched by these entries and hope that they’ve provided some sense of comfort to Robin’s parents and sister. My heart and prayers go out to you, as I’m sure time does not fully heal the loss of this sweet girl.
I just saw the memorial in this morning’s paper and was intrigued by the beautiful photo, quite uncharacteristic for our little paper,peering up at me from the memoriam section, so I decided to come and view the page. What a beautiful girl, so loved by so many – what a tragedy she is no longer here.
It is a beautiful morning and seems almost sinful to feel this sadness. I have had so many memories float through my head this week. Some made me smile – like the moth balls I put out around the shed to discourage the groundhog and the excitement you had when you came running into the house to tell me about the ‘gopher eggs’ you found (You were such an animal lover) and some make me cry – when I remember your last Mother’s Day phone call when you said, ‘I wish I was there’ and I said ‘I wish you were, too’ Oh how I wish you were, too. How many times have I repeated that.
Your Novi is quite indignant that I did not feed him as soon as I got up so I must go. Life goes on and I hold your memory so close. You are FOREVER IN MY HEART.
Love – Mom XOX
As I write this I wish I could be talking to you instead.In this life sometimes there are too many things left unsaid. You will be forever in my thoughts and in my heart
Thinking about you Robin.
I think of you often even to this day. You will always be a part of who I am and I’m always striving to be more like how you were in so many ways. You were one of the most sincere kind people I’ve ever met and my best friend for many years. I know we were not close when you passed but you were still present in my thoughts daily. I miss you.
I miss you. I think of you often. I heard a laugh like yours the other day and it made me smile.
You are in my heart.
Robin: My thoughts are that I wish I had of had the opportunity to know you better. Your kindness and gentleness that many speak of are personality traits that most strive for.
I am reminded that friends and family are very important and that I must strive to not miss out on any opportunities for closeness.
Robin, rest in peace. Janet
I still think about you everyday and I love it when you help me. I don’t mind cleaning up any messes because you can always make things sparkle while I sleep.
I have watched the deer all summer around my house. I remember when my 2 girls were small and Robin’s favorite animal was deer and Krystal’s was rabbits. I have, hanging over my bed, autographed Glenn Loates prints of a fawn and rabbit which were personalized for them. Fond memories of good times!
Last night I dreamed of Robin. Krystal was there and Robin’s friend Sheri. I was getting ready to go to a prom and she came back and gave me a necklace to wear. I was so happy to see her. I can still feel her in my arms. I feel so sad. I miss you so much.
Forever in my heart – Love, Mom XOXO
I miss you Robin. Sometimes it hurt and I try not to think too much. Maybe that’s bad. Maybe not. If I go there that’s probably where I’d stay.
Thank you for living an inspiring life, Robin.
I soothe my suffering over your loss, sometimes, with a deep breath of air that, once, filled your lungs and lifted your voice. I need that air.
You inspire me.
As I prepare for another Christmas, I think often of my Robin and I miss her terribly. I think of all the wonderful friends she had and I wish them all the very best for 2008.
Rest peacefully my daughter. I hold you close in my heart always.
Love – Mom XOXO
Paula, Gerry, and Krystal,
I hope you were all able to enjoy the Holidays this year. I think of you often. It was great running into you, Gerry, this summer. I know this season is hard for anyone who has lost of loved one. Mum’s second anniversary was the 22nd and I had a hard time for a few days but Jacob was so excited. I just wish Mum could have seen him.
You are all in my thoughts,
robin, you seem to cross my mind quite often these days…just want to say hi. back in the neighborhood again and strolling down creighton always brings fond memories of you. I hope you are well.
Happy Birthday to my dear daughter. Time has not eased missing you or the ache in my heart. I do not write here as much as I used to, but still check all the time for any shared memories your friends might have left. Love you and miss you always Dad
You are so vivid in my memories and I am blessed to have stored so many with you. I remember the first moment 30 years ago that I held you in my arms and you claimed a part of my life.
Rest peacefully, my daughter, I miss you so much and hold you close in my heart.
Love – Mom xoxo
so….i have a new puppy.. and he’s super adorable…. and his name is Andy Price and he’s 5 months old and weighs 6 pounds…and he has a funny lower lip that looks like a goofy underbite…. and i know you would love him as much as i do. :)… btw, i know that i’m not keeping up with my promise to you.. but that will change soon, k. been thinking about you alot lately. all my love and good thoughts robin. xxoo i miss you. love, Rob
I stumbled upon some old pictures from junior high and high school the other day while moving and forgot how many pictures of Robin I have. She’s everywhere:). They were great times…and not one doesn’t include her. She was my best friend growing up and will always be in my thoughts. I hope my son finds a friend who will have as much of an impact on him as Robin did on me. I miss her.
May – the month of loses and sorrow!
Four years ago, I lost my beautiful daughter. It seems like yesterday, yet it also seems so long ago that I could hear her laugh, hold her, and smell her. I have her memories stored in my heart.
Love you, Robin, and miss you dearly – Mom XOX
Oh, I love you. I always will.
robin – we’re in sydney, on our way to newfoundland.
i miss road trips with you ~
Remembering you on your birthday – Love and miss you so much. XOX
Missing my beautiful daughter. It is all the more painful today as I stare at the picture of the first time I held you and marveled that I could have had a part in the creation of such a wonder.My eyes once again weep at the loss our world has endured with your leaving it. Your friends and family all miss you so much.Love you always Dad
Why do I feel you so strongly tonight?
…on my mind…in my heart…
Five years ago on Mother’s Day was the last time I spoke with you. You said ‘I wish I was there” and I replied “I wish you were, too”. Oh how I wish you were, too…….
Five years….such a short time….such a long time. I miss you my lovely daughter.
For some reason you have been in my thoughts a great deal these days Robin… maybe it’s because of my unexplained longing for the way things used to be… maybe it’s my age getting to me and my strong need as of late, to pull those I love very, very close… or maybe it’s just because when I see those who held you dear, the hint of sadness is still there, no matter how hard we try to mask it…
There is much that has changed and much that has stayed the same since you had to leave…. Evan and Kelsey are now 8 and 6 and I often wonder if they are channeling your artistic ability as neither journey very far without a pencil, crayon or sketchbook in hand. I watch them labour over their creations and again find myself thinking of you and how much time, passion and love you put into your work. I like to think you are guiding them as they put pencil and brush to paper…. 🙂
I also hold close the memory of one of the last times we spoke… the hug you gave me that day while I was EXTREMELY pregnant with Kelsey still makes me smile.
I hope my children are able to display the same kind of true caring and love you were so able to offer without hesitation or reservation…
Know that you are missed and remembered. ~Peace little cuz 🙂
Miss you so much – one of your hugs would feel so good right now.
Just thinking about you today. I’m not sad. I’m happy. But I miss you. I can’t believe it has been almost 6 years. I tried to visit your grave not too long ago. I couldn’t find it. Very fitting. I chuckled, “of course I can’t find Robin when I want to. She is found when she wants to be, and not on any other schedule.” Always surrounded by mystery: not easy to find, but always worth looking for. I will go again today. Will you be there? Love.
Remembering the day of your birth and missing you so much. Be at peace my daughter, I love you. XOX
Miss you so much everyday , Hope your spirit is free of troubles where ever it is flying now. Love ya DAD
Thank you for being our guardian angel, for reigning down on us your glorious smile and for taking care of us from wherever you may be…..:0)
I think of you everyday, and smile every time I see a Robin. I hope you’re enjoying your birthday with the rest of the angels ♥
It doesn’t seem like 6 years since I heard your voice. I can hear it in my heart at any time. Love and miss you. XOX Mom
Forever in my heart! XOX Mom
Dear Robin, it has been years and I still think of you and gain perspective from the outpouring of love that you have summoned here. On March 16, 2005 I wrote an anonymous post here, and Robin’s Mom, Paula, wrote back to say that it brought a silver lining. I am so glad for it. It has been five years since I posted that message and I still draw strength from it somehow. It is a melancholic, tragic loss, but it has really helped me to look ahead and “keep on with the business of life”, as my own Mom would tell me.
I hope Robin’s family and friends are doing okay and adapting to this new reality in the gentlest way possible. I hope you, Robin, are at peace, wherever your wings have taken you.
Sometimes, when I find too much beauty for my eyes to hold, I still take in more, and another deep breath, and I send it out to you.
Dear C. – Take care of yourself and God bless. I am touched but not surprised that Robin still has the ability to quietly reach and affect people – even those she has never met. I still miss her so much.
Exactly eighteen years ago, on a night filled with the light of a full moon, I spoke my final farewell to my daughter as we listened to the sweet music of one of her favorite vocalists.
Her name was also Robin and she sang as sweetly and as spiritually as the bird whose name she carried.
I happened upon this site when I entered “Remembering Robin” which is the title of a CD that has been produced of some of her original songs. Please feel free to visit the website http://www.robintaback.com
I have the same yearning as you, to caress her physically, but must be satisfied to know that she is remembered, like your daughter, for the love and light that she brought to this world.
Our Robins are truly remembered.
As Christmas draws near, I hold you tightly in my heart. I miss you so much…there is a tightness in my chest. I guess it is the hole you left. Love you forever. Mom XOX
The tree is down and the popcorn is gone….that was so hard after 16 years. I will keep the memories and physically let go a bit at a time. Mom XOX
♥♥♥ Love and miss you! Mom XOX ♥♥♥
Happy Birthday, my beautiful daughter! Love you! XOX – Mom
Thinking of you today and every day, Robin. We miss you. Happy Birthday…
Celebrating your life, mourning your leaving, missing and loving you always!
Mom ♥ XOX
Missing you so much today and holding you close in my heart! I was so lucky to have you in my life….I just wish I could have had you longer! XOX Mom ♥
Missing you so today with many happy memories and holding you close in my heart!
Love, Mom XOX ♥
Robin popped into my head tonight and I am happy to see that this site is still up, if only so that I can send my thoughts of Robin out into the world. Such sparkle, such heart. You’re so missed, Robin.
Celebrating your birthday and your life – I miss you every day. I just wish I could hold you in my arms and give you a hug. ♥
Always in my heart and on my mind…..I miss you so….
Haven’t been here so long, googling on a whim past my bedtime, thought of you today when I realized that all I wanted my hair to do was look exactly like yours. Your beauty remains, lovely Robin.
Thought I saw Robin the other day. Same gait, from far off. It wasn’t her.
Wonderful surprise visit from one of Robin’s dearest friends today. Laughter and tears and lots of wonderful memories. Thank you so much, Sheri, your visit was a gift!
This is my hard week with Mother’s Day and the time you left us. I am trying to think of all the good memories – your hugs, your laughter, your wonderful artistic talent, your unique smell…..and not dwell on the empty spot that I have in side. Henry helps fill that hole in a bit – thank you Krystal and Chuck! Robin, you would have LOVED him so! He has never met you but we will help him know you.
Robin was someone I knew in High School.
She was smiling a lot and I liked being around her.
I always wished we were closer friends but I was just a geeky guy.
I think of her. And I cried when I heard years ago. About a month afterwards.
I hope there is something after this life Robin… if there is, I hope to see you there.
Stay well to all of her family.
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