91 thoughts on “robin

  1. 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.)

    http://swordfight.org/robin.mov

    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.

  2. 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.
    ~patrick

  3. 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,
    -d.

  4. . . . 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 . . .

  5. 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,

  6. Krystal~
    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.
    Camille

  7. 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.
    Lukas

  8. 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
    wake up

  9. 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—

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

    jeff

  13. (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.

  14. 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..
    love b

  15. My deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of Robin. She was a sweetheart, this is incredibly sad.

  16. 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.

    Alex

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

    love don

  20. Philip,

    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

  21. 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…

  22. Robin,

    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

  23. 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.

    love scott

  24. 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.

    Sarah C.

  25. 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.

    Allison

  26. 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.

  27. 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
    No
    You arenít at all
    Canít

    Robin are you saying
    I showed you
    No you arenít
    Canít

    Robin you always wanted
    To do it first
    To do it better
    Somehow you got this one wrong

  28. 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.)

  29. 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

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. To the Mathieson family:

    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.

  33. To the Mathieson family:

    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.

  34. 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.

  35. something drew me back to all of this thinking today. i painted my first oil painting when this happened while i thought of her and tried to fathom what she must thought and felt. it is still the best peice i’ve ever done. it hangs in my bedroom and i will keep it forever. i will not forget.

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