The most painful part of her passing was visited on those of us who loved her and survive: we have to deal with an enormous gap in our lives. I still expect the phone to ring and hear her unmistakable Midwestern accent, or find an email sharing some new information or insight or silly video or political petition. Susannah could be exasperatingly determined in her high standards, but always tempered this with fairness and unconditional love.
I first met her when she attended the very first workshop I ever gave, on a chilly Valentine's night in New York City. She was a producer at WNET public television. We both got involved in the Association for Humanistic Psychology, and she was the coordinator for the Eastern region AHP conferences--amazing events featuring workshops with all the stars of the blossoming human potential movement.
We celebrated triumphs and the beginnings of love relationships together, and cried on each other's shoulders when things didn't work out. Susannah often joked that some of her best friends were my former girlfriends. We had many adventures, on the beaches of South Florida, Southampton, The Bahamas, and Jamaica. With her Master's in English, she was one of the best editors I ever encountered, and I often would show her my writing before doing a final draft. And I acted as a consultant when she founded Alphasonics International with Gordon Pierce, and started producing and marketing the world's most powerful subliminal audio programs.
This was by far my longest lasting deep friendship, nearly forty years, and perhaps the most significant thing I can say about it is that in those moments when I might have doubts about my being a worthwhile person, these were resolved by the simple knowledge that Susannah Lippman was my friend.
It was everything a friendship should and could be, and the only thing that keeps it from being perfect is that she's not here anymore. On the other hand, because of all those memories we shared, Susannah cannot ever really die. She has made too much of an impact on the very core of my being to ever disappear. Her passing does leave me with one unanswered question:
"Whose shoulder do I cry on about this?"