It was the kind of friendship that doesn’t develop very often in life. From the small start of talking together on a magical bulletin board it was a relationship that strengthened in a very remarkable way. Basically a remote friendship via email and sometimes the phone.We used to laugh that we had written a book together but had never actually met – until we finally did meet. And the more time went on, the more our relationship became that sort of easy, mutually supportive friendship at a distance that it was.
In the beginning, other than talking magic and our common Yorkie heritage, a lot of our emails and infrequent phone calls dealt with issues that Sue or I were facing. Through the time I knew her, I often worried about the burdens she dealt with and how she would cope but cope she always did. When her son was viciously attacked, I tried along with I’m sure all of her other friends to provide some support – I guess you can say I listened and supported. When my then relationship ended I was beyond despair, she listened and supported. Even the one evening that I managed to consume half a big bottle of gin during the conversation, awaking the next morning unable to recall how our conversation had gone after a certain point and how it had ended. I’m sure she stuck with the drunken fool sobbing on the phone until he passed out. Certainly, it became something we laughed at later. I could say so much about this facet of our relationship but I won’t because it is personal. Suffice to say, the listening, support and love went both ways at different times and I knew I could always call…. and that her wisdom would help.
She could also be quite fierce. There was once or twice where she felt I was doing something wrong – incongruent with how she felt I was and boy, did she tell me! I appreciated that just as much.
Many years ago, I had been working on some content mostly what I would call received material. It seemed relevant but I didn’t really know what to do with it honestly. It was too short to be a book and too long for a blog. Sue had taken a big interest in what I was doing and receiving, encouraging me along the way – we were both in the same school as well. So one phone call we discussed what to do and I asked if she might be interested in seeing if she could add something and turn it into a book. She readily agreed and said she even thought she had something for it sitting somewhere. Within a few weeks, The Mystical Hexagram was born. The book is worth buying for Sue’s overview of the tree of life alone as this is what she was thinking of when we talked. She also wrote the chapter introducing the symbol and so beautifully too.
A bit later on, I was obsessed with writing a fictional book but one based on magic. Sue loved the idea and chased me into finishing the book before embarking on a marketing campaign for me as well. The Last Observer owed much to her cajoling and encouraging me to write it. I have an idea that it also spurred her to finish a project she had been working on as well in the form of a wonderful novel of her own called Sword of Destiny – a book about Merlin essentially that she had been working off and on with for a while. I recommend it and Sue’s character somehow comes through the story and characters so strongly.
Our first meeting took place I believe at a time when the Silent Eye was starting to come together. We met in a hotel in London where I and my business partner Patrick were staying. My son Liam was also with us – she and Liam also interacted unbeknown to me via that bulletin board and Sue did not know he was my son until a bit later….- we went for dinner at an Italian restaurant by St. Pauls. It was a just few hours but so fun and it felt like we had known each other for years – and of course, we really had!
The Silent Eye was the making of Sue in my opinion. It gave her a focus and a she ran with it with energy, reverence and gusto. To me it seemed as if she had finally found and honed her role in life as a wonderful selfless teacher of life’s mysteries. A role she excelled in. I also suspect that much of the vibrancy, happiness and energy she found there had much to do with her relationship with Stuart which developed into an awesome writing partnership and more besides… I think I never saw her so happy as in the last few years.
I shared three weekends with her and Stuart. One in which they kindly took me on a magical tour of the sites behind their book The Initiate and in the process, helped me find myself as I was quite lost at that time. Then two Silent Eye weekends that were simply among the most joyful of times in my life. The first one, in particular. I had chosen to attend that particular weekend because it was Sue’s 60th and Stuart had written to hint that she would be happy to see me on the birthday… I was running late – a long drive from Stansted to the borders, so the party were already ensconced with tea and scones when I arrived 30 minutes late. By the time I had parked the car, Sue was already coming to meet me followed by Stuart….. with the biggest grin and hug. To her, she had reached an age where she could ‘play out’, act like a kid again and have some fun she told me and not once either!
I thought there would be many more Silent Eye weekends with Sue….Stuart and the team and perhaps there would have been a couple more had it not been for the pandemic. I had hoped to show her and Stuart around my neck of the woods in Moravia…. Now, I imagine her there with me and imagine what she would have thought of Brno. And sometimes I listen to her voice on the podcast we did….. how happy she sounded.
The loss of Sue is immense for many of us. I will go far as to say if there were sainthoods in the esoteric world, I would nominate her as the genuine thing. Caring, unselfish, uncomplaining, devoted, wise, … the positive adjectives simply flow…. I know no one else like her and I probably never will again. She left a treasure trove of wisdom though in her writings both individually and with Stuart that we can still reach for, and she touched so many people and made a difference in their lives. She is irreplaceable and a great loss. I hope that in my own way, I can continue to pursue the magic of the land as she did.