What a Wonderful Life

Susan Lynne (Shanbaum) Rosen, age 53, passed away on January 18, 2019 from metastatic breast cancer surrounded by her husband Mark Rosen of 28 years, daughter Michaela (24), son Max (19), and dog Wally (8).

Born and raised in Southbridge, Massachusetts on February 20, 1965, Susan was the daughter of Florence and Sam Shanbaum. Susan grew up loving art- waking up at night to draw and paint throughout her childhood. After graduating from Southbridge High, Susan attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she graduated with a B.A. in Early Childhood Education. Susan applied her degree as a daycare teacher in Tewksbury and Boston, began her own home daycare, and substitute taught in the Franklin Public elementary schools.

At UMass in 1986, Susan met Mark. Having been made for each other, they were married in June 1990 and lived briefly in Melrose. Susan and Mark then moved to Peabody to start their family. Two kids and several years later, the family settled in Franklin MA in 2003. Devoted wife and mother, Susan enjoyed baking, cooking, gardening, and helping others. Susan loved family vacations- Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Disney World- the happiest place on earth.

Susan was originally diagnosed with Stage IIIC breast cancer in August 2010. After months of treatments, followed by almost three years with no evidence of disease, Susan’s cancer returned and metastasized in September 2013. During Susan’s journey with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) she documented her metastasis to the bones, liver, lungs, and brain on her blog letusbemermaids.wordpress.com. As a true teacher, Susan educated friends, family, and strangers about MBC and the lessons she learned along the way. Susan inspired many with her honest writings. She was recognized as a top MBC blog and was interviewed in newspapers, forums, and by Robin Roberts’ production team for WebMD.

“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live.” -Stuart Scott

Susan leaves behind her beloved husband Mark E. Rosen of Malden, children Michaela B. Rosen and Max F. Rosen of Franklin, and dog Wally. Susan also leaves behind her siblings and their families: Mark Shanbaum, Cheryl Trombley, Bruce Shanbaum, and Mindy Bessette. She reunites with her parents, the late Florence and Samuel Shanbaum of Southbridge.

Relatives and Friends are invited to attend Susan’s funeral on Monday, January 21st at 12:00pm in the Schlossberg & Solomon Memorial Chapel at 824 Washington St., Canton MA, 02021 followed by interment at the Beit Olam East Cemetery, 42 Concord Rd., Wayland MA 01778.

Zikhronah Livrakha, may her memory be a blessing.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Susan’s memory may be made to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to support women’s cancer research.

Online at: http://www.myjimmyfundpage.org/give/susanrosen

Susan Lynne Shanbaum Rosen.jpg

13 thoughts on “What a Wonderful Life

  1. What a beautiful tribute. She was a remarkable woman, an inspiration to so many. I am so sorry for your loss. Wishing you all peace and strength.


  2. 😭 very sad day. My sympathy to her family. Susan was an inspiration, motivator and an all around great person. Bought the granddaughters mermaid blankets. They were so excited. Little do they know the blankets are to remind me of Susan, my brave little mermaid.


  3. An amazing woman – with an amazing family Susan will always be a part of all of us because she so genrously shared her stories of joy, sorrows, frustration and laughter – lots of laughter and love
    Thinking and praying for her family and friends.
    May her memory be a blessing


  4. Please accept my condolences. Susan’s spirit has helped me many times as she wrote honestly about her disease but most importantly about how to live life!


  5. Susan is and will always be with us in spirit and truth. Our real life Shero! I am so honored and proud of the Rosen family. All of you are by far some of the greatest, warm, kind-hearted and genuine people we ever known. Thank you for leaving us with such a wonderful and powerful life and legacy.
    Much love Kris and Karen


  6. Sorry to hear your mom and wife passed on, but her spirit will always be with you, by your side watching you smiling with you and laughing with you. Her physical body is no longer but her spirit lives on. You mom, your wife will send things to say I’m her with you, the scent of her favorite flower, the scent of her perfume, a feather, a breeze … it is hard today it will be hard for we don’t know but your mom / your wife loved you always will and she will Always be at your side.



  7. My condolences, respect and sympathies to the Rosen Family. I discovered Susan’s Blog a few weeks back on my journey with cancer which is just beginning. I though have a different cancer, head and neck.

    Susan faced MBC with great courage. I’m not sure I would have handled everything Susan went through as well as She did.

    To Mark, Michaela and Max. I know this journey has been tough on your guys and right now you are all going through many emotions. It does become a little more bearable with time. I wish you all the best in going forward.

    Look after Wally Dog, He’s a special little guy.

    Susan, your spirit is now free soar. I feel more enriched having read your Blog and thank you!

    Sydney Australia


  8. Such a beautiful service! Many, many tears, but beautiful nonetheless. And “standing room only” just as Susan wanted. Our Mermaid rocks!

    I will miss our on-line conversations while watching the Golden Girls, and joking about snow and boots (I don’t remember how that started LOL).

    Susan didn’t let her illness define her, and she taught us to live life to the fullest beside her.
    She will continue to be my inspiration!

    Love you lots, Badass Mermaid ♡♡♡


  9. I’m so sorry for your loss, Michaela. My family has the warmest memories of your mother. I remember your mom’s smile and positive energy backstage at the Nutcracker, my sister remembers lovely chats with your mom when she babysat you and your brother, and my mother always admired your mom and enjoyed reading this blog. We are thinking of you and your family during this time. The world has lost a truly incredible woman.


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