Robin Michelle (formerly known as Michael Christian) Sveinson
May 12, 1997 – January 22, 2022 Age 24 years
Our planet lost a caring, gifted intellectual whose understanding and appreciation of the natural world largely defined her. Robin loved the natural sciences and wanted to be a biologist, with a mission to save the endangered Prairie Grouse of the Southern Saskatchewan Grasslands. Robin had a life-long appreciation of the many wonders of Nature including meteor showers, geology, paleontology, the oceans, butterflies, insects and birds.
Robin had talents and gifts in so many areas: she had a beautiful tenor voice and an incredibly broad range of music knowledge. She played bass guitar, drums, saxophone and bass clarinet at various times in her life. She loved puns and had both a sharp and subtle sense of humour. She was an avid reader and a gifted writer. Robin loved gardening (thank you, Chelsea) and had 2 garden plots at a local Vancouver (Strathcona) community garden as well as at the home where she had her rental suite. She was a skilled biological photographer. She had Icelandic heritage on her father’s side and loved the music of Bjork and Sigur Ros which led her to take Icelandic language lessons. She took martial arts for years at Champions Martial Arts Academy in North Vancouver, achieving her high blue belt. Robin was adventurous and loved travel. On more than one occasion she rode her bike to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal to catch the ferry to ride and explore around Vancouver Island and Saltspring Island. She loved the Galloping Goose Trail. She took time after her first year of university to travel extensively through Europe, spending time in Sweden with a friend and then visiting places such as Ireland, France, England, Latvia, Estonia and more. As a first-year student, her name was published in 2 university articles (one on crow behaviour, and one on mushrooms). She enjoyed her work as a barista and supervisor at Pallett Semlin, where she is so very missed by her co-workers and customers, who were one of her many, varied small families.
Robin loved her Auntie Mary’s chocolate chip cookies, and as a child, her Uncle John’s place in Mission. One of her favourite things to do was going to George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary with her grandpa. She loved going to the family home in Dinsmore, Saskatchewan, as well as her trips to Death Valley, California and the Okanagan Desert Centre. She loved spending time just breathing, walking and rock hounding at her local beach, Confederation Park.
Thank you to her 4 very special friends Mikaela, Chelsea, Pham, and Brian who stood by her through her wonderful times and her dark times alike. Thank you to her incredibly special landlords Ryan and Tina and their lovely girls who brought so much joy to Robin’s life. Robin loved and doted on her feline companion Emmylou, who is now being lovingly cared for by Mikayla. A special thank you to RainCity Housing for their incredible emotional and caring support. They were there every step of the way for Robin.
Robin leaves behind many aching hearts; more than she may ever know. She is so loved always by her dad, mom, brother, as well as many relatives, friends, coworkers and neighbours. We cannot possibly name everyone but thank you to everyone who kept in touch and supported Robin, checking in to make sure she knew people cared for her. Her passing has touched and saddened all who knew her and many people who had never met her in person.
Thank you to her Dundas/ Madison neighbours who gathered in a moving and spontaneous vigil, led by the beautiful song of a stranger as her physical body left home for the last time. As her neighbour assured the family, “Robin was sent off in love and light; she was not alone.”
There will be no formal service. Instead, on Robin’s birthday, May 12, we are asking family and friends to go out and spend time in nature. Go for a walk, watch a sunset, plant a tree, sow some wild flowers, smell some Spring flowers, enjoy a beautiful view and remember Robin. We also request that you take the time to listen to 2 songs:
The Parting Glass (a traditional Irish farewell song)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgboqZNduF0 video version with lyrics
The Blessing (the song so beautifully sung as Robin was taken away from her home)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqRvCBHFn3w filmed locally and which really shows what a beautiful setting Vancouver sits in and why Robin loved living there so much.
She was a very smart, caring, one of a kind person. In her dad’s words:
The world is a better place for having had her, and a much emptier place without her. Thank you, Robin, for being you.
þar til við hittumst aftur
In lieu of flowers, the family requests considering planting a tree in Robin's memory.