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Susan Owens, 63: Bruce Springsteen's 'The Rising'

Susan Owens (center), of Charlotte, N.C., died at the age of 63.

More than 500,000 people have died in the U.S. from COVID-19 since the pandemic hit this country and the world just over a year ago. NPR is remembering some of those who lost their lives by listening to the music they loved and hearing their stories. We're calling our tribute Songs Of Remembrance.

Susan, my late mother-in-law, was the ultimate Jersey girl. My husband grew up with Bruce on the radio, in the car, constantly. We all went to concerts together and the Broadway show. It was the soundtrack of her life. One of her favorites was "The Rising" because she herself had risen up through so many challenges, including her divorce, her brother's car accident and the many challenges life threw her way. And yet she always stayed so positive until the last breaths of her six-week COVID ordeal, including the loss of her own mother to COVID.

I'm reminded of being at MetLife Stadium with my husband, Kyle, his sister, Stefanie, and their mom, dancing arm in arm to Bruce Springsteen. I stood behind them to snap a picture of them three of them belting out the lyrics, rapturously, so connected. And now, with their mother gone, all we have left are the memories ... and the words. "Come on up for the risin'." —Zibby and Kyle Owens, daughter-in-law and son

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