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Author Dr. Virginia A. Simpson’s memoir The Space Between: A Memoir of Mother Daughter Love At the End of Life
in Uncategorized

Author Dr. Virginia A. Simpson’s memoir The Space Between: A Memoir of Mother Daughter Love At the End of Life

by Susan

The Space Between: A Memoir of Mother Daughter Love At the End of Life is a touching, honest, raw, and moving memoir by Dr. Virginia A. Simpson. In it she shares not only the time in which she cared for her mother as she passed from life to death, but also how the past was brought to the present during this process. Fellow bereavement colleague…

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8

Apr
2016
December reflections of my father
in Uncategorized

December reflections of my father

by Susan

This December, I have done something different. I have said, “No, thank you.” “Sounds lovely, let me see how I feel.” “I think I’ll pass.” I have delighted in solitude, quiet, time alone. Reflection has been my companion. The perfect day involves writing, a walk in the crisp air with the bird’s song replacing my iPhone, a bit of conversation with a family member or…

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16

Dec
2015
GriefINK: Tattoo as the Language of Grief
in Uncategorized

GriefINK: Tattoo as the Language of Grief

by Susan

The life of a writer is often at odds with the amount of self-promotion, marketing, and “look what I wrote!” that accompanies the job. Let’s face it: we writers can write lovely words that are filled with humility, but unless we spread the word, no one will read it, and the sound of crickets in the night will be our feedback. This complicated balance of…

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25

Sep
2015
Interview with poet Bri Bruce
in Collaboration, Interview, Local Authors

Interview with poet Bri Bruce

by Susan

While writing my second book, GriefINK, Tattoo as the Language of Grief, I searched for a poem about mourning. I stumbled across many that were familiar, but wanted that something special that will speak to the reader’s soul. A friend recommended that I contact a young female poet in Santa Cruz, California by the name Bri Bruce. Her book of poems, The Weight of Snow,…

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21

Apr
2015
Hope for Hayden: Reflections and a community’s reaction
in Causes, Grief, Interview, Life

Hope for Hayden: Reflections and a community’s reaction

by Susan

There are some people who grab our attention; pull us into their presence with their laugh, wit, peace, pain, or circumstance. As I perused through my Facebook timeline—catching up on dog videos, inspirational quotes, and updates from friends—the photo of a boy with striking blue eyes grabbed my attention. His face, his innocence, the softness of expression pulled me into his presence. And then I…

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16

Mar
2015
Talk it Out: Grief, Peace Officers, and Post-Traumatic Stress
in Causes, Collaboration, Grief, Interview

Talk it Out: Grief, Peace Officers, and Post-Traumatic Stress

by Susan

Today marks the two year anniversary of Butch Baker and Elizabeth Butler’s deaths. Both were detectives with Santa Cruz Police Department, and were killed on duty. It’s fitting that on this day, Garry Rodgers, a former peace officer in Canada, shares his insights on stress, grief, and the need to talk about on-duty trauma as a way to heal. Garry Rodgers is a retired Royal…

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26

Feb
2015
“Get busy living or get busy dying.”  Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption
in Collaboration, Grief & Support Articles, Interview

“Get busy living or get busy dying.” Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption

by Susan

In the early 2000s while counseling children and families in El Dorado County, I had the joy of working with Jennifer Hayes. As a supervisor, she taught me a great deal about children with attachment issues, compassionate care, and how to keep centered when collaborating with child protective services. We also share a love of writing. Jennifer now practices in Bingham Farms, MI. Her step-son…

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24

Jan
2015
Tattooed On My Heart
in Grief & Support Articles

Tattooed On My Heart

by Susan

Twelve years ago today, my grandmother, Mary Ann Whipple died. She was, by far, the most important woman in my life. More than a grandparent, she was my mother. Her long life didn’t make grief easier. I got to love and bond with her longer. Life went full circle: her arms cradling my newborn body; later that tender touch with my own children; my arms…

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20

Nov
2014
Veteran’s Day Reflections: An interview with Jonathan Allen
in Causes, Interview

Veteran’s Day Reflections: An interview with Jonathan Allen

by Susan

This is no ordinary Veteran’s Day for me. Sure, I’ve been supportive to our military personnel in word, donations, and thought, but without an emotional connection. Something in me has changed, and it happened on a Thursday in Roseville, California. I get to meet amazing individuals as I write my latest book GriefINK—a non-fiction pictorial and narrative about memorial tattoos, their meaning, the back story,…

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10

Nov
2014
Coping with Grief: A Mother’s Story
in Grief & Support Articles, Interview, Life

Coping with Grief: A Mother’s Story

by Susan

Scattered throughout our lives are periods of grief. The loss of a pet, the end of a relationship, termination from work, the death of a parent—all of these bring up a mixture of emotions, and force us to make adjustments. In time, most are able to accommodate these changes, create a new reality, and move forward. The loss remains a part of us, but does…

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28

Mar
2014
Howard “Boots” McGhee: Legendary Long Boarder with a Legacy
in Uncategorized

Howard “Boots” McGhee: Legendary Long Boarder with a Legacy

by Susan

Imagine a jazz club in central Los Angeles the ‘40s: glasses clink, smoke fills the air, the band plays tunes as cool as the winter air. An unconventional woman sits at a table, a cigarette dangles from her slender fingers. Her long legs cross, and her foot taps to the beat; an Arthur Murray trained dancer, music and rhythm are her constant companions. Her pale…

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16

Nov
2013
Interview: Dave “Nelly” Nelson
in Interview

Interview: Dave “Nelly” Nelson

by Susan

Skateboarding, Surfing, Photography, and Living Clean Big Wave Surfers aren’t the only extreme athletes who venture out into treacherous, reef-lined waters to catch waves that stand three stories high. The spectacular images of surfers who barrel down those thirty-foot waves are caught by another type of extreme athlete: the surf photographer. Whether he’s at Half Moon Bay’s Maverick’s, Tahiti’s Teahupo’o, or his hometown of Santa…

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2

Nov
2013
Ethan Bearman Podcast Interview
in Interview

Ethan Bearman Podcast Interview

by Susan

Listen in to my interview with KSCO’s Ethan Bearman as I discuss my novel Out of Breath, grief when tragedy hits a community, compassion fatigue in mental health professionals, and post-traumatic stress in first responders.  LISTEN HERE: KSCO Presents Ethan Bearman September 16, 2013 Website: http://podcast.ethanbearman.com/ksco-presents-ethan-bearman-september-16-2013/

30

Sep
2013
Anthony Ruffo: A New Life
in Causes, Interview

Anthony Ruffo: A New Life

by Susan

Presumptions, precognitions, and preconceived notions: all a part of the human condition. They are rooted in our experience, prejudices, and what our culture tells us about a person, place or thing. When you hear the word “addict”, what presumptions, precognitions, and preconceived notions come to mind? We live in a culture where drug addiction, whether legal or illegal drugs, is rampant, and alcoholism abounds. The…

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26

Sep
2013
Drug Free Surfers – John Solanoa
in Causes, Interview, Life

Drug Free Surfers – John Solanoa

by Susan

As a native of Santa Cruz, I have a deep attachment to nature, the beach, and love of surfing, albeit, from the beach or cliff as I admire this sport. Many of us are enamored with those who face walls of water that seem insane to ride. There exists, however, an entangled relationship between surfing and drugs and alcohol: marijuana, alcohol, and methamphetamines take too…

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19

Sep
2013
Let’s Grind Out Hunger
in Causes, Interview

Let’s Grind Out Hunger

by Susan

What would it be like to provide hunger relief to children in need, provide a stable and safe place for kids with a passion for skateboarding and surfing, and then in turn, create a desire in these kids to pay it forward? This is the goal of Danny Keith and his team at the non-profit agency Grind Out Hunger in Santa Cruz, California. Summed up…

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8

Jul
2013

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