Dying in Style


David and I were given a rare and loving gift during the month of March. We have been in the US caring for my father Donald Perkins who passed away Wednesday March 25th at the Age of 88.

We have had to cut back on our client load and workshops and want you all to know we will be back to our normal work schedule starting Wednesday April 1st.

Thank you to all who have supported us during this time so that we could be with our family.



 Dying in Style

Don and Susan sm

Don and Susan

My Father took the entire family on many amazing trips around the world. As he was dying, he decided everyone would gather for the Last Family Trip but this time we flew to Chicago to be with him

His wishes were that we celebrate and enjoy our family time together.

My Dad always liked to have a plan and to be in control and like his life he pulled off his death in great style. He didn’t want to suffer and thought it would be perfect to die in his sleep, and by golly he did just that.

A close friend stated that if anything needed to be done my Dad would have it done yesterday.The business in his life was taken care of so the energy he had left was devoted to family and friends.

In the last three weeks of his life, I witnessed him making many phone calls and writing emails to thank his friends for their friendship.  Each family member had private time with him. He said he was grateful to have cancer and heart issues rather than to die suddenly so that he had time to say thanks and for others to thank to him.

Don and David

Don and David

As his body showed more and more decline he never complained. He said to family members that they deserved only love and gratitude. His pure character showed through.

I struggled in my early years with my father. I wanted to be seen for who I was not for what I did. And yet what really was important was to love. And regardless of what transpired between us love won out. When he couldn’t speak any more but knew I was near he would tap my hand three times. This stood for “I love you”.

Maybe we could all reach out and tap someone three times today.

We want to thank you all for the incredible support you gave us so we could care for my father and stepmother during this time. It’s a gift we’ll never forget.

We’re back now with expanded hearts ready to serve.



26 comments on “Dying in Style

  1. Blanca on

    Susan and Davis,

    So thankful to be a part of both your journey and your father’s as well, Susan.
    Yeaayee for love winning out, and dying in style.
    I love you two! See you soon!

    Love and blessings,


  2. Tony Blumberg on

    Dear Susan:

    In the short period and brief moments that I shared with your dad, he struck me as a very kind, decent and caring man.

    Your writing is a lovely rememberance of a life and death beautifully lived.

    I am very sorry for your loss but so glad you had such a wonderful relationship with your father.

  3. Joy Caffrey on

    Susan, thank you for touching us with your personal reflection of your dad. I love imagining him making those phone calls and writing his last emails. How poignant, beautfiul and inspiring. I send you tenderness, love and light in your loss.

  4. Lew Davis on

    Susan, Thanks for sharing the process of your dad’s passing and of your relationship with him. I’m glad that his life ended the way he wanted. I’ll never forget his interest in me as a young teacher at NSCDS. His involvement with those there helped make the school a special place, and I have fond memories of him and of each member of his family. My condolences.

    Lew Davis

  5. Dene on

    Relationships evolve when conflicts resolve, and love shines through each being. Thank you David & Susan for showing us all. I look forward to seeing you soon.
    Love always …

  6. Jude on

    I am so grateful that all’of you were surrounded by the love, compassion and strength that each one of us has encountered in working with, and knowing both of you!
    Hasta pronto!

  7. Shaida on

    Dear Susan, I am sorry to hear of this sad news. I have been thinking about you and Jessa and Shelley since Joel wrote me. I remember the gatherings and all the nice things I heard about your dad and his love for family. I always looked forward to the Christmas cards and the family pictures every year to see everyone. I know you will hold on to all the love and good memories. I send you hugs and much love. Shaida

  8. Lulu Torbet on

    dear susan and david. dying in style is a complex recipe, and your dad had what it takes. hope you are doing well. looking forward to see you after you return on sunday tap tap tap lulu

  9. Carlos on

    Very nice reflection. I didn’t know Don real well but he certainly made an impact on me the short time we spent together buying wine and at dinner two years ago.

    Be well, say “hey” to D and advise should you need help with anything in SMA.

    Looking forward to seeing you two soon.


  10. Shady on

    Hi Susan & David,
    What a precious time for you to be able to have that time with your Dad, Susan. So happy you had those beautiful moments and appreciations of one another and the love that was at the foundation of your relationship. A very special gift, and a beautiful modeling of appreciation and gratitude on his part. Thanks for sharing this tidbit of your time with him!

    Definitely inspiring, and if I can live my life with that gratitude and appreciation daily, I know my exit from this stage of life will be graceful.
    lots of love,

  11. Barb Eisele on

    Dear Susan and David, Such a lovely tribute to your father. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt journey so beautifully. John and I are sending you much love for your journey.

  12. Lenn & MAya on

    Dear Susan & David

    You are the gift of your fathers life. Always remember that in your Being and in your Soul.

    Many Blessings to You and David during this time of letting go and reconnecting.

  13. Tena Chinn on

    Susan and David- so sorry for your loss. It is wonderful that you were able to spend that time with your Dad and family and say a proper goodbye. I know you will miss him very much, you valued your time with him. I’ve always enjoyed your stores of growing up and traveling with your Dad as well as the valued lessons you received from him. I’m sorry we never met, he sounded like a wonderful man to know.

  14. Jeanette on

    I’m so very sorry for the loss of your father, Susan…but what a wonderful gift for you all to be so conscious and present to the birthing process that is death. Your father will always be near through the power of the love you shared…3 taps and he’ll be there.

  15. Sherrilyn Johnston on

    Dear Susan and David
    Sorry to hear your dad has passed away. My heart goes out to you and your family. Happy you had a special and loving time at the end. Tap tap tap always xx

  16. Fred Cox on

    Few things give me as much pleasure as reading an account of a kind person, written by a kind person. The glow is infectious. Thank you.

  17. Margaret on

    Susan and David thanks so much for sharing this experience …my Dad has been critically ill since the 2nd week of Feburary. It is a roller coaster ….he is now in an acute nursing center trying to get strong enough to go home and spend his last days there with family. Sending you love and thanks.

  18. Ruth Hayward on

    Who could ask for anything more, at the end of a long life, than to die in style surrounded by a loving family?
    How blessed was your Dad and the whole family to have shared this beautiful experience. As the author of Harry Potter said :death to the well organized mind is the begining of another new adventure” He leaves behind a great legacy.and his last act was the greatest of all.
    Love to all, Susan, David, Jane and the grandchildren
    Ruth Hayward

  19. Walter and Karen on

    Beloved Susan and David, thank you for sharing the precious time you had with Susan’s father. I know that love space so well. I was honored to experience it with my mother when she passed. What a blessing you all were to each other. Love is All There Is. Tap, tap tap always and ever from Walter and Karen

  20. Tashina on

    Thank you dear Susan for including me in this precious experience with your father and family. What a beautiful gift you received. I so appreciate your dad’s style and the last days you had with him. You are truly blessed. I can only imagine what this might be with my mother or father. My heart is deeply touched. Three taps to you sweet friends.


  21. Susan Gateley on

    What an incredible gift he has given you! I am so glad that you and David were able to share in this experience of both sadness and joy wonderfully entwined!

  22. John Fritz on

    Dearest Susan and David,
    We continue to send Love and Light to You, your Dad…
    Family … and Extended Family.

    The Profound Dignity, integrity and Love
    We All have Witnessed
    To and Through your Father’s Passing and Your Care
    Is a Demonstration of Grace and Generosity of Spirit
    That Touches us So Deeply and Profoundly…

    And Serves Both as a Sanctuary of Spirit…
    And a Living Lesson ….
    That Touches Our Hearts
    With an Unshakable Enduring Gentle Strength…
    A Perfect, Ever-Present and Ever- Lasting Gift.

    Blessings Upon Blessings to Your Father, You and Family. . Tap, Tap Tap to Us All…Now and World Without End….

    John and Cecilia

  23. Emily on

    So inspirational…having a good relationship with death can help us to live more fully. Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life. Much love to you both!
    Emily (from Troncones)!


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