Episode 106 – Susan Vanderpol writes about grief and the dark moments after the death of a loved one.

Show Overview

  • Susan Vandepol’s book, protocols, blog, speaking, and website all reflect her desire to help and bless others in the dark moments of their grief after the death of a loved one. Susan was married to a firefighter who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease after a 911 call on duty. She founded Families of the Fallen and wrote protocols for firefighters and churches to help them assist widows and their families with their needs after the death of a firefighter. This important resource has provided guidance in the undefined area of supporting these widows. Out of that came her book Life After Breath: After Her Husband Takes His Last Breath, and After She Tries to Catch Hers. Susan wrote out of her life experiences in order to help others. She discovered that she loved speaking and now does that regularly. Writing and talking about death and grief is a hard subject, but Susan has mastered it. Her book, protocols, blog, speaking, and website all reflect her desire to help and bless others. She blesses people in their hard and dark moments.


  • Nonfiction book blog, and protocols.

Life After BreathMy Books

The Most Important Thing I Learned About Writing

  • I learned that I love to speak about my topics. That’s both the blessing and the curse. I love it, love it. And yes I get butterflies.

My Most Difficult Writing Challenge

  • I was writing on an old dinosaur of a computer. It crashed and I lost several of my last chapters – when I was on a deadline. I had to renegotiated a new deadline.

The Best Advice on Writing I Ever Received

  • A writer told us that if you are going to be a writer, you must forgive. It was very quiet in the room. I was shocked to learn how much forgiving I had to do.
I wanted to write about difficult topics with grace and love but didn’t want to sugar coat it. @SusanVandpol Click To Tweet

How To Find Me

About Susan from Her Amazon Author’s page

  • Susan VandePol founded the “Families of the Fallen” protocol for fire departments and the “Life After Breath” protocol for churches and faith-based organizations after the duty-related death of her husband on 2005. The protocols are used by fire departments and churches around the country, and are endorsed by experts. Susan is a certified Grief, Crisis, and Trauma Counselor, Grief Coach, Master Life Coach, and Mediator. She is also certified in Victim Response and Individual Crisis Intervention. She is a retreat and conference speaker including keynotes at the ICISF World Congress and speaking to the Honor Guard at the IAFF Fallen Firefighter Memorial.
  • Susan Homeschooled her three children without ever succumbing to pressure to wear Birkenstocks and now lives with her husband whom she shamelessly manipulated into falling in love with her. He obliged by sweeping her off her feet with a large broom. They now reside in Michigan. Susan is available to speak at events, conferences and retreats.

From My Perspective

  • In the From My Perspective segment of the show, I talk about the importance of thinking outside the box when you write in order to develop new materials and products.

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