In 2002, after the death of her only child, Erika Whitmore Godwin, to a rare sinus cancer at the age of 32, Susan Whitmore began looking around for the types of grief education and support she so desperately wanted and needed. She was surprised to find that they simply did not exist. That is when griefHaven was born. Susan was then inspired to change her life's work from her successful and rewarding career as a Director of Administration in the legal arena to one of helping others who would know the pain of losing a child. As her talent as a speaker and ability to provide a holistic and unique approach to grief spread, her work quickly expanded to include all losses.
After Erika's death, Susan Whitmore became passionate about grief and, not only how it affected a person on every level, but also how those around the grieving person were affected. That is when she began to delve deeply into scientific research and discovered that there is much more to the journey of grieving than had been known before. After years of studying and meeting with thousands of bereft individuals, Susan created a unique and effective approach to dealing with grief, helping people around the world as they began the lifelong journeys before them.
Susan Whitmore's candid yet gentle guidance, combined with her personal experience and wonderful sense of humor, lends itself wholeheartedly to reaching into the hearts and minds of those in need, leaving them with the hope and tangible knowledge of how to go on, how to help someone else go on, and what specifically does and does not work. She has also created a wide variety of support tools so that everyone will have something from which to choose that will help them continue making that journey, knowing they are never alone. Those tools are being used all over the world, and some of them can be seen throughout the griefHaven website.
Susan Whitmore has a wide range of experience and capabilities in this arena and has conducted workshops and speaking engagements from very large to small groups, keynotes to general presentations, and shorter workshops to all-day workshops. Her educational and unique approach to the difficult subject of the death of a child is well received by specialists, including chaplains, hospice caregivers, medical students/doctors, hospital administrative staff, therapists, nurses, home caregivers, school/university principals, and their administrative staff, teachers, and more. Known as a grief specialist with a holistic approach to dealing with the grief of all losses, Susan's presentations are unique, dynamic, and educational.
Some of her past engagements include:
- Johnson & Johnson - Los Angeles LGBT Organization – National Grief Awareness Day
- Keynote - 19th Circuit Court Judges – Chicago – Yearly Conference
- Keynote - Brian Moorman P.U.N.T. Foundation – Buffalo, NY
- Staff Support/Death of Partner - Nossaman Law Firm, Los Angeles, CA
- Educational Presentation - Pacific Palisades Optimists Club
- Educational Presentation - UCLA – Los Angeles, CA (Staff Development Workshop)
- Keynote - TJ Coughlin Jay Fund - St. Augustine, FL
- Keynote - CURE Childhood Cancer Organization - Atlanta, GA
- Workshops - (All Day) - Roswell Park Cancer Institute - Buffalo, New York
- Keynote - Seven Arrows Private School - Pacific Palisades, CA
- Guest/Radio - Nina Impala Radio Show
- Educational Presentation - Mary Crest Manor - Culver City, CA
- Speaker/Workshops - Bereaved Parents of the USA – Yearly Conference - Tampa, FLA
- Educational Presentation - Companion Hospice - Pasadena, CA
- Educational Presentation - Children's Hospital - Los Angeles, CA
- Keynote - Tu Nudito Yearly Educational Event - Tucson, AZ
- Educational Presentation - Cottage Hospital - Santa Barbara, CA
- Workshop - The International Association for Professional Chaplains - Boston, MA
- Educational Presentation - Cedars Sinai Medical Hospital - Los Angeles, CA
- Educational Presentation - Organization of Professional Therapists – Los Angeles, CA
- Educational Presentation - Hospice of Redondo Beach - Redondo Beach, CA
- Educational Presentation - La Canada Presbyterian Church - La Canada, CA
- Educational Presentation - Our House – Los Angeles, CA
- TV Guest - Good Morning America (Television)
- TV Guest - Grief Relief Television – San Francisco, CA
- Educational Presentation - San Fernando Valley Counseling Center – Los Angeles, CA
- Association of Prof Chaplains - San Francisco, CA (workshops)
- Educational Presentation - Westside Council/Bereavement Facilitators – Sherman Oaks, CA
- Guest/Radio - Healing the Grieving Heart - Finding Meaning After Losing Erika
- Panel - Los Angeles, CA - Life After Loss – The Impact on Those Left Behind
- Panel - Worldwide Online - International Day of Hope and Healing After Loss
- Educational Presentation - St. John's Medical Center – Santa Monica, CA "The Grieving Brain"
- Online Support/Collaboration - St. John's Medical Center Caregivers – Grief Support
- Online Support/Collaboration - Onsite Foundation – Grief Support