Susan Barber


Grew up: Bayville (a small beach town), on Long Island in NY

Joined Mission Hospice: February 2015

How I came to hospice work: I arrived in SF in 1981, and many of my first friends from those days were dying of AIDS. Within 10 years, I cared for about 12 people who died, and after that, working with the dying and training volunteers to do this work was all that made sense.

Mission Hospice in three words: Love, Serve, Remember

Passions: Music (I just attended my 20th New Orleans Jazz Festival!), windsurfing, paddleboarding, hosting Death Cafes at my home in Alameda

Reading: My commute is so long, I listen to books on Audible. I’m listening to Sue Monk Kidd’s The Invention of Wings and family stories of the Holocaust. We Are The Lucky Ones was amazing.

Desert island album: anything by Bruce Springsteen

Favorite food: Lobster/raw oysters – growing up, we could get these from our beach

Little known fact: When I was 11, I stole Elisabeth Kubler Ross’ book On Death & Dying from the Bayville Free Library, where I volunteered, and read it under the covers with a flashlight.

Favorite movie: The Deer Hunter

On my bucket list: Living in Paris for a year


Listen to Susan’s recent interview with Cheryl Jones:

“In the western world in the past 30 years, conversation has opened up about grief, illness and death. On the front lines, Susan Barber has witnessed it all and been behind the scenes for its major milestones, including many years producing events for Stephen and Ondrea Levine (Who Dies, Healing into Life and Death). What does she have to tell us about the evolution of hospice care and death conversation? Where is she going? And what first inspired her to make the end of life her life’s work? Now creating programs to educate the community at Mission Hospice & Home Care, she brings noted experts in the field to her community forums, adding a tremendous resource to her community. What feeds her passion to share this information and these people? Join us to hear an inspiring and remarkable story.”

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