Susan Johnson Hadler, Ph.D.
January 24, 1945 - July 18, 2019
We've lost a First Founder of AWON. A truly extraordinary person - one in many millions.
Susan is the co-author, with Ann Bennett Mix, of "Lost in the Victory," a book that broke the silence
surrounding mention of fathers who died in WWII and how their deaths affected their children.
She has published articles in the Washingtonian, Reader's Digest, and the Mindfulness Bell,
and appeared in the Ancestors series on PBS. She formerly lived and taught in Tanzania,
East Africa, and worked for more than twenty years as a psychotherapist in Washington, D.C.
She also wrote "the beauty of what remains," the deeply touching story of her own journey
to find her father, 2LT Selby Johnson. See the book and tribute, both below.
Susan left us with her words of wisdom, permission granted to share them by husband, Jack,
who describes her wisdom this way: "During this past program year, Susan was part of a Tergar Group
that was studying preparations for dying. As part of that study, she prepared a 'dharma box' - which
contained instructions for her dying process and reflections on her life. Those instructions guided us
on her last day, are informing Tergar in their service preparations for Sunday, and will guide us
in the DC services to be scheduled. Thus, Susan continues to lead us, and we follow.
In gratitude to Susan for her self-reflection left for us in this timely way, below are the
six categories of her reflections on her life - dated April, 2019 - to be updated . . ."
lmportant things in life:
Take care of family and friends
Nurture creatively, health, and connection
Openness to life as it reveals and lives in and through and around us
Expressing the joys and sorrows of being alive in ways that heal
Honoring and getting to know the lost and ancestors - biological and spiritual
Living in a way that causes the least amount of harm to the earth & all beings
Recognizing the movement of the heart/intuition and realizing that when possible
What I want to be remembered for:
That's up to those still alive!
Listening, understanding, healing, caring, connecting have been important to me
Finding my father and Elinor and Dorothy was deeply meaningful and healing
Having the chance to help people understand themselves more clearly and grow
Most important thing I've done in life:
Raising two beautiful children into mature adulthood
Living and loving and growing steadily with Jack
Finding my father, Dorothy and Elinor
Hope others learn from me:
Live life to the fullest, continue to learn and grow,
recognize your true wonderful nature
Life has taught me these lessons:
Staying aware & open to & following & staying with what calls me
has led me to where I've needed to go.
With solid support, I've dived into the pain and sorrow that presented itself
in my life and found deeper connection and love.
Being alive is an amazing adventure!
Love exists even after death.
The book. Everyone should read it!
Not so long ago, in June of 2018 with Rondy Elliott and Bob Holliday.
Annie and Susan in the "Lost in the Victory" days.
Found on the Author's Bio page of "the beauty of what remains."
To see the David Johnson Tribute Click Here.
If you have a note or story about Susan (or additional pictures) you'd like to include on this page,
please send them to The Star or to the AWON Website.You can also visit Susan's own website.
- In Her Memory -