Category Archives: Sharon


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Theme of the Show: The Downside of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID)
Guest: Mike Penninga – Guest lecturer, UBCO Nursing School (Ethics), Author: Physician Assisted Suicide (Master’s Thesis), Pastor, Kelowna Gospel Fellowship,
Lead Host: Sharon Simpson

Mike Penninga is trained in broadcast journalism and was a radio and television reporter prior to becoming a pastor. Mike wrote his Master’s thesis on the topic of Physician Assisted Death for his Social Ethics & Christian faith course for his Masters in Christianity and Culture. Written in a dialogue format, the thesis is very accessible for those who are interested in the ethical aspects that impact the individual and our society with the choices involved in Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID).

The paper came across the desk of a philosophy and ethics professor in the School of Nursing at UBCO and Mike was asked to present it to the students. This year will be his fourth year presenting to the nursing students. The school keeps bringing him back for his presentation as they seek to give the nursing students a non-judgmental and thoughtful way to look at Medical Assistance in Dying from another persective. Many of the nurses patients will come from a faith-background and Mike’s viewpoint will provide insight into how people of faith consider this issue.

Its exciting to explore all avenues with our listeners and welcome your feed back at or on our Facebook page.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Theme of the Show: Talking with the Coroner
Guest: Michael Dekkers, Former Coroner
Lead Host: Sharon Simpson

Serving with the Coroners Service of British Columbia, Michael was one of several coroners responsible for investigating all unnatural, sudden and unexpected, unexplained or unattended deaths in the upper Fraser Valley. He made recommendations to improve public safety and prevent death in similar circumstances.

For each death, Michael determined:

  • The identity of the deceased
  • When, where, and by what means the deceased came to their death
  • The classification of death:
    • Natural
    • Accidental
    • Homicide
    • Suicide
    • Undetermined
  • Whether any reasonable or practical recommendations may be made to prevent future deaths in similar circumstances.

As a member of the Coroners Service, Michael was also responsible for investigation of all child deaths (a child being a person under the age of 19 years) in B.C.

Take a listen – Michael’s experience at the scene of many deaths is fascinating, indeed.

Its exciting to explore all avenues with our listeners and welcome your feed back at or on our Facebook page.

Inspired by this show, a friend wrote this poem:

Death Matters

A jump into the pits of fire is certain death.
Crows caws waiting.
Claws outstretch for flesh.
Death matters, lives count.
I shall be the dealer in this game of death with no play in life.
Resist what may.
Expel what is more in strife.
Be told a life may blossom upon the grey mist.
Tell none shall heal from the grips.
A course of final judgment.
Crows will gather in a larger circle.
Dragging down the torch.
The path will always marvel.
One true source of light within.
Crackling embers a flame shudders the fall of grim.
Those that sleep upon the black ground.
One hot blooded body can test your mound.
Greener as grass gets.
Warmth the heart is met with one love for life.
Death matters, be of such frame.
It matters to I for I am to blame.
No kill to obstruct the true.
Deathly calls for what you must do.
On to the next, a tale for the kindred.
A flailing wing is my hindered.
A call to tall order so set it be.
Ring once, hear twice, kill set free.
No burden gathered upon thee back.
Death matters so that is that.

Stephen – Gina and I would like to thank you for having us on your show. It was a lot of fun, and I think we all had a great conversation. In fact, I immediately heard from a friend living in Berlin, who was really inspired by the broadcast. – Michael Izen


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Theme of the Show: Design and End-of-Life
Guest: Ann Rowland, Commander, Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller
Lead Host: Sharon Simpson

Our special guest today was Ann Rowland who spearheaded the largest project of The Sovereign Order in the British Columbia area – the 2013 building of the $5.3 million St. John Hospice located on the UBC campus. Hear how her passion and design skill helped to create a serene and beautiful space for those who are at end-of-life as well as for their families.

Anniversary Show!
This show was also our one-year anniversary show! Leela Chinnia shared the eulogy of her father, Siva Chinnia. Leela is the Program Coordinator for Vancouver Co-op Radio and is the brainchild behind a radio show solely dedicated to the topic of death, dying and loss. Our inagural show honoured Leela’s mother, Marie Claire Chinnia.

Its exciting to explore all avenues with our listeners and welcome your feed back at or on our Facebook page.


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Theme of the Show: Seniors: Care, Loss and End of Life
Guests: Mara Lees, Abegael Fisher-Lang
Lead Host: Sharon Simpson
Menno Place – one of the largest campuses of care in British Columbia –

Today’s show was a conversation around growing old – the losses and the care levels available for seniors in our community. Three hosts had an informative and stimulating conversation about how seniors are cared for when frailty or dementia becomes their reality.

Its exciting to explore all avenues with our listeners and welcome your feed back at or on our Facebook page.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Theme of the Show: Palliative Care
Guest: Dr. Pippa Hawley, Division Head of Palliative Care, UBC Department of Medicine
Bucket List Festival: Saturday, April 30th from 10am – 3pm
Lead Host: Sharon Simpson

Dr. Pippa Hawley is a pioneer in palliative care in British Columbia. She began the BC Cancer Agency’s Pain and Symptom Management / Palliative Care Program (PSMPC) in 1997 and continues to lead the drive for early integration of palliative care into oncology in BC, and the creation of an academic palliative care network in BC.

Pippa shares the value of palliative care for helping to address pain management and the whole person during the entire course of an illness rather than only near life’s end. She helps to explain the philosophy of palliative care and how it works together with hospice to bring pain management and symptom management under control for people who are in any stage of chronic or terminal illness.

Pippa provides key leadership to the Bucket List Festival which takes place on Saturday, April 30th from 10am – 3pm at the floral Hall, Van Dusen Gardens. Click for Tickets – $25 includes lunch.

The Bucket List Festival is for folks who want to make the most of life when time may be limited. Topics include Advance Care Planning, Holding a Living Wake, Legacy Projects and State-of-the-Art Pain Management.



Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Theme of the Show: Reflections of a Widower
Guest: Josh Kramer
Lead Host: Sharon Simpson

Josh Kramer shares his journey of caring for his wife, Susi as her health declined over the last 25 years of their life together. As her health declined, Susi needed additional support. Josh was able to provide her with care for a significant amount of time. When her care needs increased, they moved to Menno Place ( campus of care in order to provide her with assistance in her daily life activities.

Eventually, Susi needed the support provided in full-time residential care as her mobility declined. Josh was faithful in loving her with tender compassion. Josh reflects on the privilege it was to serve Susi throughout their marriage and the grief he is now experiencing in the months following her passing.

Footprints in the Sand – Susi’s Favorite Poem

One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”





Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Theme of the Show: Canuck Place, Children’s Hospice Program
Guest: Camara van Breemen, nurse practicioner, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice
Lead Host: Sharon Simpson

Camara van Breemen is a nurse practitioner, providing pediatric palliative care assessment, consultation adn education at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. Camara has worked at Canuck Place since the doors opened 20 years ago to one child (now there are over 600 children and families on the program).

Camara shares the heart of palliative care, ongoing programs, bereavement services, volunteer opportunities and support for pregnant women who have received a poor prognosis for their unborn child.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Theme of the Show: Conversation with all five hosts
Guest: Stephen Garrett, Jeffrey Young, Sharon Simpson, Mara Lees, Abegael Fisher-Lang
Lead Host: Stephen Garrett

Listen in to the five hosts of Death Matters Live as they discuss their learnings about death, dying and loss in 2015 – and share their plans and insights for 2016.