Posts by Molly Keating

About Molly Keating

Hello! I'm Molly and I run & manage the Blog here at O'Connor. I grew up in a mortuary with a mortician for a father who's deep respect for the profession inspired me to give working at a mortuary a try. Work at O'Connor has brought together two of my deep passions, writing & grief awareness. In 2016 I earned Certification in the field of Thanatology, the study of Death, Dying and Bereavement. I am honored to be able to speak on these taboo topics with knowledge, compassion, and a unique perspective. I want to sincerely thank you for following & reading the blog, I hope that this is a healing place for you.
16 09, 2020

Why You Should Cry Today: Rui-katsu & the Tear Teacher

By | 2020-09-17T00:14:13-07:00 September 16th, 2020|General, Self-Help|0 Comments

This week my husband sent me a short video produced by the BBC entitled, "The man teaching Japan to cry." I had goosebumps just a few seconds in and was deeply moved by the sweetness of the "tear teacher," Hidefumi Yoshida. He claims to have brought over 50,000 people to tears and believes that the heart-felt act of crying has tremendous health and life-style benefits. This practice of crying is called "rui-katsu" which translates to "tear activity". People attend seminars and practice rui-katsu with the purpose of relieving stress and being refreshed. Pause a moment with me. When you think [...]

19 08, 2020

Learning to Live with the Unimaginable

By | 2020-08-20T08:43:58-07:00 August 19th, 2020|General, Grief & Healing|0 Comments

Learning to live with the unimaginable ... this is what grief is. And this is what our collective life is right now. The lyric, "learn to live with the unimaginable" comes from one of my favorite Hamilton songs. When I watched it last month for the first time, this lyric struck me differently than all the prior times I'd heard it. The world we are living in feels "unimaginable" in so many ways. I have friends deep in quarantine that I haven't seen in months. There is more fear and more anger everywhere and no where to escape the pervasive [...]

17 06, 2020

The Gravity of Grief, and a Way Through

By | 2020-06-17T23:04:23-07:00 June 17th, 2020|General, Inspiration, Resources & Information|0 Comments

Stick with me on this one - I think it's important. When COVID lockdowns started, I found myself very isolated at home with two very little children. TV became a primary escape for us as parks, beaches and even grandparents were off limits. When Disney released Frozen 2 early, I was excited to watch it with my 3 year old daughter. Little did I think I would absolutely adore this movie. There are many reasons it speaks to me, but what surprised me was how it speaks to the community of readers here. Death isn't uncommon in Disney movies, but [...]

20 05, 2020

They Are Dying, and You Can’t Be There

By | 2020-05-20T21:32:19-07:00 May 20th, 2020|General, Grief & Healing|2 Comments

They are dying and you can't be there. People have died alone before. This isn't new. Unexpected deaths, delays, avoidance, or hope of healing are just some reasons that can keep us from being at a death bed when a death occurs. But never or rarely are people prevented from being there. This is a whole new type of trauma that the bereaved people of the COVID-era will have to navigate. And this isn't happening just to COVID patients but to anyone sick or dying in a hospital setting. People dying of "normal" things are dying in abnormal ways. Abnormal [...]

21 04, 2020

The Worst Time to Die: COVID-19 & the Resources We Need

By | 2020-04-22T15:43:25-07:00 April 21st, 2020|Grief & Healing|3 Comments

Babies are still being born. People are still dying of other, "regular" causes and "regular" tragedies. Lives are being changed by a cancer diagnosis and others are being cured. Life is moving ahead despite how on-hold it all feels. And while there is NEVER, ever, ever, ever  a "good" time to die. Ever. It seems that we are living through the worst time to die or experience the death of someone you love. Because of restrictions, just 10 people, in some cases not even whole families, can attend a funeral ceremony. While many funeral homes offer webcasting for free, it's [...]

19 03, 2020

Funerals in a Time of Quarantine

By | 2020-03-19T08:24:57-07:00 March 19th, 2020|General, Planning Ahead, Resources & Information|11 Comments

Just yesterday I saw something I've never seen before at a funeral for a young mom and her daughter, killed together in a car accident. Over a thousand people wanted to attend their service but the health precautions kept all but immediate family from attending the actual service. Hundreds of people gathered in pockets to webcast the service and line the streets of the procession. But they also did the most beautiful thing. The pastor was deeply upset that the church would effectively be empty despite the tragedy and outpouring of love from the community. So, an idea came forward [...]

18 02, 2020

Not ready to be happy

By | 2020-02-18T22:45:46-08:00 February 18th, 2020|General|2 Comments

I believe there comes a period in mourning where we begin to realize we are returning. Life, light and a few smiles somehow make their way past our dark gates of grief. It's surprising and perhaps even exciting - but almost immediately it also feels threatening and fearful. Grievers often feel a loyalty to their pain. This pain of grief can become a stand-in companion for the loved one being mourned. There can be a sense that only when we are holding tightly to our grief are we being loyal to the memory of our loved one. But if we [...]

22 01, 2020

The Many Losses of a Grieving Person

By | 2020-01-22T23:16:56-08:00 January 22nd, 2020|Grief & Healing|7 Comments

The loss of a loved one is tremendous. It is the greatest loss.  Yet, there are other, smaller but significant losses that often follow a person in grief. There is the common experience of a period of hibernation or withdrawal from normal social activities. But, bereavement sometimes changes our orientation to society altogether and without our permission. Widowers who used to find themselves often out with other couples may suddenly find themselves neglected. For many bereaved people company decreases or evaporates altogether. The truth is, it is hard work to grieve and it is hard to be with grievers - [...]

11 12, 2019

Should Holiday Traditions Change if Your Life has Changed?

By | 2019-12-11T23:23:11-08:00 December 11th, 2019|General, Grief & Healing|2 Comments

Holidays are celebrated and kept precious with traditions. In this constantly changing world, we cling to the comfort of something constant. So, losses often hit us the hardest in times of tradition. Suddenly, the way we've always done this is changed forever and it's devastating. What do we do when our tradition is broken by a death? Difficult decisions and thoughts swirl.   My husband died, will anyone remember to get ME a present this year? How do I even get out of bed Christmas morning without my child?  Mom always loved hosting New Years Eve - do we do [...]

20 11, 2019

When People Die During the Holidays: Brutal & Beautiful

By | 2019-11-20T23:48:11-08:00 November 20th, 2019|Grief & Healing|2 Comments

I was a week shy of being a year old when my grandpa died unexpectedly on Thanksgiving. While I don’t remember the tragedy of the day or his lovely, southern accent, Thanksgiving has always been a time when we’ve talked about him. Growing up, I have a vivid memory of my dad playing “Silent Night” from a Manheim Steamroller Christmas album over the stereo and finding my mom with tears in her eyes telling me that this song always made her think of her dad. It was an unspoken and informal way that my dad remembered my grandpa and my [...]