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.
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|8 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 and Healing, Perspective|6 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 and 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 and 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 [...]

17 10, 2019

Claim Your Grief Space

By | 2019-10-14T20:12:58-07:00 October 17th, 2019|General|2 Comments

First of all, let me say that this "grief space" is going to look different for everyone. We all know there is no one-size-fits-all way to approach grieving (though it would be so nice if there was!), and so this process is something that will require you to consider ways that you process and incorporate change. We've all seen examples of unresolved grief on television - just watch any episode of Hoarders or Kitchen Nightmares. The horrific scenarios in these shows are often the result of a traumatic event or death in the person's past. Often, the loss was never [...]

9 09, 2019

Grief and the Need for Sacred Space

By | 2019-09-11T22:22:22-07:00 September 9th, 2019|Ceremonies, General|3 Comments

It seems impossible that 9/11 happened to us 18 years ago. EIGHTEEN years. To me, this is proof that time is in fact, not a healer, but a carrier. We are held and carried by time further and further away from the moment of anguish. I think this is as comforting as it is terrifying for a grieving person to comprehend. To move away from the day is to move away from "them".  And while distractions, acceptance and changed habits slowly move us into less-pain-filled-space, our grief will remain and our wound stays tender when touched. Grief requires a sacred [...]

25 04, 2019

When Your Grief is Invisible: Infertility and the Grief Experience

By | 2019-04-25T17:36:18-07:00 April 25th, 2019|Child Loss, General, Perspective|1 Comment

This week is Infertility Awareness week. Infertility has an invisibility to it that few other griefs do. When someone dies, people notice. But what if there is no body to bury or no name to say? What if the loss is invisible? Infertility has both male and female victims and is a term applied to women who can get pregnant but not sustain the pregnancy. So the little lives that are lost to infertility either exist only briefly or in the hearts of the people seeking to create them. Let's face it, our society struggles enough to talk about tangible [...]

28 03, 2019

Seeing Signs: Love From Beyond the Grave

By | 2019-03-28T22:43:48-07:00 March 28th, 2019|Grief and Healing, Inspiration, News|2 Comments

Ok, so this title may sound a little ... different - thanks for clicking anyway : ) Have you ever wished for a "sign"? I know I have. "If this is what I'm supposed to do, please give me a sign".  We offer this thought to God or the universe and hope that something - anything divine will happen. Whenever we want a sign, what we really want is peace. After all, a "sign" represents supernatural reassurance that we are not alone or adrift.  It is a divine symbol that brings reassurance and peace to your heart and mind. Many [...]

26 02, 2019

The BEST Sympathy Cards and What to Write in Them

By | 2019-02-26T22:57:43-08:00 February 26th, 2019|General, Resources & Information|1 Comment

The personal touch of a sympathy card is a warm and thoughtful way of continuing to reach out to someone you love. But so many of us are intimidated by any sort of expression of sympathy, worried we'll say the wrong thing or - a concern I've heard often - that we'll just be reminding them of their loss - AS IF they have forgotten! It's worthwhile, kind and thoughtful to reach out to people we know that are grieving. While many of us might text our sympathy these days, there is a lack of weight to the receipt of a text [...]