From the Heart

Molly Keating, MA, CT

About Molly Keating

Hello and welcome to From the Heart. My name is Molly and I have the great privilege of writing this monthly blog for O’Connor Mortuary. This wonderful work has brought together two of my deep passions, writing and grief education. In 2016 I earned my Certification in the field of Thanatology, the study of Death, Dying and Bereavement and I hold a Masters degree in English Literature from Cal State Long Beach that I earned in 2011. I had the rare experience of growing up in a funeral home and having a father as a mortician, making my proximity to these topics, experiences, and ceremonies first-hand and life-long. It is an honor to share with you my thoughts, but most importantly, current academic thinking on taboo topics such as funerals, grief experiences, and the importance of having lasting, healing traditions.

Thank you for reading, my hope is that you find this an open place full of meaning and hope as you walk the road of grief.

24 11, 2021

“I am thankful for your life.”

By | 2021-11-24T07:02:56-08:00 November 24th, 2021|Grief & Healing|0 Comments

  Each year I ponder what a grieving person might be thankful for in the wake of loss. Grief is so complex, something we must accept and something we rebel against with the pain of feeling "there wasn't enough time." Grief is often a state of flux between "ungratefulness" [...]

24 10, 2021

Making Your Own Ofrenda: Remembering Loved Ones at Home

By | 2021-10-24T08:49:03-07:00 October 24th, 2021|Ceremonies, General, Grief & Healing|0 Comments

There are so many beautiful, international traditions that can enrich and illuminate our holidays. Día de los Muertos comes on November 1st every year following Halloween. If you watched the Disney movie, Coco, you saw the beauty of the family’s ofrenda – their altar filled with photos of their [...]

9 09, 2021

Pausing to Remember 9/11 || 20 Years Later

By | 2021-09-09T21:02:46-07:00 September 9th, 2021|Ceremonies, General|0 Comments

  In the 20 years since 9/11 became a part of all our lives. We have enfolded it into our history, studied and honored it. Many of us have made a pilgrimage to the site of the twin towers and been overwhelmed by the space and the silence. I [...]

25 08, 2021

“Should we still have a funeral?”

By | 2021-08-25T08:11:38-07:00 August 25th, 2021|General|0 Comments

  So many families are asking this question, "Should we still have a funeral?” COVID made funerals impossible and the delays kept coming. Funerals were put off and families have been left without a critical tool in the bereavement journey: the funeral day. It seems that it took COVID [...]

21 07, 2021

July | Bereaved Parents Awareness Month

By | 2021-07-22T07:04:19-07:00 July 21st, 2021|General|0 Comments

The nightmare becomes reality. Child-loss is something we avoid reading about, thinking about, or wanting to look at at almost all costs. The pain is so much. The loss is "disorganized" as Dr. Bill Hoy puts it, meaning it occurs out of our natural order. We all agree on [...]

30 06, 2021

How Do We Transition Out of Grief?

By | 2021-06-29T21:07:02-07:00 June 30th, 2021|Grief & Healing, Self-Help|0 Comments

Last month I wrote about how "resurrection doesn't mean reversal" (quoting the fabulous Nadia Bolz-Weber). It occurs to me that the navigation of re-entry that we are all facing has a great deal in common with the re-entry bereaved people face. We are entering a familiar world with familiar [...]

26 05, 2021

Grief and the Myth of “Back to Normal”

By | 2021-05-26T07:50:39-07:00 May 26th, 2021|General, Self-Help|0 Comments

  Myth of "Back to Normal" after COVID We keep talking about "back to normal" and it sounds so wonderful. I so badly want to see and feel the life I had before this pandemic darkness. But when I step outside and visit my old haunts normal isn't anywhere [...]