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, 2020

How Can I Be Thankful for Pain?

By | 2020-11-24T21:24:04-08:00 November 24th, 2020|Grief & Healing|0 Comments

Thanksgiving hits some sharp notes for so many of us this year. What are we supposed to be thankful for in a year of tumult, solitude, restriction and change? If you are reading this - it is most likely because someone you dearly love has died. HOW does one [...]

21 10, 2020

Sad Holidays 101: Creating Boundaries for Yourself and Your Grief

By | 2020-10-21T21:45:47-07:00 October 21st, 2020|General, Grief & Healing, Planning Ahead, Self-Help|0 Comments

The holidays are always stressful. Always. But, that stress generally pays off with special gatherings, joyful present giving and tasty food. But when you are grieving all of this can just seem grey and tasteless. There isn't a payoff for the anxiety and in fact, there might be a [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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, [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]