“Inspiration”

21 10, 2015

A Crash Course in Listening: 3 Do’s and Don’ts

By | 2015-10-21T22:42:25-07:00 October 21st, 2015|Community, Inspiration, News, Self-Help|1 Comment

  One of the biggest concerns people have when they encounter a bereaved individual isn't (strangely enough) how the bereaved person is doing, but "what do I say to them?" The secret to "what to say" is simple in theory, but ironic in reality because honestly, "saying something" isn't the key. We feel a lot of pressure to say something but the best thing you can do is to listen with compassion. When you feel the pressure to open your mouth, start with a simple but sincere question, "How are you holding up?" and then ... listen. Listening is THE KEY when it comes to talking to someone who [...]

21 08, 2015

A List You Need to Have | Planning Ahead for What You Want

By | 2015-08-21T10:31:15-07:00 August 21st, 2015|Ceremonies, Inspiration, News, Planning Ahead|2 Comments

Ok, have I got a list for you! As you know and perhaps have seen first hand, most families have to make decisions about ceremonies with only days to plan. A lot of special conversations are avoided because people are uncomfortable/afraid/upset/fill-in-the-blank with the idea of talking about what they want at their funeral ceremony. This list could help change that. This list could begin the process of planning ahead. This list could help you have that special conversation. At one of our recent workshops Dr. Bill Hoy gave us this list and asked each of us to cross out anything [...]

8 05, 2015

Mother’s Day Without Mom

By | 2015-05-08T17:31:26-07:00 May 8th, 2015|Ceremonies, Inspiration, Perspective, Self-Help|5 Comments

Mother's Day without Mom, it changes everything. What do you do? How do you "celebrate" the day? It is my mom's first Mother's Day without her mom. None of the usual, sweet birthday cards came from my grandma last month when we celebrated 3 family birthdays. Since she died a few months ago, small things have changed in my world, but much bigger things have changed in my mom's world. Talking to my mom the other day she said, "I'm just really missing her. I feel like I should call her because I haven't in a while - and then [...]

17 12, 2014

Handling the Holidays: Adjusting to the Loss

By | 2014-12-17T23:15:22-07:00 December 17th, 2014|Inspiration, Seasons of Life, Self-Help|7 Comments

  For some of you, this is not the first holiday where you will be missing people you love. You "survived" the holidays last year but maybe just barely. Perhaps you feel like you can't get in the spirit of Christmas, you feel like a desolate place and everyone around you is putting on bows and smiling. Yes, you've made it through one round of the holidays but that doesn't mean this will be easy. In some ways, the second year of grief can be more difficult as the permanence of the loss begins to really sink in. For others, [...]

11 12, 2014

25 Years + 1 Mortuary = A Career of Meaning

By | 2014-12-11T07:42:32-07:00 December 11th, 2014|Community, Inspiration, News|4 Comments

Monday, December 1st, marked the 25th Work-iversary of Jeff Turner, our Chief Administrative Officer! Feeling that this event merited more than a celebratory lunch, speech and many "Congratulations," we decided a blog was in order. We have all pooled together to write about Jeff, share special thoughts, memories and ways he has influenced our lives. But first, a brief history: Jeff began at O'Connor in 1989 working in the Care Center as a Licensed, Supervising Embalmer. He moved into meeting with families as a Funeral Arranger (a job which he is still credited by some as being "the best in [...]

3 12, 2014

Deleting “Shoulds” from Your Grief Vocabulary

By | 2014-12-03T23:06:09-07:00 December 3rd, 2014|Ceremonies, Community, Inspiration, News|9 Comments

One of the most problematic phrases in our culture's grief vocabulary are the words, "You shouldn't be ... (fill in the blank with whatever makes them uncomfortable)." In general, our human nature is uneasy around sadness or any deep emotional pain that cannot be comforted. We fight to control or avoid grief in ourselves or others at all costs. We pick up this message subconsciously from the media, movies and even TV shows that don't generally make time to illustrate grief but push on to the next shocking plot-twist or scandal and meticulously edit out the pain. The worst though, [...]

20 11, 2014

Laughing About Tombstones: Living in Focus

By | 2014-11-20T00:12:20-07:00 November 20th, 2014|Inspiration, News, Perspective, Planning Ahead|14 Comments

Last week, at one of our workshops, we were asked to take a minute to think about and write down our epitaph. We were told that we could include the year we wanted to die (why not?) and were reminded to keep our text brief as only so many characters will fit.  This is the second time I've been asked to do this. I don't remember what I wrote the first time (not a good sign) so I was eager to participate in this exercise again. If I couldn't remember my epitaph, it had to have been bad. When we [...]

1 10, 2014

Taking the Urn Out of the Closet

By | 2014-10-01T16:43:54-07:00 October 1st, 2014|Inspiration, News, Perspective|26 Comments

A short story: Mary spent that last 3 years of her life in an Alzheimer's home. As the memory of her friends and family faded from her mind, so the number of her visitors dwindled down to just one; her daughter, Joan. Joan tried to check in every few months but the visits weren't easy and usually she left feeling more guilt than when she had walked in. Mary and Joan had never had an easy relationship and for both of them, Alzheimer's signaled the doom of their secret, but mutual hope that someday it might be easier. When Mary [...]

20 08, 2014

A Book and A Hope …

By | 2014-08-20T20:00:02-07:00 August 20th, 2014|Inspiration, News, Resources & Information|31 Comments

“How do I fully live when life is full of hurt?”   Are you down today? Perhaps grief and loss have derailed you and you are finding it hard to get back to a standing position, let alone getting any forward motion. Maybe some other disappointment has temporarily sucked the air out of you and you are trying to find some way to come back. I can say with certainty “I have been there.” I am still right there some days. Having lost my soul mate and life partner 16 months ago, I still find I must make my way [...]

6 08, 2014

Admit It … You Deserve a Funeral

By | 2014-08-06T22:19:17-07:00 August 6th, 2014|Inspiration, Perspective, Planning Ahead|28 Comments

If you’re like me you’ve heard many of the older people in your family say things like, “Don’t fuss over me when I die,” or, “When I’m dead just throw me in a ditch.” We accept their statements as expressions of not wanting to burden their family with the planning, cost, etc ... but what are they really saying to us when they throw these quips out? I think what they're really saying is … “I’m not sure if my life mattered enough … I’m not worthy of anyone's time … Would anyone go to my funeral? … Will someone [...]