“Planning Ahead”

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 [...]

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 [...]

5 11, 2014

Why You Should Know About Hospice

By | 2014-11-05T20:30:46-07:00 November 5th, 2014|Planning Ahead, Resources & Information|12 Comments

  When hospice nurses were asked, what hospice is to them, they wrote the following: - Hospice is Being There - Hospice is Wishes Respected - Hospice is Having a choice to be home - Hospice is Telling the truth, even when it's hard - Hospice is a gift (source) Hospice. It can be a controversial word. For some, it stirs up anxiety, panic, fear, death - for others, comfort, a blessing, an answer. Many people limit hospice to being just about dying when, if you think about it, hospice really is about living the best you can with the [...]

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 [...]

29 04, 2014

Life Donation – Your Questions Answered

By | 2014-04-29T20:08:18-07:00 April 29th, 2014|Inspiration, News, Planning Ahead, Resources & Information|45 Comments

  April marks Organ & Tissue Donation Awareness Month and I would venture to guess that most of us are pretty unaware of this life saving act. I'm hopeful that by the time you finish reading this, you will know more than you did before. Photo Courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/zamanyahre Most of us know that organ donation saves lives - we hear about it in the media & some of us know someone who has benefited from this most amazing gift. But did you know that lives are saved and enhanced by TISSUE donation as well? A tissue donation [...]

26 02, 2014

So, What’s a Celebrant?

By | 2014-02-26T00:22:08-07:00 February 26th, 2014|Ceremonies, Inspiration, News, Planning Ahead|47 Comments

  Last year I had never heard of a Celebrant. A what? What do they do? Sounds weird. Last week I walked into a room with 20 strangers, all there to learn about how to make a funeral personal & each life meaningful. When I was told that on the last day of training I would have to present a eulogy I had written for a fictitious person I felt overwhelmed, "How in the world will I do that?" I wondered. After 2 days of full training we were split into groups and given a situation to create a service [...]

29 01, 2014

“Why Do We Exist?”: Discovering Our Core Purpose

By | 2014-01-29T20:50:21-07:00 January 29th, 2014|Community, Inspiration, Planning Ahead|54 Comments

I am a firm believer that we have a divine purpose, and we are not just here by accident. I never thought I would become Funeral Director, even though it has been a part of our family for generations. Actually most people assume this would be a likely path I would go down. Funny thing, I never saw it coming even though I enjoyed hospitality work from my earlier years with my first jobs being in restaurants  & hotels. Photo Courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/yogesh_more In 1989 I joined our family’s profession, I started at an entry-level position; washing cars, [...]

14 08, 2013

“So, Who Was the Funeral For?” | Creating Sacred Moments

By | 2013-08-14T05:00:08-07:00 August 14th, 2013|Ceremonies, Community, News, Planning Ahead|29 Comments

  I recently attended a service where the officiant said, “funerals aren’t for the person who died, they are for the living.” I initially disliked this idea, feeling that it sounded vastly self-serving at a time that was set-aside for someone who had died. This same officiant then proceeded to talk about himself and his own grief experiences, sharing almost nothing about the person who had died. My mind drifted off until a slideshow began playing and jogged me back to why I was there. This officiant’s failure made a sad event even worse. The service he performed wasn’t for [...]

15 05, 2013

“This is How We Die”: A Morning with a Hospice Nurse

By | 2013-05-15T05:00:16-07:00 May 15th, 2013|News, Planning Ahead, Seasons of Life|23 Comments

On Tuesday morning all I knew was that I was setting up an O'Connor table at the Heartland Hospice event that we were co-hosting. I got the table cloth & brochures all set out, greeted the attendees, and sat down in the back intending to "work" on my computer when the speaker, Barbara Karnes, a hospice nurse of 32 years, began speaking. She said, "I don’t want to pretend that this is all Truth with a Capitol T. This is MY experience. Dying is the hardest thing we live through." (and you do live through it, that is, until you [...]

10 04, 2013

A Conversation with Your Neighborhood Mortician

By | 2013-04-10T05:00:54-07:00 April 10th, 2013|Community, Planning Ahead, Resources & Information|13 Comments

Talking to Your Neighborhood Mortician How many people actually know a mortician?  Not many.  How many people feel comfortable asking questions about death & how we go about our business of caring for those who have died? Very few. However, at O’Connor Mortuary part of our mission is to unmask the mortuary mysteries (say that 10 times fast!).  We strive to be transparent in all that we do & all that we are by opening our doors, hearts & minds to you.  We want you to know we are trustworthy to care for your loved ones & that we will [...]