2 12, 2015

Grief During the Holidays: 5 Ways for Adults and Children to Remember

By | 2015-12-02T07:47:29-08:00 December 2nd, 2015|Inspiration|4 Comments

Each year as we prepare for and pass by our Candlelight Service of Remembrance I am confronted with the multitudes of losses experienced in our community in just 1 year. I think of these families and wonder how their holidays are going. I'm sure they didn't expect to be in grief during the holidays this year, nor do they yet know how that grief can change everything. Yes, Halloween & Thanksgiving have been survived so there may be some sense of, "I can do this" even though they may not want to. But, now Christmas is coming ... But Christmas is on [...]

12 02, 2015

Grieving Non-Death Losses

By | 2015-02-12T09:06:37-08:00 February 12th, 2015|Self-Help|8 Comments

Last year I attended a conference where the topic of a panel was the significance of grief connected to non-death losses. The researchers focused their sites on college campuses and found that many students were ranking break-ups, friendship changes, divorces and stress over poor grades as more painful than deaths they had experienced. This study was fascinating. Not only were these students connecting grief specifically to a non-death loss, they were saying that they were more significant than their prior experiences with death. Grief accompanies many, many experiences and nearly every change we encounter. We may experience grief when we [...]

17 12, 2014

Handling the Holidays: Adjusting to the Loss

By | 2014-12-17T23:15:22-08:00 December 17th, 2014|Inspiration, 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, [...]

20 03, 2014

The Winds of Change . . .

By | 2014-03-20T06:30:30-07:00 March 20th, 2014|Inspiration|47 Comments

Spring is in the air… via www.favoredbyyodit.com Well, as of today, Spring is upon us. March 20, 2014 marks the spring equinox and the end of winter. If you lived in Southern California this year you may feel like summer never ended and we just skipped through winter and went right into spring. I guess that is one of the main reasons we are all crammed into this corner of the world, some of the best weather on the planet, am I right? But I digress. I love spring, a new chapter about to begin, and a fresh [...]

11 02, 2014

A Tale of Two Grandmas: Alone & Loneliness

By | 2014-02-11T20:45:53-08:00 February 11th, 2014|Inspiration|35 Comments

My grandmas lost their husbands within 6 months of each other. One of them had, in her lifetime, sailed across the Pacific Ocean taking 4 years to do it with my grandpa at the helm. The other had lived a quiet & uneventful but very happy life in Leisure World with a few friends & a very happy marriage. They lost their husbands slowly, each to different illnesses, each having a different world crash down around them as they faced the same husband-less reality. Photo Courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/RusN In the throws of widowhood, my sailing grandma began to [...]

29 01, 2014

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

By | 2014-01-29T20:50:21-08:00 January 29th, 2014|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, [...]

21 01, 2014

Out with the Old, In with the New: Changing by Choice

By | 2014-01-21T20:10:25-08:00 January 21st, 2014|Inspiration|26 Comments

We’ve all heard the saying “Out with the old, in with the new.”  It’s quite simple to understand and easier to say, but like most advice we give to one another, this is a very difficult thing to actually DO.  As I think about my life now there are so many new places where I am applying this phrase and as good as that is, some of the changes I'm facing are HUGE and definitely overwhelming. Photo Courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/amanalang I'm not great at choosing change, it usually needs to be forced on me and I'm guessing many [...]

8 10, 2013

Change of Seasons and 3 Ways to Embrace Autumn

By | 2013-10-08T23:00:51-07:00 October 8th, 2013|General|39 Comments

A snapshot from my camping trip in Pescadero, CA Fall is my favorite time of year because it is nature’s pause. We start to see a beautiful transformation with the trees changing from a vibrant green to a crunchy orange. The carefree attitude of the summer months shift into a comfy, cozy frame of mind during late September and October. I get excited for the crisp weather and the pumpkin flavored goodies, like pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin biscotti that line the market aisles. With all the physical changes that happen around us, what changes are happening within us? [...]

25 09, 2013

It Started with An Earthquake: A Cancer Journey

By | 2013-09-25T05:00:08-07:00 September 25th, 2013|Inspiration|58 Comments

  I t    S t a r t e d   w i t h    A n   E a r t h q u a k e   Photo Courtesy of iStock/sb-borg Thursday, January 3, 2013, 5 am. I am awakened out of a deep sleep to the sound of Lou’s voice, rather urgent.  The room wasn’t shaking. It couldn’t be an earthquake.  “Babe, you need to wake up.  We’ve got a problem.  I think you need to go to the hospital with me.  I am coughing up blood. “ I jumped out of bed in [...]

18 09, 2013

An Ode to Tommy: An O’Connor Employee Hall of Famer

By | 2013-09-18T05:00:34-07:00 September 18th, 2013|General|18 Comments

Well, it's finally happening - Tommy is leaving us. Tommy is a Service Director here at O'Connor and he will soon be retiring and moving back to his well-loved, native land of New Jersey. In the 8 years that Tommy has spent at O'Connor he has carved a deep place for himself in the family of our staff. His thick New Jersey accent, dynamite wit, and unfailing compassion for every person that walks through our doors are just some of the reasons why we love Tommy so much. He will leave behind him a place that no one will be [...]