“Family”

9 05, 2018

Intentionally Commemorating Mother’s Day

By | 2018-05-09T18:56:21-07:00 May 9th, 2018|Ceremonies, General, Grief and Healing|0 Comments

Whether this is your first Mother's Day as a bereaved person or your 50th, Mother's Day brings all of us pause. As we take time to think about our own mothers or perhaps the children we are missing that made us mothers - it's important that we be present with the reality of those relationships. If you can be with your mom and your children are well - you should freely have the full joy of this day. Take pictures, speak from your heart, and try to make clear memories of the sweetness of health and family. If your relationships [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

13 08, 2014

What to Tell Children About Funerals

By | 2014-08-13T21:37:59-07:00 August 13th, 2014|News, Resources & Information, Self-Help|42 Comments

  I was recently browsing through the new gift shop at Mission San Juan Capistrano, admiring the jewelry and slowly making my way to my favorite corner of the store; the book section on Grief. I'm always finding new and intriguing titles there and this time, I stumbled upon a series of children's books on grief that deeply impressed me. We hear the debate about children being at funerals pretty often around here and while we always encourage people to bring their children, they don't always agree with us. Well, to my surprise, in the book What Happens When Someone [...]

16 04, 2014

Stubborn Love | The Power of Lyrics

By | 2014-04-16T19:57:22-07:00 April 16th, 2014|Inspiration, Perspective|52 Comments

“Its better to feel pain, than nothing at all. The opposite of love is indifference.”   It was around 10:30 on a Wednesday night, and there I was, driving out to Laguna Hills to bring someone who had passed away into our care. Only this time I was not going to be calling a stranger to let them know their loved one was in our care. I was not going to fill out any paperwork with a strange name at the heading, nor was I going to be setting up an appointment for the family to meet an Arranger. The [...]

25 03, 2014

The Legacy Keeper

By | 2014-03-25T22:50:11-07:00 March 25th, 2014|Ceremonies, Inspiration, News|62 Comments

The Legacy Keeper: A Celebrant's Gift to Me My brother Jim had died on February 19th just over a month ago. The Sunday after my family gathered on that warm afternoon to share all of the stories we had accumulated throughout his lifetime. We (2 of my brother's children, all 4 of mine + grandkids galore) had come to meet Keith Page, our Funeral Celebrant. I had briefly met Keith last year when he and Ty Rose, another Celebrant, came to our Mortuary to provide us with a glimpse of what a Celebrant service looks like. Little did I know [...]

11 02, 2014

A Tale of Two Grandmas: Alone & Loneliness

By | 2014-02-11T20:45:53-07:00 February 11th, 2014|Inspiration, Seasons of Life|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 [...]

4 12, 2013

We Lit Nine Candles: The Remembrance Service

By | 2013-12-04T21:52:44-07:00 December 4th, 2013|Ceremonies, Community, Inspiration, News|37 Comments

On Tuesday night we held our 12th Annual Candlelight Remembrance Service at the Laguna Hills Community Center. These evenings are unlike anything I've ever experienced before. Photo Courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/bestdesigns The evening started cheerfully enough as families filtered in and re-connected with different staff members that helped them. There are always hugs but then the context of our relationship tends to hit and the mood grows somber. For many, this is a night looked for and cherished for the healing it has brought. There is anxiety for some who don't know what they will experience or maybe don't [...]

28 08, 2013

“How Do You Handle Working at a Mortuary?” | A Labor Day Special

By | 2013-08-28T05:00:14-07:00 August 28th, 2013|General, Perspective|21 Comments

I often wondered what Labor Day was as a kid, what did I care, I got time off from school was my thinking. As I got older I began to understand the reasoning behind the three-day weekend. Other then the unofficial end-of-summer, this day was a chance to stop and celebrate the everyday heroes of this country. This country was not built by the Rockefellers or the Carnegies, it was built on the backs of the everyday laborer. These are the people that sacrifice for their families and their country to work as a team, to build or do something [...]