“Holidays”

17 12, 2014

Handling the Holidays: Adjusting to the Loss

By | 2014-12-17T23:15:22-08:00 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 06, 2014

Learning from my Four Fathers

By | 2014-06-11T20:30:26-07:00 June 11th, 2014|Community, Inspiration|44 Comments

Four Fathers I get a haunting pit in my stomach now when Father’s Day approaches. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holiday, but working at a mortuary puts a twist on how you see special days like these. Every phone call has the potential to be a child/spouse letting us know that their father/husband has passed on. Or worse yet, a father is calling to inquire about how he should go about honoring his lost child. It’s a day I would rather not work but it does remind me how blessed I am to still have my dad around. [...]

6 05, 2014

Mother’s Day for the Grieving

By | 2014-05-06T22:07:17-07:00 May 6th, 2014|Inspiration, News, Perspective|42 Comments

I recently came across a friend requesting prayers for a family in her community. When asked about what happened she shared the news that the family's oldest child, a 5 year old boy, had died the day before. As I read through the shock wave of reactions and felt my own sorrow and nausea overwhelm me, and then I realized that Mother's Day was just 8 days away for this poor mother. While she has 2 other children who will wish her a "Happy Mother's Day" there will be a horrible emptiness where that other sweet little voice should be. [...]

11 02, 2014

A Tale of Two Grandmas: Alone & Loneliness

By | 2014-02-11T20:45:53-08:00 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 [...]

24 12, 2013

My Grandpa Died Yesterday: When Christmas is a Blur

By | 2013-12-24T00:01:28-08:00 December 24th, 2013|Perspective, Seasons of Life|34 Comments

Some of us have been dreading Christmas this year. Photo Courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/hayesphotography Seeing the happy commercials on television, hearing people talk about holiday parties and gift shopping has felt empty and foreign. It's as though the world is spinning around you as you stand still. There's the temptation and perhaps the need to put on a face as you see certain people or go to different events, but nothing can budge the grief you are feeling or the dread as Christmas stands immovable, like some strange monument, to remind you, as if you could forget, that you're [...]

18 12, 2013

You Know You’re in SoCal for Christmas If . . .

By | 2013-12-18T22:49:34-08:00 December 18th, 2013|Community, Perspective|31 Comments

If you've lived in California long enough, you'll be nodding & laughing as you read down the list of only in Southern California Christmas Traditions:   - If you go see the lights in Naples - it's worth the drive to Belmont Shore to see the gorgeous lights that deck the houses lining the harbor & canals. I love the one with the leg lamp. Photo Courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/KonArt - If on Christmas morning, when you go outside to get the newspaper or greet your family, you are in a t-shirt, shorts & sandals. - If your family heads [...]

4 12, 2013

We Lit Nine Candles: The Remembrance Service

By | 2013-12-04T21:52:44-08:00 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 [...]

26 11, 2013

The Latte that Changed My Thanksgiving

By | 2013-11-26T23:38:51-08:00 November 26th, 2013|Community, Inspiration|32 Comments

  I was with my daughter a couple of weeks ago, driving my 3 Grandchildren to school. Photo Courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/cashmerejm On the way I asked if we could stop at Starbucks and get a Latte. We had a few extra minutes, so she got in the drive-thru line and waited while each car placed their order.  When we reached the window the young man said, “the car ahead of you paid for your latte.”  With jaws dropped, we looked at each other. Really? This had never happened to either of us and that simple gesture gave us [...]

29 10, 2013

How Halloween Came to Be

By | 2013-10-29T23:20:06-07:00 October 29th, 2013|General, Seasons of Life|43 Comments

 **For a great listing of local Halloween festivities, click here or here. Halloween-time is my favorite time of the year. Admittedly, I’m more in love with the harvest look that shakes the trees, the colder weather, and the infamous PSL, but I also relish the spooky-murky-creepiness of the only holiday that fits my love of X-Files, Harry Potter, and Tim Burton all into one day. Photo Courtesy of ©Stockphoto.com//gianlucabartoli But besides making the mortuary a “cool” place to work for a month, this holiday is also the only one that actively recognized the dead in its celebration. Do [...]

3 07, 2013

Gettysburg: Haunting Me Still

By | 2013-07-03T05:00:16-07:00 July 3rd, 2013|General, Perspective|14 Comments

Gettysburg: Haunting Me Still While many of you will be celebrating the 4th of July tomorrow, tonight, at my house, there will be a small gathering of people to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Ok, so that’s pretty different, perhaps you think it’s odd; I have two things to say to that: Anniversaries are sacred, AND you don’t know my mother. me, haunting Gettysburg like a pro I grew up in a house with a mortician and a history teacher – a very interesting combo that I think explains the picture here to the [...]