23 07, 2014

Why Thinking About Death is Actually Good for You

By | 2014-07-23T23:11:57-07:00 July 23rd, 2014|Inspiration|45 Comments

It seems that most people generally fall into one of these two categories when it comes to thinking about death; 1. Total Avoidance: Death freaks you out, you don't like how it makes you feel so you choose not to think about it (because that's going to help). Some people cope with their fear of death by dieting, working out, and worrying about their body. Others are fearful of taking risks or doing potentially dangerous things, even basic sports. People can live their lives in bubbles from a fear of dying when they are arguably, in far more danger of [...]

29 05, 2014

Grief A Year Later … What Helped & What Didn’t

By | 2014-05-29T07:30:49-07:00 May 29th, 2014|Self-Help|48 Comments

Photo Courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/taratata I write in a journal to Lou (my husband) since he has been gone and it has been very therapeutic. When he was alive we talked all the time about everything. I’ve found that writing to him has helped appease that need for conversation, so I write. When you experience a death of someone very close, your whole life changes. So much in the day-to-day was incredibly painful. Slowly, I found ways of dealing with challenges that started to help. I think many people experience the changes I faced … Here are some things [...]

29 04, 2014

Life Donation – Your Questions Answered

By | 2014-04-29T20:08:18-07:00 April 29th, 2014|Inspiration, Planning Ahead, Resources & Information|46 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 [...]

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 [...]

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|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 [...]

21 08, 2013

If Humans Had Expiration Dates, Would We Live Differently?

By | 2013-08-21T06:00:57-07:00 August 21st, 2013|Inspiration|49 Comments

If you knew the exact day that you were going to die, how would you deal with that information? Mark TwainPhoto Courtesy of http://cherrybam.tumblr.com/post/50626391123 I think about dying everyday, it is one of the blessings and curses of my chosen profession. Being a funeral director has added an interesting perspective to my life and overall I look at this point of view as a blessing. But like anyone else, there are times when I forget all the lessons that come with this perspective. I can easily get caught up with life’s fast pace and miss out on the [...]

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|Planning Ahead|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 [...]

13 02, 2013

Coming Soon: A Valentine’s Day . . . ALONE

By | 2013-02-13T04:00:53-08:00 February 13th, 2013|Inspiration, Self-Help|5 Comments

When Your Valentine Can’t be With You   Valentine’s Day – it seems people either love it or hate it. At least, there’s a great deal of hate for it on Facebook nowadays and of course, outcry against the extreme commercialization of relationships. But for a widowed person this sweet holiday can feel like a punch in the gut. Having a whole day dedicated to the relationship you've lost is a miserable and potentially anxiety inducing event. Maybe this is your first Valentine's Day alone or, like a dear friends of mine, your last Valentine's Day with that special someone. [...]

10 12, 2012

Who Will Watch the Home Place? Preserving Your Family Legacy

By | 2012-12-10T05:00:05-08:00 December 10th, 2012|Inspiration, Planning Ahead|17 Comments

About a year ago, my grandson Alex loaded a bunch of new music on the little iPod I use at the gym.  I was working away on the elliptical machine one evening and suddenly in a pretty country voice, I heard the following words: “Who will watch the home place? Who will tend my heart’s dear space? Who will come to fill my place, when I am gone from here?" { Listen to the whole song here } I was moved to tears! Totally lost it. Right there in the middle of the gym surrounded by strangers. I have been [...]

15 11, 2012

Thanksgiving: When You’re Away from Home or All Alone

By | 2012-11-15T05:00:32-08:00 November 15th, 2012|General|20 Comments

Thanksgiving: When You're Away from Home or All Alone My earliest memories of Thanksgiving include preschool art projects of making dough ball turkeys to decorate the dinner table & tracing my hand on paper to make the 4 finger feathers & thumb neck turkeys we all made as kids. I was so proud of my artwork & my mom still has it packed away in her attic almost 40 years later. I also remember going to my grandparents' house for a family dinner.  Everything was homemade - the bread, veggies from the garden, delicious lumpy mashed potatoes & gravy, fruit [...]