5 11, 2013

A “Fishy” Funeral

By | 2013-11-05T20:33:32-08:00 November 5th, 2013|Ceremonies, Inspiration, News, Resources & Information|42 Comments

Photo Courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/Jasmina81   My brother died. It was about a week after we had returned home from my brother’s funeral in Michigan when my son, Sam, found his fish dead. Tears were streaking down his sweet face as he ran into our bedroom to tell me Sam Jr. was dead. After my husband and I and our older son each offered Sam our condolences, our family made the decision to have a funeral for Sam Jr. My son, with a look of determination, said “We will have the funeral tonight after dinner. I need to decide [...]

7 08, 2013

Finding Comfort in Words, Not Possessions

By | 2013-08-07T05:00:43-07:00 August 7th, 2013|Inspiration, News, Seasons of Life|37 Comments

I have been in spring-cleaning mode all the way through summer. Photo courtesy of http://stat.ks.kidsklik.com After my mom died four years ago, our family kept our house like a museum. I don't mean that things were neatly organized and everything was nicely displayed. I mean that all my mom's items were left exactly where they were. Grocery lists still hung on the refrigerator. We gave away only a couple of her clothes, but anything that I remembered her wearing or still had a faint scent from her perfume was stuffed in my drawers. To make more room, I [...]

22 05, 2013

Bringing Memories into the Future: Inspired by Mr. Gatsby

By | 2013-05-22T05:00:30-07:00 May 22nd, 2013|Inspiration, Seasons of Life, Self-Help|5 Comments

    "Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose." - The Wonder Years   I recently saw the new film, “The Great Gatsby” – it’s a breath-taking, jaw-dropping, and thoroughly enchanting representation of the novel. I absolutely loved it and walked out of the theater feeling far more haunted by the idea of Gatsby than I ever had before. I was caught by the memories, hopes & dreams that Gatsby clings to and works so hard to make come true. I won’t spoil any of [...]

9 05, 2013

When Mother’s Day is Hard: For Those Who Have Lost Their Mother or Child

By | 2013-05-09T05:00:44-07:00 May 9th, 2013|Ceremonies, Seasons of Life|11 Comments

  Mother’s Day.   Perhaps at one time, maybe just last year, this was a day full of flowers, hugs, laughter & good food. It’s astonishing what a death can take away from us, that even a holiday like this, once so simple and sweet, can become dreaded and excruciating days of mourning. Photo Credit: kayumac.tumblr.com Writing for a mortuary blog, I feel I have the special privilege to get to speak to the bereaved, to write about, confront, and open up these sorrowful topics that are so tremendously important. There are two main groups of people I [...]

14 03, 2013

How to Grieve on Facebook: Wearing Black in A Virtual World

By | 2013-03-14T04:00:02-07:00 March 14th, 2013|Community, News, Resources & Information|10 Comments

The internet has changed our lives so much. From the way we interact, to the way we learn, and even the way we shop. You can do ALMOST anything online, and now we’re beginning to see people grieve there as well. Photo Credit: www.mothernewyork.com I recently read an article that advocated for the return of the traditional act of “wearing black” when in mourning. While I don’t think the idea will quite catch on again, this sense of needing to be known in the public as someone in grief is a very important idea and one that social [...]

27 02, 2013

“Princess Butterfly”: How to Explain Death & Dying to Small Children

By | 2013-02-27T04:00:00-08:00 February 27th, 2013|Resources & Information, Seasons of Life|12 Comments

Explaining death & dying to small children. I used to feel like the word “dead” hung awkwardly in the air whenever I said it in the presence of my daughter, Zoey.  In time, I realized there was no getting around this word or its meaning and I shouldn’t be afraid to use it.  Death is a part of life and I couldn’t shield her from this fact forever.  When Zoey was about 3-1/2 years old, a dying monarch butterfly gave me the confidence to broach this topic with her. my Zoey She and her dad found the butterfly [...]

25 12, 2012

Christmas in 1952: Tragical to Magical

By | 2012-12-25T05:00:23-08:00 December 25th, 2012|General, Inspiration|14 Comments

Christmas in 1952: Tragical to Magical   December, 1952 – I was 5 years old.  There was a walkway from the street to the back door, which my brothers kept shoveled despite snow that was higher than our heads.  The plowed and drifted snow banks were up to the second floor of the house.  I am the youngest in a family of eight.  Six of us were still at home. March, 1952. ALL the Anderson children, upon arriving home from Mama's funeral. If you notice, we all attended. There was no question that I at 5, was too young [...]

22 10, 2012

When the Holidays Mean Pain: Grieving During the Holiday Season

By | 2012-10-22T05:00:19-07:00 October 22nd, 2012|News, Seasons of Life, Self-Help|19 Comments

When the Holidays Mean Pain: Grieving During the Holiday Season The holidays are right around the corner. How could we miss the reminders? Inserts of coupons for Halloween candy filling the Sunday newspaper. Noticeably increasing numbers of television commercials showing families gathered around tables laden with roasted turkeys, yams and cranberries. Christmas jingles piped over the sound system at the supermarket (in October). For some people, this time of year brings a sense of lovely anticipation: of gifts and togetherness, delicious feasts and cheer.  But what about those of us who have lost a loved one?  How do we get [...]

12 10, 2012

Tanya Brown: My Story

By | 2012-10-12T05:00:22-07:00 October 12th, 2012|Inspiration, News|34 Comments

My story begins in the summer of 1994. On the night of June 12th, my sister, Nicole Brown Simpson, was murdered. My pain was indescribable and insurmountable. Because of the notoriety, it became difficult for me to go through the normal grieving process. I stuffed my emotions and remained quiet. I became a master at concealing my feelings. My life took a detour and was not working out the way I wanted it to. I wanted to go out and speak on Domestic Violence and inspire souls, but I guess God wanted me to heal myself first. I had not [...]

1 10, 2012

It is an October in my Soul: A Tragical Fall Tale

By | 2012-10-01T05:00:28-07:00 October 1st, 2012|General, Seasons of Life|39 Comments

Is Fall your favorite time of year? I'm guessing if you chose to read this blog then yes, you treasure and savor the change in light and the color of the trees & look as giddily forward to October 1st as I do. For the last 8 years fall brought me charming semesters with my fellow English majors. Fall meant long evenings sipping lattes on the third floor of the library pouring over books on Shakespeare, Milton & Marlowe. Fall meant paradise for me. If you know an English major you won't be surprised to learn that they are some [...]