20 11, 2014

Laughing About Tombstones: Living in Focus

By | 2014-11-20T00:12:20-08:00 November 20th, 2014|Inspiration, Planning Ahead|14 Comments

Last week, at one of our workshops, we were asked to take a minute to think about and write down our epitaph. We were told that we could include the year we wanted to die (why not?) and were reminded to keep our text brief as only so many characters will fit.  This is the second time I've been asked to do this. I don't remember what I wrote the first time (not a good sign) so I was eager to participate in this exercise again. If I couldn't remember my epitaph, it had to have been bad. When we [...]

5 11, 2014

Why You Should Know About Hospice

By | 2014-11-05T20:30:46-08:00 November 5th, 2014|Planning Ahead, Resources & Information|12 Comments

  When hospice nurses were asked, what hospice is to them, they wrote the following: - Hospice is Being There - Hospice is Wishes Respected - Hospice is Having a choice to be home - Hospice is Telling the truth, even when it's hard - Hospice is a gift (source) Hospice. It can be a controversial word. For some, it stirs up anxiety, panic, fear, death - for others, comfort, a blessing, an answer. Many people limit hospice to being just about dying when, if you think about it, hospice really is about living the best you can with the [...]

6 08, 2014

Admit It … You Deserve a Funeral

By | 2014-08-06T22:19:17-07:00 August 6th, 2014|Inspiration, Planning Ahead|28 Comments

If you’re like me you’ve heard many of the older people in your family say things like, “Don’t fuss over me when I die,” or, “When I’m dead just throw me in a ditch.” We accept their statements as expressions of not wanting to burden their family with the planning, cost, etc ... but what are they really saying to us when they throw these quips out? I think what they're really saying is … “I’m not sure if my life mattered enough … I’m not worthy of anyone's time … Would anyone go to my funeral? … Will someone [...]

4 02, 2014

What Helps When You’re on the Front Line? | A Cancer Journey

By | 2014-02-04T20:46:26-08:00 February 4th, 2014|Resources & Information|50 Comments

  This is Part III of my story, to read Part I, or Part II, click here. { my husband Lou was diagnosed with cancer and given months to live. this is what happened to both of us as his life drew to an end. the people that touched me were angels and not many people read this part of the story. if you know someone on the front lines like i was, here's what you can do to help } Photo Courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/ajt It was amazing to us how quickly Lou lost basic strength and the [...]

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 [...]

14 08, 2013

“So, Who Was the Funeral For?” | Creating Sacred Moments

By | 2013-08-14T05:00:08-07:00 August 14th, 2013|Ceremonies, Planning Ahead|29 Comments

  I recently attended a service where the officiant said, “funerals aren’t for the person who died, they are for the living.” I initially disliked this idea, feeling that it sounded vastly self-serving at a time that was set-aside for someone who had died. This same officiant then proceeded to talk about himself and his own grief experiences, sharing almost nothing about the person who had died. My mind drifted off until a slideshow began playing and jogged me back to why I was there. This officiant’s failure made a sad event even worse. The service he performed wasn’t for [...]

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|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 [...]

21 11, 2012

Thanksgiving: Rejection Sparks Reflection

By | 2012-11-21T05:00:16-08:00 November 21st, 2012|General, Inspiration|18 Comments

Thanksgiving: Rejection Sparks Reflection   Normally a time filled with the noise and laughter of a house filled with family and friends.  A time of me bustling in a kitchen with rich spicy smells from all the preparations.  But maybe not this particular year I am recalling . . .  That year it was to be just the two of us, my husband and I. Our daughter and family would be at her in-laws.  We were invited, but declined. Our good neighbors invited us to join their crew, but that didn’t feel right either. We found out the elderly friend [...]

29 06, 2012

Journey Mercies . . . Leaving Home

By | 2012-06-29T06:41:32-07:00 June 29th, 2012|General|35 Comments

Journey Mercies . . . Leaving Home The thought of leaving home wasn’t something I wanted to think about, nor was it something I figured I would ever have to do.  I was 60 years old and had lived in the same house for 28 years.  It was my home and I didn’t want to leave it or my family. What was I doing?  I was on another journey . . . moving closer to work. Do you remember the first time you left home - really left home?  Were you young, and just moving into your first apartment, excited [...]

25 05, 2012

When There May Not be Tomorrow: 3 Reasons to Ask the Tough Questions

By | 2012-05-25T05:30:09-07:00 May 25th, 2012|Planning Ahead, Self-Help|39 Comments

When There May Not be Tomorrow: 3 Reasons to Ask the Tough Questions At the age of forty-four, I am in the unique position of still having a living grandparent.  My father's mother is nearly ninety-eight years old and aside from the expected decline of her memory, she is healthy for her age. She does suffer from progressive dementia which prevents her from remembering what I told her five minutes before, but fortunately has not touched her memory of the past.  This is the most precious gift that until very recently I have left unopened as she is a very [...]