“Remembering”

14 06, 2018

Missing Your Dad on Father’s Day

By | 2018-06-13T23:38:45-08:00 June 14th, 2018|Grief and Healing, Inspiration, Parental Loss|0 Comments

Living intentionally with people is paramount to living well. I also believe intentionality is essential to grieving well. Father's Day hits a tender spot. Every year as I write posts about mothers and fathers I'm struck by the feeling of each day. Mother's Day feels pink and rosy, the prime of spring, and there's a fresh sweetness to it that just fits with the idea of celebrating our moms. Father's Day is at the cusp of glorious, adventure-filled summer and there's a nostalgia that comes with that of our days playing in the yard, family vacations and ice cold drinks. [...]

31 08, 2017

The Compounded Grief of Premature Deaths

By | 2017-08-31T06:43:25-08:00 August 31st, 2017|Child Loss, News, Perspective, Seasons of Life|0 Comments

There are no easy deaths - there are no situations where the grief experience isn't difficult, complex, and sad. That said, there is a generally accepted threshold where lives are deemed as having been "lived, good and long." When 90 year olds die, we grieve but we do not grapple with a sense of injustice. But there are some (too many) deaths that are non-sensical, tragic, and far too soon. I think of the anniversary of 9/11 and the tradition of reading of the names of those that died - it gives me chills every time and is a witness [...]

10 05, 2017

If Your Mom has Died, If Your Child has Died … The Shadow Side of Mother’s Day

By | 2017-05-10T15:57:57-08:00 May 10th, 2017|Child Loss, News, Parental Loss|0 Comments

This post isn't to take away from the joy of those celebrating or being celebrated this Mother's Day - go for it, enjoy and make the most of your time with the people you love. But for those of you who are in the shadow-side of Mother's Day because your mother has died, or, because your child has died, let's talk, this post is for you. If your mom has died ... Well, you will get through, you will. You may feel alone in it, so let me encourage you to invite her in to the day. Find ways of [...]

17 09, 2015

Seeing is Believing: The Empty Caskets of 9/11

By | 2015-09-17T06:00:07-08:00 September 17th, 2015|Ceremonies, News, Perspective|2 Comments

There's the age old phrase, "seeing is believing" and for so many of us, it rings true. At O'Connor we've seen families testify to this truth over and over, telling us that seeing their loved one at peace helped to bring home their new reality. Seeing gave them a physical object and an image to process in the future as a mental touch point and marker of what has happened. It doesn't seem like looking at someone who has died should be comforting, but so many people describe it that way and my own personal experience tells the same story. But what [...]

8 05, 2015

Mother’s Day Without Mom

By | 2015-05-08T17:31:26-08:00 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 [...]

10 09, 2014

“I Remember” || What to Say About 9/11 & Grief

By | 2014-09-10T20:45:50-08:00 September 10th, 2014|Ceremonies, Community, News|31 Comments

  For a person in grief, there are almost no two sweeter words than, "I remember ..." Those two words begin stories, spark memories, open old joys, and bring feelings back to us with blazing clarity. On a day like today I wondered, what would I write for this mortuary blog? what is there to say still about this infamous, monumental, and mournful day? And the only thing that came back to me was this: I remember. I grieve 9/11 each year. Last week I felt a nausea settle over me as I thought of the day's events and anticipated [...]

2 09, 2014

When Our Heroes Die: Grieving On-Screen Strangers

By | 2014-09-02T10:22:05-08:00 September 2nd, 2014|News, Perspective|30 Comments

  It has been a terrible year. I have a background in theatre and I tended to compete with the actors I saw on stage or screen, wondering how or if the “job” could be better. Three of my theatre/acting/film heroes have died this year. These 3 kings, I like to say, (Robin, Philip, and Harold) have crushed me in every competition I have tried to will myself into creating when I watch their work. There is no way I could have voiced a better Genie, portrayed a more flawless Capote, or even come close to writing a script like [...]

4 06, 2014

A Buddhist Memorial Service: Making Time to Remember Years Later

By | 2014-06-04T21:00:58-08:00 June 4th, 2014|Ceremonies, News, Seasons of Life|41 Comments

It is Buddhist practice to hold a memorial service for loved ones every set number of years after their death. Recently, my family and I gathered for a memorial service for not just one family member but 3: my grandpa, grandma, and mom. My grandpa died 14 years ago, my grandma 6 years ago, and my mom 5 years ago. Traditionally, these services consist of chanting, incense offering, and a message by the reverend. The service functions as a time for you to meditate on the memories of the one who died and to recognize the impermanence of our own [...]

3 07, 2013

Gettysburg: Haunting Me Still

By | 2013-07-03T05:00:16-08:00 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 [...]