11 12, 2019

Should Holiday Traditions Change if Your Life has Changed?

By | 2019-12-11T23:23:11-08:00 December 11th, 2019|General, Grief & Healing|2 Comments

Holidays are celebrated and kept precious with traditions. In this constantly changing world, we cling to the comfort of something constant. So, losses often hit us the hardest in times of tradition. Suddenly, the way we've always done this is changed forever and it's devastating. What do we do when our tradition is broken by a death? Difficult decisions and thoughts swirl.   My husband died, will anyone remember to get ME a present this year? How do I even get out of bed Christmas morning without my child?  Mom always loved hosting New Years Eve - do we do [...]

12 02, 2017

Transforming Painful Days into New Traditions

By | 2017-02-12T20:06:35-08:00 February 12th, 2017|Inspiration|0 Comments

A Table for 1 on Valentine's Day Holidays/birthdays/anniversaries ... there is always one of these days looming around the corner it seems when we are in the throws of grief. Days that used to hold so much joy and fun and now hold anxiety, dread and loss. How do we cope with these painful days that hold traditions and decades of memories? What do we do on Valentine's Day when our Valentine has died? I want to talk about how we can be intentional about transitioning parts of these days into new traditions. As I thought about what to write for Valentine's Day, another tough [...]

2 12, 2015

Grief During the Holidays: 5 Ways for Adults and Children to Remember

By | 2015-12-02T07:47:29-08:00 December 2nd, 2015|Inspiration|4 Comments

Each year as we prepare for and pass by our Candlelight Service of Remembrance I am confronted with the multitudes of losses experienced in our community in just 1 year. I think of these families and wonder how their holidays are going. I'm sure they didn't expect to be in grief during the holidays this year, nor do they yet know how that grief can change everything. Yes, Halloween & Thanksgiving have been survived so there may be some sense of, "I can do this" even though they may not want to. But, now Christmas is coming ... But Christmas is on [...]

17 12, 2014

Handling the Holidays: Adjusting to the Loss

By | 2014-12-17T23:15:22-08:00 December 17th, 2014|Inspiration, 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, [...]

18 12, 2013

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

By | 2013-12-18T22:49:34-08:00 December 18th, 2013|General|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 [...]

11 09, 2013

9/11 || Why We Remember Even When It’s Hard

By | 2013-09-11T05:00:11-07:00 September 11th, 2013|Ceremonies|24 Comments

I was just in high school when 9/11 happened. Just a naive 15-year-old. I saw the second plane hit, I ran back to tell my mom what was happening. I remember her curling her hair with tears streaming down her face. That day I shared in the shock with the rest of America, I prayed for people, I cried and felt sad. But a month later I was "fine" and couldn’t understand why people were still so upset. The trauma and grief that surrounded me then was too huge for me to understand then and  it's taken years for me [...]

24 07, 2013

Diversity in Death: Lessons Learned from A Giant, 2 Families, and a Hare Krishna

By | 2013-07-24T05:05:48-07:00 July 24th, 2013|Ceremonies|14 Comments

Diversity is a constant in life. It teaches us how to be flexible under stress, to appreciate ourselves and each other. Diversity tells us that it’s OK to be curious and ask questions, to live and let live. Diversity isn’t always drastic. Subtle diversity can yield the greatest experiences. But is there diversity in death?  Absolutely! I have served almost every kind of family you can think of in my 9 short years as a mortician. Families of strong faith and atheists, wealthy families and poor ones, families that can populate a small city and individuals who are the last [...]

3 07, 2013

Gettysburg: Haunting Me Still

By | 2013-07-03T05:00:16-07:00 July 3rd, 2013|General|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 [...]

13 12, 2012

Journey Mercies . . . I BELIEVE in Christmas

By | 2012-12-13T05:00:40-08:00 December 13th, 2012|General, Inspiration|20 Comments

Journey Mercies . . . I BELIEVE in Christmas Just when the air turns colder and the days shrink into darkness, the Christmas season arrives.  It begins at Thanksgiving – with families, feast and football.  Then, during the next few weeks we shop and decorate, worship and become transformed into people most of us weren’t weeks before.  Our hearts become warm in the winter cold.  We miraculously find compassion for strangers, and we believe and remember there are and should be Christmas miracles. Macy's Building via Pinterest   What is it about this holiday wonderment that causes even [...]

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 [...]