Category Archives: Ceremonies

“But, it’s been 10 years …” Grieving a Long Ago Loss

 || This month I am sharing a unique experience I had at a grief workshop where a 10 year old loss came flooding back to me in a deeply profound and changing way. I’m excited to share it with you! But, it’s … Continue reading

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Seeing is Believing: The Empty Caskets of 9/11

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 … Continue reading

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A List You Need to Have | Planning Ahead for What You Want

Ok, have I got a list for you! As you know and perhaps have seen first hand, most families have to make decisions about ceremonies with only days to plan. A lot of special conversations are avoided because people are … Continue reading

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Mother’s Day Without Mom

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 … Continue reading

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I Needed To See Her In That Pink Casket: Viewing Our Loved Ones

  When my grandmother died she looked grotesque. She suffered a sudden heart attack and was given CPR for quite a while before they stopped. When I walked in, a huge tube was in her mouth with flecks of blood, … Continue reading

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Deleting “Shoulds” from Your Grief Vocabulary

One of the most problematic phrases in our culture’s grief vocabulary are the words, “You shouldn’t be … (fill in the blank with whatever makes them uncomfortable).” In general, our human nature is uneasy around sadness or any deep emotional … Continue reading

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

  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 … Continue reading

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A Girl and Her Dog: When Pets Die

She was 13 but we only had her for the last 5 years – Coco had come to my family unexpectedly. She needed a home and I felt that my parents needed a new dog. I told them she would … Continue reading

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A Buddhist Memorial Service: Making Time to Remember Years Later

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, … Continue reading

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The Legacy Keeper

The Legacy Keeper: A Celebrant’s Gift to Me My brother Jim had died on February 19th just over a month ago. The Sunday after my family gathered on that warm afternoon to share all of the stories we had accumulated … Continue reading

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