Being a light!!

From my good friend Alan Creedy!!

A prominent member of my industry told me this week that because I am an Evangelical Christian and I voted for PRESIDENT Trump there is a special place in hell for me.

At first, his blunt condemnation just made me angry and hurt. Being rejected for any reason is not fun.
I took it to prayer though and here is how I grew in faith. It occurred to me that this must be what my gay, black, hispanic and other disenfranchised friends have been telling me. This is how it feels to experience an unwarranted, judgmental and vicious attack based on who someone thinks you are rather than on who you really are. And then He comforted me
==> Who are you that judge another man’s servant? To his own master he stands and falls. Yes, he shall be held up by God who is able to make him stand.
==> Bless them that persecute you, bless and curse not
==> Recompense no man evil for evil…if possible live peaceably with all men
==> Give place unto wrath for vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord.
==> Overcome evil with good.
==> ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God
==> It is by grace you are saved and that not of your selves it is the gift of god
==> If you confess with the mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead you will be saved.

So, there you have it. God took the evil and helped me understand how I might be a light.

Feels like a good day

For the last four days my son Mike and I have been in Southern California.  We left Tuesday morning after five days of grieving our family friends death.  While I was still emotional and feeling sad, it felt good to have completed our work with our friend and their family and good to be moving forward in the world that continues without her.  Our plan was to spend a few days surfing and golfing, and finishing up with a round table meeting with fellow funeral professionals from the west coast.  We succeeded on all accounts.

While we had great food, great accommodations, great weather and met new people, it still took it is toll on me.  I have been witness to this many times in my life when I travel.  All environments and experiences have mental, physical and emotional affects on me.  Some are good and feed me and others pull and drain me, and some do both.  The affects appear in my body, and are great indicators, as I age I realize just how much they have to say!!!

Today I’m off to the lake looking to feed my body while watering our trees and plants, mowing the lawn and taking a boat ride.  It feels like it might be a good day!!

”Blessings on your journey”


Today’s blessing

Here’s some wisdom from one of my good friends from Australia  🇦🇺

As each new Moment arises we often respond with the nature of who we are, defined by the total sum of every Experience we have encounter. When we begin to Awaken we realise that until This Moment we have been ruled by the past and blind to the Present. Right Now is waiting for each of Us to Be Conscious so we may Create within the natural flow of Life. 🌺Sach

”Blessings on your journey”

Five days later

It’s been five days since our good friend Colleen died.  The mental, emotional and physical drama of watching prolonged illness, weight loss and a life end while we stay present in our bodies, is exhausting, exhausting because it is something that affects us through all of our senses.  Death pushes us in directions we aren’t typically familiar with, although when experienced it is as real and normal as anything we can experience.  All of us travel this path, all of us will go there, and all of us will feel, the mental, emotional and physical strain from it.

It all started Friday night with her two sons carrying their beloved mother down the stairs from her bed room to our awaiting transfer cot.  The next day was spent gathering pictures, meeting with church officials and coordinating all of the funeral plans that Colleen had suggested.  Her body was dressed, her hair done and two days following her death she was presented to her loved ones in a simple casket.  To say she looked beautiful sounds strange, but she did.  After so long of seeing her sick and bedridden, it felt good to see her looking as we remembered her.  The catholic funeral mass was perfect.  Her family gave eulogies and did readings and her grandson brought up the gifts for communion.  The priest gave a homily that struck chords with all of us and his incensing of the casket signifying her souls release back to God, was inspirational and emotionally moving.  After mass we all went to lunch to drink and break bread together.  Later in the day we met at her gravesite.  Her body had been cremated and the cremated remains placed in a beautiful maple wood urn that sparkled like her personality.  We spoke some closing words, recognizing that we were doing what the human family has been doing since the beginning of time.  Gathering to witness and put to rest that which is governed by earths laws (the body) and releasing to the universe, to God, that which is eternal (her spirit and soul).  Flowers were placed in her grave as amazing grace was played by bagpipe.  We left totally exhausted.

I can only hope that you too will have an experience like this someday.

“Blessings on your journey”

A son’s eulogy

Colleen O’Brien’s eulogy by her son Brett!!

My mother was given a test of will, a test of life most will never have the burden to carry.

I was privileged to watch a woman who entered into this test, this battle, with grace, with composure, and with a fortitude reserved only for the greatest among us.
It was an even greater honor to call her my mother. To stand with her along this path and share in her triumphs. To learn from her composure in tribulation.
Colleen, my mother, carried with her a brilliance as bright as any star in this vast universe.
Fleeting this glow may be, she ensured through the lives she touched that her glimmer will shine in our collective sky for generations to come. Her sisters, her brothers, her sons. Their children, her friends, her loves…
We will all point to the sky of our lives and tell others: You see that star there shining above us. That star has always been there and always will.
That is the star of a great warrior, the light of a beautiful soul.
She will stand above all of us because she has earned her place in our sky, in our lives, and in our hearts.
__ __
“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”.

Trajectory and projectiles

Trajectory – the path by a projectile or an object moving under the action of given forces.  Last night I couldn’t get these two words out of my mind.  Funny words for pre funeral conversation for our friend Colleen, but as I thought about it is very fitting.  I have been talking to her two boys who run a gun range and training center outside Nashville, and guns have always been apart of their conversations and lives.  Also, as you follow the path of a bullet, once it hits a target it changes form as a result of impact.  It may also change its path as it richochets off its target. This always happened with Colleen.  As she impacted with us, new paths and forms of connection with family and friends were created.  Colleen was the force.  You could not go anywhere with her where her trajectory didn’t have you meeting strangers and learning about their lives and family.  She would get recipes from strangers in the super market and before you know it, befriend the guy at the meat counter.  The given force, caring for others.

In our life, Colleen was a projectile moving under the action of fellow parent at kids sporting events, travel companion, conservative republican, scotch drinker, dancer, partier, cook, grandparent, caregiver, personal nurse and medical advisor, skier, golfer, and confidant.  Her presence changed the trajectory of our lives.  As we begin the new trajectory we are on without her physical presence many things will change.  The path or trajectory will be different and all our past life experiences will be only memories.  But, where we are, we would never have been without her.  And for the next few days, weeks and years we must not forget where we are and how we got there.  It was a great gift and one we should remember and cherish.

These given forces are ones that we can all connect and understand as this is how we all connect and move through our life.  Dont forget to remember and cherish your memories.  You are where you are because of them, the trajectory of our lives!

”Blessings on your journey”


Last night at 8:03 pm our good friend Colleen O’Brien surrendered to life’s moment and passed on to a new frontier.  After years of treatments, ups and downs, procedure after procedure, she laid down her sword and sheild.  She was one of my favorite people on earth and a fighter like know one I know.  I often would think she would somehow win the battle.

Perhaps this passing is a win however.  I’m confident that she has been given the understanding and knowledge of her life’s purpose, and I’m sure she is in the loving hands of her father, surrounded by family and friends.  While me may not know for sure and wonder why her life was fraught with this disease, she taught me so much while here.  She taught me resilience in her journey, never did she complain or feel sorry for herself.  She taught me courage as she tried new treatments being discovered and trialed. And, she taught me how to love one another.  Never did she get consumed by her issues or problems, she always was interested and cared about me and others.

Her presence in this world made it a better place for me!

“Blessings and Peace on your journey Colleen O’Brien”