Still singing!

A good friend said to me, “Don’t die with the music still in you”. It prompted me to write my book “Living and Dying” and to start living more authentically and honestly to the best of my ability.  Over the past few years I have created major change and restructuring and begun a new journey in my quest for a personal peace and enlightenment.  I believe I have more books, other professional opportunities and continued growth and success ahead of me.  I believe that I live in a world of infinite possibilities and opportunities, and I believe in you and me.  I believe I have a song written in my heart and it appears to the world in many different ways and in many different colors. I believe.

Don’t die with the music still in you!!

”Blessings on your journey”



A good friend yesterday asked me to write about suicide.  I have had way to much experience working with families that have had to struggle with the why’s and what  if’s of loved ones taking their own lives.  All of the stories sound unique because of personalities, relationships, manner of death etc.  Yet, they are all very similar.

One story I will share is the mother who wondered “WHY” her son did this.  He left no note and there were no specific warning signs or previous efforts.  She spoke with us at a funeral directors convention many years ago.  After the presentation I spoke with her.  I asked her how long she asked the question “WHY” Her response, was so perfect.  She said, “after two and a half years of asking WHY, I decided I just couldn’t do it anymore!!”

The other story I tell is about a good friend of mine, who lost his son to suicide.  Although his son had struggled with depression and relationship issues, he had recently found new purpose and friends in volunteering.  He was beginning to put his struggles behind, or so it seemed when it happened.  As we approached the day of putting his son’s body to rest, I would ask my friend how he was doing. It was evident that he was struggling and working hard to find some understanding, not just for his own benefit but to help everyone.  If there was anyone who would figure it out, I knew he would.  The third day I asked how he was doing, he told me he had figured it out.  We went to the study and sat down to talk.  As his expression took on a sad but compassionate and loving softness, he explained to me “Mark, If my son were sitting here with me right now, he would say Dad, I’m sorry, I made a mistake, I was not in my right mind”

I will never forget it and I share the story with all the families that are confronted with this horrific event. What I’ve learned is, we’re all human and sometimes we make mistakes because we’re not in our right mind. The difference is sometimes it can take place where reason, understanding, hope and resilience does not exist.  A place where there are no more solutions or options.

In our life we will experience tragic events that happen to people we know and love.  Often we will never know the reason or have the answers to the many questions we ask.  Often it will come when we least expect it and in the blink of an eye.  Life is designed to be a mystery and I believe and have learned while it may not always be obvious, we have the ability to handle it.  Within us is a wisdom and love so profound yet often untouched, unknown about and experienced until tragedy strikes.  Let’s not wait for that!!

”Blessings on your journey”

For many more of these life changing and supportive stories order my book “Living and Dying” Finding Love and Hope in the Journey of Loss at


Do you know someone that’s presence in your life makes your life better just by being there?  Are you someone that makes that happen for others who know you?

I have someone that does just that for me.  She is fighting her way through a battle with cancer, and it would appear she is losing.  As I was thinking of her the other day, I realized how sad it was for her and all of us. I also realized how happy it made me, by recognizing how her presence in my life has been such a blessing.  My tears were tears of joy.  Perhaps if she was not struggling with life I may not have had such a profound reaction.  Perhaps I take relationships like this for granted sometimes.  Anyway, it feels good to know there are people in the world who’s mere presence makes it better for me.  YOU, reading this, have that same affec, Thank YOU.

“Blessings to YOU on this journey”

Dead birds

When my daughter was 5 years old, a sparrow family made a nest and laid three eggs in between her bedroom and storm window, it wasn’t long before they hatched.  It was fun witnessing the excitement grow, and we checked in regularly.  It was a sunny spring day that I received a call from my wife that the baby birds were dead and our daughter would be home soon from school.  There was a pressing need to do something.  I ran home and flushed the birds down the toilet……………… I did it for two reasons, one for calming down the anxiety felt by my wife and I, and two, to protect our daughter from experiencing any heartbreak, pain or hurt from this event.  I failed, it made it worse!!

What I learned is that there is an instinctual fear of hurting or damaging ourselves further and we will do anything to protect ourselves and those we love!!!  As a funeral director with years of experience and knowledge about dealing with death, I learned that, I too am subject to these instincts.

This story, like so many others I tell in my book “Living and Dying” is an example of our human condition.  My hope is, what we struggle with or fail at, can make us stronger and wiser.

”Blessings on your journey”

To purchase a copy of “Living and Dying” visit


From Madysin Taylor: Awareness of gratitude will allow you to savor and, above all, appreciate your life with renewed grace.

Sometimes we forget to take the time to recognize the richness that defines our lives. This may be because many of the messages we encounter as we go about our affairs prompt us to think about what we don’t have rather than all the abundance we do enjoy. Consequently, our gratitude exists in perpetual conflict with our desire for more, whether we crave time, convenience, wealth, or enlightenment. Yet understanding and truly appreciating our blessings can be as simple as walking a mile in another’s shoes for a short period of time. Because many of us lead comparatively insular lives, we may not comprehend the full scope of our prosperity that is relative to our sisters and brothers in humanity.

”Blessings on your journey”