Death is not convenient!

Day 51 from my book “Living and Dying”

I have so many stories to share regarding living a healthy life because of my experience in the funeral business. Having to wake up every day and enter a world of loss has been a great gift to me. No day is the same and all I have to do is care about people. We should all have such a job!

People often joke how my job is recession proof or not affected by the economy. The saying “the only thing certain is death and taxes” comes to mind. You might be surprised that in the last forty years there have been significant and consistent changes. Probably one of the biggest differences or changes in the past few years is how important logistics has become. Years ago we did not have such a mobile society. People were born, raised and died in the same communities. Our children today are living, visiting and studying in other countries. We have families living apart while spouses travel to distant cities for work and then return on weekends for family time. Commerce is conducted on the internet—Skype and web casting are the new norms, to name just a few.

One interesting story where scheduling and logistics comes to mind is the death of one woman’s husband. In the arrangement process when it came time to schedule the funeral, I was told we needed to wait five weeks for the service as she was scheduled to leave for a cruise. Although this story is a rare occurrence, there are more and more families trying to work around scheduled plans and events. Most important to remember is “death is not convenient” and we need to accept the fact that sometimes we must be willing to change our plans to accommodate it. Being one of life’s most significant events you might think we would take notice and stop the world for a few days or weeks.

“Blessings on your journey”



Day 50 from my book “Living and Dying”

“For the 99 percent of the time we’ve been on Earth, we were hunter and gatherers, our lives dependent on knowing the fine, small details of our world. Deep inside, we still have a longing to be reconnected with the nature that shaped our imagination, our language, our song and dance, our sense of the divine.”
Janine M. Benyus

Connection – when we are able to be most vulnerable and transparent.

The experience of the death of a family member is one of the few guarantees we will have in life. It will happen, I guarantee it, yet it remains an event we continue to struggle with.  Let’s take a quick look at the average life experience. With the United State’s average life expectancy currently hovering at around 78.88 years, the age to which most Americans can expect to live is still forty-four years younger than the human life span. So how do we close that gap and elongate our lives? There will always be factors that are out of our individual control like our inherited genes, but we shouldn’t discount the impact of those that we can control. It is generally understood that closing the gap between life expectancy and life span can be done through healthier living, less exposure to toxins, the prevention of chronic illnesses, and a little bit of luck. The most common cause of death is heart disease.

We all know the common physical symptoms and issues of heart disease, but what is it that causes these physical changes? Science is finally looking at the cause of this breakdown. What is being discovered is that long term fear, frustration, anxiety, and disappointment are significant contributing factors in heart disease. These functions relate to our emotional experience (called hurt), which when activated is asking for the body and mind connection to be healed. If we don’t attend to these messages, or if we shut them down so as not to be recognized, our engines (our heart) will break down. In our current state of development, medicine is showing us that the human heart can last about seventy to one hundred years under these conditions.

I believe that Jesus, and others, said thousands of years ago that we all have the ability to live multi-centuries and that our bodies are designed to live this long. It is easy for me to understand the average death rates in the US because the first hundred years are the toughest. In our lifetimes we will lose everyone we have grown to love or care for. We will lose everything; people, pets, animals, jobs, relationships, homes, etc. With the level of technology so advanced, we will lose the world we have grown accustomed to and even mastered, many times.

Our struggle is with our inability to reconcile ourselves with the hurt associated with the loss of our world, and we don’t even know it. We are in a constant state of “re-construction” constantly recreating our place in the world of change and loss. When it comes to the loss of a loved one, the funeral has been, and continues to be one of the only effective experiences in our journey towards health and wellbeing since the beginning of time.

“Blessings on your journey”


We all have a story to tell, but sometimes we get stuck in that story and become our story.

Our own lives stories are filled and textured with our loved ones, friends and experiences that help shape how we see our world.  In that experience we can enter old patterns of life playing victim or it can be the open door to a new expression of self.  Either way, it is the story we accept that happens.

What story have you created for yourself?  Take a moment to examine and adjust as needed.  Choose support, love and forgiveness, and be kind to yourself.  After all it’s just a story of which you are the author.

“Blessings on your journey”



Changing Roles

Day 48

With all I’ve been through this past weekend, I thought this post in the Daily OM was most appropriate to offer today.

We all change throughout life trying new and different things, but the core of who we really are remains the same.
As we bob and weave with the ebb and flow of life our roles change, but our true self remains constant. As spiritual beings having a human experience, we go through many aspects of humanity in one lifetime. Living in the material world of opposites, labels, and classifications, we often identify ourselves by the roles we play, forgetting that these aspects shift and change throughout our lives. But when we anchor ourselves in the truth of our being, that core of spirit within us, we can choose to embrace the new roles as they come, knowing that they give us fresh perspective on life and a greater understanding of the lives of others.

Like actors on the stage of the world, our different roles are just costumes that we inhabit and then shed. Each role we play gives us another perspective through which to understand ourselves and the nature of the universe. When we take a moment to see that each change can be an adventure, a celebration, and a chance to play a new part, we may even be able to recapture the joyful anticipation of our youth as we transition from one role to the next.

“Blessing on your Journey”

In transition

Day 47

Today the world is spinning much slower for us.  My mother in law is safely back in the nursing home for physical therapy after the weekend stay in the hospital.  We’re still waiting to hear about my brother in laws condition.  The process towards healing is beginning for Uncle Frank and Doug and my staff members family.  My cold is still about the same, but it’s a little warmer outside!

We just returned from an overnight trip to Albany to see my mother in law transition from the hospital to the nursing home for PT.  My wife was able to see her mom and spend time with her brother and our sister in law.  It was a good trip, I was the designated driver.  It is always good to see the reality of lifes condition, good or bad, as we were able to see her decline both physically and mentally.  We were able to see her adapt to the new nursing home environment and enter right in to the current of events and activities.  Her transition remarkable considering the trauma of the weekend after the fall.

As an observer, I believe the dementia is a blessing of sorts.  Every moment is a new moment.  Every thought is a new thought. Every experience is a new experience.  She is blessed with a great disposition and loves the attention of the nursing home staff and aides.  She cannot remember how she got to this point, but she can still remember her son and daughter and I’m sure she remembers me (who could forget, lol).  She sees each new moment as an adventure and although she cannot put a full sentence together it seems ok.

As an observer I can see the brighter side of dementia and the blessing it appears to be.  I can also see the struggle for her children and see how it helps prepare them for the next step in their lifes experience.  There will come the time when she moves out of this realm of consciousness into the next.  Perhaps behind the vail of dementia this is already happening. Who can tell?

For now it seems a happy place for her.

“Blessings on your journey”

Stop the world, I want to get off!

Day 46

Today I’m in the car driving to Albany New York, where my mother in law is a recovering from a fall in her nursing home.  Last weekend, we changed our plans and drove to Baltimore because my brother in law hurt himself and couldn’t make the drive to us.  Yesterday my administrative employees father in law died, and uncle Franks 16 year old dog Higgins died.  All while I’m batteling a head cold that just won’t go away.  Plus, it’s really cold outside!!!

I’m not complaining, but it’s been quite the adventure.  With regular calls over the weekend to my brother in law to keep abreast of my mother in laws hospital stay and condition.  Gathering all the weekend food and libations for the six hour trip to Baltimore to support and share time with my sister.  Supporting and helping plan the funeral arrangements for my employees family and offering support for uncle Frank and Doug.  And now on a three hour trip to Albany to support and see my mother in law and family.

Sometimes the world gets spinning and all you can do is hang on and go for the ride.   If you were to fight or battle it (why me? poor me!) it would most likely create conflict, wade you down or beat you up.  As an observer in life, we can just adapt to each event and move forward with the necessary energy needed of us.  We cannot change the circumstances, conditions, pace or timing of life.  We were born into a human existence for a reason and it is possible we might even be good at it!

”Blessings on your journey”

If I only knew

From my book “Living and Dying”


“The earth has music for those who listen.”
― George Santayana

Where do we go from here?
What can we do now?
If we see love in our everyday life, the world becomes a loving world. If we see hatred and suffering in our life, the world becomes one filled with suffering and hatred.
Reflect on our connection with how we get where we are, and where we are going and go there.
Reflect on our connection with emotions and how we feel and live a life of feeling
Reflect on the effect of our thoughts and how they affect the energy and connection in our world and become a participant
Reflect on how our connection in our world is created by our experience in our world.
Reflect on the connection of thought and emotion.
Reflect on your connection to all things and places.
Reflect on your connection to memories and the affect they have on you, in your world
Consider that we may need to create a new version of ourselves. At any time, we can redefine ourselves. We get to pick.


If I knew it would be the last time that I’d see you fall asleep, I would tuck you in more tightly and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.
If I knew it would be the last time that I see you walk out the door, I would give you a hug and kiss and call you back for one more.
If I knew it would be the last time I’d hear your voice lifted up in praise, I would video tape each action and word, so I could play them back day after day.
If I knew it would be the last time I could spare an extra minute to stop and say “I love you,” instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.
If I knew it would be the last time I would be there to share your day, well I’m sure you’ll have so many more, so I can let just this one slip away.
For surely there’s always tomorrow to make up for an oversight, and we always get a second chance to make everything just right.
There will always be another day to say “I love you,” and certainly there’s another chance to say our “Anything I can do?”
But just in case I might be wrong, and today is all I get, I’d like to say how much I love you and I hope we never forget.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike, and today may be the last chance you get to hold your loved one tight.
So if you’re waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today? For if tomorrow never comes, you’ll surely regret the day that you didn’t take that extra time for a smile, or a kiss and you were too busy to grant someone, what turned out to be their one last wish.
So hold your loved ones close today, and whisper in their ear, tell them how much you love them and that you’ll always hold them dear.
Take time to say “I’m sorry,” “Please forgive me,” “Thank you,” or “It’s okay.”
And if tomorrow never comes, you’ll have no regrets about today.—Books.htm

There is a time for everything and a season for everything under heaven. I believe it is our time.
Life is precious, embrace the love present in it, and share the joy it brings to shine your light in the world.
It is a journey filled with challengers and opportunity. Take its reigns and shine your light bright. For it is in the effort that all life is powered.

“Blessings on your journey”