Archive for the ‘In The News’ Category

As time passes, our memory of experiences, events and interactions- change. Some fade completely and are gone forever. Others are like water, hard to hold onto and slowly moving away. The reason “time heals” is because time softens. Time erases. Time makes us forget.

In her book All At Sea– Decca Aitkenhead reacts to the childhood loss of her mother by painstakingly recording the death of her husband and her personal journey through grief. Quite simply, she wrote it down before time stole it.

When we encourage people who are suffering the loss of someone they love to write things down, it is for good reason. While in grief, these memories are like a razor- sharp and unforgiving.  Relentless in their detailed assault; all consuming, painful and unpredictable.

Writing or recording these thoughts and memories helps dull the need to hold on so tightly. Knowing they are now safely recorded is a relief and a release. In Loving Memory Services are how we gather them, The In Loving Memory Box is where we keep them.

Now time can do it’s work of healing, without washing away what we hold precious.

More about the book ALL AT SEA

—Washington Post

“Asensational, devastating story … All at Sea is more than the recounting of a freak accident and its consequences. It is a thoughtful and provocative rumination on love, family and grief. Where When Breath Becomes Air offered a dying man’s perspective on mortality, All at Sea offers a widow’s perspective on survivor’s guilt … A bracing and valuable reminder of the vagaries of fate that can leave you feeling unaccountably grateful—not only for your own relative serendipity, but for the wisdom borne of Aitkenhead’s grit.”

A mother, Joy Ganda Vibar-Alamares, is sitting at the funeral service for her beloved 7 year old son.

His name was Trebby.

She is sitting in the second row, crying, in a room full of people.

Then… a single helium balloon slowly comes free from the bunch tied to the casket.

For a moment it appears aimless, but then it seems to purposefully float toward her.

It hovers around her face and head.

While some may say that the balloon’s movements are just a coincidental occurance due to a loss of helium, the people who witnessed this think differently.

It is Joy’s belief that this was Trebby’s spirit trying to console his mother  one last time.

In Trebby’s In Loving Memory Box, along with his three favorite matchbox cars, 34 photos, invitations to birthday parties, report cards, a spiderman action figure and part of a tattered blanket, you should find a deflated but precious white balloon – forever. Click Here

WATCH HERE> Treat People Better

May 19th- On the television show “The View“, Whoopi Goldberg opened with comments about her recently deceased brother and her experience with corporate owned funeral homes in the Los Angeles area.

The View averages 3.01 million total viewers.

Joan Rivers died on September 4th, 2014 at the age of 81.

A comic legend, her send-off was exactly what she would have wanted. Howard Stern remembered her with touching references, but more importantly, with some very dirty jokes. Offensive enough that at first the attendees were struck silent – until they remembered who they were honoring, and burst into laughter.  Closing with a song by Hugh Jackman, the service concluded with a standing ovation.  She was honored just as she wanted, with her star shining, laughter and applause.

(Image From CBS Evening News) In her 2012 book, I Hate Everyone … Starting With Me, Joan Rivers wrote the above passage regarding her funeral, to her daughter Melissa.


Tumilson was killed in Afghanistan August 6, 2011, along with 21 other Navy Seals when their chinook helicopter was shot down by Afghan insurgents. At the funeral on Aug 11, 2011 in his hometown of Rockford, Iowa – Hawkeye, Jon’s Chocolate Lab, led the family as they walked down the aisle toward the front of the church. The family had always referred lovingly to the dog as “Jon’s son”. The family sat but Hawkeye continued to the front and flopped down below Tumlison’s casket with heart-wrenching sigh. He layed there in front of the 1,500 in attendance until he was finally coaxed to stand and leave. The photo displayed behind the casket is that of Jon and Hawkeye together on the beach in San Diego.

Hawkeye was taken in by Tumilson’s great friend, Scott Nicholas.

One day, hopefully many many years from now, when Hawkeye passes away, his collar or dog tags should live on in Jon’s Memory Keeper.

YOUTUBE LINK-  10 Year Old Boy Celebrates Grandfather


An unexpected speaker stands up at his grandfather’s funeral service and gives an incredible celebrant speech.

He even ends his speech with uplifting thoughts of all the ways his grandfather will live on. Awesome.


  adamlane85 (Adam Lane) – DeviantArt

February 2014, O’Connor Mortuary in Laguna Hills CA, was gracious enough to invite me to attend their Celebrant Training with Doug Manning and Glenda Stansbury. What an amazing experience! Thank you so much Jeff Turner and Neil O’Connor for extending me this honor. Thank you Doug and Glenda for the pleasure of getting to meet you and learn from you. Once back in Colorado, Horan & McConaty gave me the opportunity to perform my first celebrant service on behalf of one of their wonderful families. The path of the In Loving Memory Box has been an interesting and incredibly fulfilling one that has unfolded in front of me. I have never been more sure of the need for it than I am now- through the eyes of a certified celebrant.


Today on the Today Show, there was a beautiful story about Dr. James Wolf and his daughter Rachel, commemorating their love for one another before he succumbs to pancreatic cancer in the next few months. The family held a father daughter dance, friends and family attended and the family captured it all on video.