Good Grief - Our Blog

My mother-in-law Virginia was present during every conversation the last few weeks. She was alert when the public health nurse evaluated her condition and approved the application for skilled nursing care. She watched her health aide and me write her name on her clothing with permanent markers and place a neat stack of shirts and pants in a bag.

Even though we explained what was happening, she kept forgetting. That’s not surprising since she’s 102

A week earlier, our Hospicare...

My mother-in-law Virginia was present during every conversation the last few weeks. She was alert when the public health nurse evaluated her condition and approved the application for skilled nursing care. She watched her health aide and me write her name on her clothing with permanent markers and place a neat stack of shirts and pants in a bag.

Even though we explained what was happening, she kept forgetting. That’s not surprising since she’s 102

A week earlier, our Hospicare...

I know two things about my death:

I know I’m going to die.

I also know that when the time comes, it will likely come as a surprise to me.

Death is usually like that; it arrives as a rude interruption—leaving work undone, conversations unresolved, plans unfinished, dreams unfulfilled.It rarely lets you wait until you’re fully ready to go.

Death leaves permanent ellipses where we’d have placed periods.

We will all be in the middle of something, of many ...

Today is Rare Disease Day. Our sweet Magglio lives with Pompe Disease, a rare and brutal genetic disease that affects his ability to move, breathe, eat and talk. Despite this disease, and maybe because of it too, Magglio is full of courage, strength and heart. For all his physical limitations, he smiles and laughs and has more love to give then anyone I know. His disease is rare and his amazing attitude of positivity, love and courage is rare too. He inspires me and teaches me daily what it...

THE DEATHCARE INDUSTRY IS CHANGING, AND WITH IT ARE THE WAYS WE DISPOSE OF OUR BODIES.

Situated just south of San Francisco, the small town of Colma, Calif., has become famous, or perhaps infamous, for its motto: “It’s Great to Be Alive in Colma.” Which is ironic, given that the town’s population of dead people far outnumbers its living residents by nearly 1,000 to one. 

Among the living is Joe Stinson, 72, a funeral director and owner of Colma Cremation and Funeral Services....

David R. Hardcastle (1946-2015)

"I feel my story, which is one of thousands of veteran stories, isn't all that important except for maybe it will reach one veteran who will understand and be comforted by what I say," David Hardcastle said in an April, 2014 interview with Pacifica Tribune writer Jean Bartlett.

David was in his words, "blown up" on July 31, 1967, when his troop's Second Lieutenant got his foot caught in what he thought was a vine. David, who...

"But first and foremost, I remember Mama” - the concluding lines of “Mama’s Bank Account” the lovely story about a Norwegian family in San Francisco in the early 1900s. For those of us whose mothers are gone, we too will always remember Mama. This Sunday as we celebrate Mother’s Day we can celebrate our memories of our Mothers.  Tell stories, wear her favorite color or a piece of her jewelry, frame a favorite picture of her and give them as gifts to your children –bake her favorite pie or...

We are so fortunate to live in the Bay Area where there are so many different cultures and customs.  And Colma Cremation and Funeral Services is so fortunate to be located in the midst of 17 cemeteries to be a part of all these differenct cultures and rituals.  Qingming Festival also known as Pure Brightness Festival or Tomb-Sweeping Day falls on April 4th this year.  This Ancestor Worship goes back thousands of years and is a key holiday in the Chinese calendar.  Hundreds of families will...

Today, February 28th, is International Rare Disease Day! Today, thousands of people from all over the world come together to advocate for more research on rare diseases. Our grandson, Magglio, has Pompe Disease - a terrible muscle wasting disease - he is our hero, our inspiraton - a true warrior. Visit this website for more information on how you can help bring awareness to all rare diseases.  http://www.rarediseaseday.org/…/today

On a funeral service some time ago, Joe was talking to Deacon Jim about life…..and death.  Deacon Jim said “When does someone die, when does someone leave us……only when we stop talking about them.”  Our dear friend, Patti, lost her Mother recently - we called her to tell her how sorry we were and to reminisce about Kitty.  During the conversation, Joe told Patti when Deacon Jim had told him.  She told her son, Tom, and he was inspired to base his Eulogy on this at Kitty’s funeral service. ...