The First Holiday Season After a Loss

As I mentioned in our December Newsletter, the holidays are supposed to be joyous and happy for everyone. However, when a death of someone who is near and dear occurs, whether a year ago or more recent, the holidays can bring back heartache and loneliness. The traditions and special memories that the season brings can elicit strong emotions for everyone, all at varying degrees. That’s why it’s important to understand the grieving process and how it impacts everyone differently. The knowledge of a loss may be addressed in different ways. Some may walk on eggshells, afraid to arouse sad memories and more grief. But that silence in the room or avoidance in mentioning his/her name can be just

The Value Behind Sharing Memories through Social Media

Not long ago, I was going through some old boxes and I happened upon a collection of school memories – much of which were high school sports related, my chenille letters from high school, junior high and even grade school, articles, report cards and award certificates. One particular photo was a team shot of my 8th grade basketball team, circa 1972. We were champions of the Pierce County Parks League (Tacoma, WA). It was a highlight in junior high school since we were two-time champions, having gone undefeated during that span. Looking at the photo, it brought back memories, not of the games necessarily, but of those stories behind the photo. I recalled the practices and drills in the gym

DNA Tests – Who am I?

Okay, how many of you have gone out and had a DNA test? Ancestry, 23 and Me, My Heritage, Living DNA, GPS Origins… They are all out there. Over the past few years, this huge trend to learn about your family history, origins and heritage has spawned an entire new industry. Many of my friends and family have done this – just recently, so have I. For me, it was after seeing, hearing and reading all about this heritage search from friends and family (including my wife), did I finally relent and have mine tested. I also received the DNA kit as a gift from my wife, so what was I gonna do – re-gift it? Upon sending it in, I wasn’t sure what I wanted – a surprise or affirmation? Going in, I felt

Downsizing – It’s not just about getting rid of things.

Downsizing is a common chapter in the life of an adult, especially when the kids leave the nest. While there are difficult decisions when contemplating a move to a smaller residence and purging the furniture, mementos and personal belongings have so much more emotional value and investment – especially after 30-40 years of accumulation. One of the hardest things to do is deciding what to do with the boxes of family photos and home video you’ve collected over the years. Oh, and don’t forget your computer that has a thousand or more photos and video sitting in random folders. On one extreme, organized people have kept photo albums of those special life moments and labeled and organized their

Family Reunions – A Lost Tradition

When I was adopted at the age of seven, one of my first experiences I recall with my new adopted family was attending family gatherings, typically a good two-hour drive away, to a home I’d never visited, to meet people I’d never seen. It turns out, they were my new family members. Never really having had a family for more than a few years, this was pretty cool. Of course, I had a really hard time connecting the lineage of each person with my new parents and myself, but over the course of time, I was able to get some of it right. The only problem was, as I got older, the reunions became rarer and much smaller in attendance. The older folks who did all of the organizing were passing away, a

Service Of Remembrance

You all have seen those national awards show, right? The Oscars, the Emmys, the Grammy’s… As you know, each year when such an event takes place, each take a moment to recognize those artists or contributors within the industry who have passed over the year. These memorial tributes not only contain wonderful quality production values but carry a strong emotional connection as well. And as these photos or video clips are shown, and a familiar face is seen, there’s a moment of flashback of remembrance of that person performing. From a Robin Williams, Whitney Houston, Adam West or Glenn Campbell, we each have a bit of reminiscing. As an industry ourselves, most state and national association c


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