Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lucy Spraggan - (original) - Tea and Toast - Ont' Sofa

Lucy Spraggan sits Ont' Sofa and performs her beautiful song Tea and Toast.

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Ont' Sofa's mission is to bring quality musicians and artists to your ears and eyes! We are asking REAL talented musicians and artists to sit Ont' Sofa and show the world what real music is all about!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Cultivate a Friendship with Death by Tim Ong

Why We Fear Death

"Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark." - Bacon

There may be a thousand reasons why we fear death, but most of all we fear death because we fear the unknown, and death is an unknown entity to most people. We fear that dying may be painful and we do not know what will happen to us at the point of death.

Some people fear death because they imagine the dying process to be very painful. Death is not painful. In fact, death is often very peaceful and silent even for those suffering from cancers or other terminal illness.

When the physical body is deteriorating day by day from a terminal illness, and pain arises from superficial wound such as bed sores, or deep pain such as bone or nerve pain, death may even be a welcome relief for the sufferer.

We need to distinguish the pain of the physical body from the process of dying. The dying process is a distinct process that is separate from the deterioration of the physical body. At the point of death, there is no pain.

What happens at death is the cessation of the breath and all other physiological functions of the physical body. The heart stops pumping and the blood circulation stops moving. The body stops generating heat, and thus progressively turns cold.

For those who believe that we are more than just a physical body, and that we are in fact spiritual beings, the dying process means much more than just physical death. Death is just a natural process that allows us to discard the physical body as we move into the spiritual realm.

Since our fear of death is due to the fact that we do not know or understand death, it makes sense to familiarise ourselves with it. The more we understand death, the less we fear it. We should therefore cultivate a friendship with death, and be totally familiar with it, just as we are familiar with our friends.

We can cultivate a friendship with death in three simple steps:

1. Establish a link with God.
2. Cultivate a habit of acceptance, instead of blame.
3. Be a blessing to others.

Establish a link with God.

By establishing a link with God, we touch base with our own spirituality. God can be whatever you perceive God to be. For Christians, Muslims and Hindus, that may mean an omnipotent God. For Buddhists, it may mean the Buddha seed within. Atheists may have to come to term with their own spirituality.

Establishing a link with God means re-gaining your spirituality. It leads you closer to the spiritual aspect of yourself. Whether we accept it or not, we are more than just this physical body. When we die, we leave this physical body behind and only our spirituality continues on.

It is therefore essential for us to be familiar with our own spirituality. It is the only part of us that continues after death. This 'fact' is in accordance with all major religions.

Cultivate a Habit of Acceptance.

It is funny how when good things come to us, we readily accept them as though we deserve them or we have worked hard for them, yet when calamities befall us we quickly look for an external source to blame.

This is especially so when misfortunes such as terminal illness befall us. We may blame God, and later blame ourselves or people around us. We should cultivate a habit of neutrality regardless of whether good or bad things come our way. Otherwise, we can become very bitter about life when negative things happened. Looking for someone or something to blame only serve to prolong our own suffering. Death is an enemy when we resist it, but the moment we accept it, it turns into an ally.

However, cultivating a habit of acceptance does not mean not doing anything to correct or improve our conditions. It does not mean, for example, that when we are diagnosed with a terminal illness we do nothing about it. It is only sensible to seek treatment, if it is available to us. On the other hand, it also means we must know and accept when curative treatment is no longer possible. We fear death only when we refuse to face it.

Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous people who would take advantage of our fear of death to sell their 'cure'. In my experience with the terminally ill, I have come across countless stories of dying people being duped into parting with their savings and properties in the hope of achieving a cure.

Be a Blessing to Others.

This is our greatest and most reliable ally at the time of death.

Knowing that we have been helpful to others and that we have tried to live a blameless life takes away the fear of death. If our life has been an honest one, free of any conscious intention to hurt any living beings, we have nothing to fear when death approaches. Our mind will be at peace, undisturbed.

On the other hand, those who lead selfish lives, and harm others to get little advantages for themselves, find themselves imprisoned in tiny, dark cells when they move to the other side.

Therefore, while we still can, we should give our best to the world and to people around us. Lend a helping hand to others and help to lighten their loads. Bring joy to the joyless and comfort to those in need of comfort. There are many who are less fortunate than us. Count our blessings and be a blessing to others.
Tim Ong is a medical doctor with more than 14 years of experience in family medicine. He is the author of the online "Build From Within" ezine and "The Book of Transformation". He is also the webmaster of

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Be the Gift of Comfort, Joy and Love This Holiday Season

The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone. When you have lost a loved one, the holidays can be filled with mixed emotions of joy and sorrow. After the loss of my mother, the first Thanksgiving and Christmas were filled with a sense of displacement. My mother always hosted the holidays at her home. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and birthdays were always a celebration with many family and friends.

After my mom passed away that all changed. The first few years were an adjustment. I was blessed to be included in my sister's family festivities and when my dad moved back to California we were able to start new family traditions.

Over the holidays my home is still filled with memories of my mother's love for the holidays. I have combined my new holiday decorations and traditions with some of my mom's favorites. Making my mom's favorite holiday recipes each year helps me connect with her spirit and makes me feel like she is right there with me.

As we move into the holiday season, remember that your friends and family members that have lost a loved one may be experiencing deep feelings of loss. Be sure to take the time to connect with them and let them know that they are loved.

Here are a few ways to be the gift they were hoping for this holiday season:
  • Invite your loved one to join you for your holiday gathering. As family members pass away, traditions change and a loved one may not be able to spend the holidays with their family. Including them in your family festivities will help ease the loneliness they may be feeling this time of year.
  • Make a special date to go to dinner, have coffee, or to go shopping to have some private one-on-one time. This special time will allow them the opportunity to talk about their feelings.
  • Help them with holiday arrangements. If they are hosting a holiday gathering, offer to help them prepare the food or offer to go shopping for them to take a little stress off of their shoulders. Ask if they would like you to prepare a favorite food that may have been a family tradition.
  • Take them out for a special day of pampering to a spa or to have a massage. Relaxation and pampering will assist both of you with the stress of the holidays.
  • Celebrate the memories of their loved one by sharing stories and going through photo albums together. This activity will give your friend or family member the opportunity to celebrate their happy memories.

Having the support of friends and family during the holidays can make all the difference. So as you are making out your To Do List for the holidays, be sure to include those friends and family members that might need a little extra love and care this time of year.
©2009 Lori Pederson

Lori Pederson, Founder of I Did Not Know What To Say, a website created to inspire and to provide you with tools to assist a love one through the grieving process. If you would like our free newsletter on how to assist your friends and family through the journey of restoring balance in their life after the death of a love one, please visit our website at
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Eric Clapton - Tears In Heaven (Official Video)

"Tears in Heaven" is a ballad written by Eric Clapton and Will Jennings about the pain Clapton felt following the death of his four-year-old son, Conor, who fell from a window of the 53rd-floor New York apartment of his mother's friend, on March 20, 1991. Clapton, who arrived at the apartment shortly after the accident, was visibly distraught for months afterwards. This song is one of Clapton's most successful, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the U.S. The song also spent three weeks at #1 on the American adult contemporary chart in 1992.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Simon talking about the death of his dad

The exact same day when Westlife's first single Swear It Again went to #1, Simon's dad Eric died.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Last Words: Talking About Death

In general, in northern and western culture at least, we are uncomfortable talking about death. This is generally not a problem because there are many other topics to claim our attention. However, the lack of fluency in the language of death can become a problem when the real thing confronts us.

If death were a rarity, only experienced by a few, the fact of such a stumbling block would be a minor matter. Since it is not, since death will come eventually to each one of us and to people we love, it is regrettable to settle for being tongue-tied when other possibilities exist for us.

It begins with the use of the word "death" and its derivatives: died, dying, dead.

We have become a culture unused to such words when it comes to people. Plants die, legislation dies but people "pass" or "cross over." "He got bad news," we allow, or "she's losing ground," we say, as though the process of dying was something that could be exchanged the next day for good news or ground gained.

There are good reasons to learn to call death by its name:
  • it can make it easier for others around us to broach the subject,
  • it can be a concrete way to model for children that death is a part of the experience of this life,
  • it can allow those who are dying to come in from the cold of our conspiracy of silence, and
  • it can help us reclaim the end of life, as its beginning, as a time of opportunity.

One of life's truths is that times of crisis can open doors and create new options. This is true for the crisis embodied in approaching death. Many are the stories of mended relationships, discovery of purpose and finally getting to a place of saying "I love you" right out loud when death draws near.

These things happen because the fact of death shakes us up and sometimes we need that in order to set appropriate priorities and seek to make the most of each day.

To talk about death is to talk about life, ultimately. It is to be open to the possibilities of the moment and to find perspective. It is a call to examine what each day brings and focus upon relationships. It is to acknowledge our mortality and in so doing, to find opportunity to handle matters of meaning and truth.

Linda Watson is a former pastoral and supportive care professional and the author of Facing Death: A Companion in Words and Images, a beautifully illustrated book for the dying and for those who care for and about them.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Frontline Documentary Rebroadcast Tues, Dec 11th, PBS

National Funeral Directors Association

Don't forget: Tuesday, December 11, PBS stations thoughout the country will be rebroadcasting the FRONTLINE documentary, The Undertaking.

The Undertaking took television audiences behind the scenes of the Lynch & Sons Funeral Homes, in Clawson and Milford, Michigan, painting a powerful portrayal of the deep and profound commitment funeral service has for the families it serves. What made The Undertaking particularly poignant was seeing the funeral planning process through the eyes of grieving families. Through the experiences of the families featured in the documentary, viewers learn about the value of funerals and the tender ways that funeral directors care for the dying, the dead and the bereaved.

Check local listings to confirm when and on which channel it will be airing in your community. Or, if you can't watch in on television, you can view the entire documentary online:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Military funeral honors support for veterans

NEW ORLEANS- Marine Forces Reserve units and personnel provide significant support for military funeral honors for our veterans. The Inspector -- Instructor and Reserve Site Support staffs, with augmentation from their Reserve Marines, performed 91 percent of the total funeral honors rendered by the Marine Corps during Calendar Year 2011 (15,366 of 16,943). We anticipate providing funeral honors to more than 16,000 Marine veterans during Calendar Year 2012. Specific authorizations to fund Reserve Marines in the performance of military funeral honors have greatly assisted us at sites such as Bridgeton, Mo., where more than ten funerals are consistently supported each week. As with casualty assistance, we place enormous emphasis on providing timely and professionally executed military funeral honors support. Produced by Cpl. Michael Ito.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Tree Of Memories & Candle Lighting Service 2012 Is Dec 13th

Please join Bryan-Braker Funeral Home for our annual Tree of Memories Remembrance Service held at Bryan-Braker Funeral Home in Fairfield. This year pastor Dave Baker, from Harvest Life Ministry, will speak about bereavement and offer support to families during the upcoming holiday season.

We will have a candle lighting then a remembrance service will be held including holiday music, the reading of the loved ones' names while a family member will receive a memorable ornament, and a reception to follow.

The Tree of Memories Service provides an opportunity for families and friends who have lost a loved one to share their experiences with others who are grieving during this holiday season.

Everyone is welcome to attend regardless of when their loss was, or if their family was served by another funeral home.

Please email a photo of your loved one who passed away right away for a special presentation at the Tree of Memories event. Email to

Event Location:

1850 W Texas St
Fairfield CA 94533



Thursday, December 13th



Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Consistent Place of Healing- Wall of Memories

 This memorial wall is open to anyone who wishes to place a permanent, bronze plaque.  The plaque is custom made for your loved one and can include name, dates, personal history, poem, emblems, artwork, even cast bronze portraits. The Wall of Memories is located on the center pathway on the south side of the Elm Dormitory.

Also, many families are choosing to scatter the cremated remains of their loved one in a favorite place; the ocean, or even in the skies above. While that may seem fitting at the time, it means that you do not have a consistent place to connect with the memories of the person you loved so dearly.

Having such permanent place - in a cemetery, mausoleum, or cremation garden - that can be visited regularly by family and friends is an essential part of the time following a death. It becomes a focal point of memorialization, and gives everyone a special place to go to remember your loved one, or to commemorate important occasions. It can help to make a birthday or anniversary less painful.

A permanent place to reflect on your loved one becomes a way of connecting to a family's past. Visiting the resting place of grandparents or great-grandparents may provide children with an anchor to their personal history. It is a connection to the past, to love shared. It truly honors the relationship you still have – and will always have – with that person.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Drive-Thru Funeral Home in the Ghetto

A funeral home in Compton offers drive-thru funerals behind bullet proof glass. The dead are laid out behind a glass window no different from a department store display or a McDonald's drive through window. As discussed on Episode 40 of 'The Glory Hole' comedy podcast entitled 'The Voodoo Priests'.

'The Glory Hole' is Rob Sprance, Franco DelValle, Chris Fortney and Big Mike
Check out 'The Glory Hole' and other great shows at