Saturday, August 20, 2022

Expected Death Take a Deep Breath

 Expected Death 

Take a Deep Breath

September 6, 2021


Expected Death ~ When someone dies, the first thing to do is nothing. Don’t run out and call the nurse. Don’t pick up the phone. Take a deep breath and be present to the magnitude of the moment.

There’s a grace to being at the bedside of someone you love as they make their transition out of this world. At the moment they take their last breath, there’s an incredible sacredness in the space. The veil between the worlds opens.

We’re so unprepared and untrained in how to deal with death that sometimes a kind of panic response kicks in. “They’re dead!”

We knew they were going to die, so their being dead is not a surprise. It’s not a problem to be solved. It’s very sad, but it’s not cause to panic.

If anything, their death is cause to take a deep breath, to stop, and be really present to what’s happening. If you’re at home, maybe put on the kettle and make a cup of tea.

Sit at the bedside and just be present to the experience in the room. What’s happening for you? What might be happening for them? What other presences are here that might be supporting them on their way? Tune into all the beauty and magic.

Pausing gives your soul a chance to adjust, because no matter how prepared we are, a death is still a shock. If we kick right into “do” mode, and call 911, or call the hospice, we never get a chance to absorb the enormity of the event.

Give yourself five minutes or 10 minutes, or 15 minutes just to be. You’ll never get that time back again if you don’t take it now.

After that, do the smallest thing you can. Call the one person who needs to be called. Engage whatever systems need to be engaged, but engage them at the very most minimal level. Move really, really, really, slowly, because this is a period where it’s easy for body and soul to get separated.

Our bodies can gallop forwards, but sometimes our souls haven’t caught up. If you have an opportunity to be quiet and be present, take it. Accept and acclimatize and adjust to what’s happening. Then, as the train starts rolling, and all the things that happen after a death kick in, you’ll be better prepared.

You won’t get a chance to catch your breath later on. You need to do it now.

Being present in the moments after death is an incredible gift to yourself, it’s a gift to the people you’re with, and it’s a gift to the person who’s just died. They’re just a hair’s breath away. They’re just starting their new journey in the world without a body. If you keep a calm space around their body, and in the room, they’re launched in a more beautiful way. It’s a service to both sides of the veil.

Credit for the beautiful words ~ Sarah Kerr, Ritual Healing Practitioner and Death Doula , Death doula

Beautiful art by Columbus Community Deathcare

A love letter from those who have passed on…

 A love letter from those who have passed on… 

Take the love you have for me 

And radiate it outwards 

Allowing it to touch and impact others

Take the memory you have of me 

And use it as a source of inspiration

To live fully, meaningfully and intentionally  

Take the image you have of me in your mind 

And allow it to fuel you 

To take action 

Seize the day

And be reminded of what is most important in life 

Take the care you have for me 

And let it remind you 

To care for yourself fully 

And shower yourself with your own love 

And take the pain and grief you feel

Following my loss 

And alchemize it into 

Love, compassion and beauty 

Build a castle

From the wreckage of my passing 

And allow it to unlock your greatness and potential

And empower you to become more than you ever thought you were capable of being 

And know that I can never truly leave you 

And will always remain beside you 

Watching over you in spirit 

And that the love I have for you lives on 

Through the connections you form 

The kindness and compassion you share 

And the future relationships and friendships you cultivate. 

And until we are one day reunited 

I will remain with you 

Through the storms and chaos of life

And am always beside you 

Walking with you, laughing with you, crying with you and smiling with you

And I am proud of you for being strong 

I am proud of you for being brave 

And I am proud of you for being you.

Words by Tahlia Hunter 

Excerpt from my eBook Meditations: Words To Uplift Your Soul, available in August. My other eBooks may be found at this link:

Artwork by the very talented Jimmy Lawlor. Follow him at this link:

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Did She Know?


She’s gone. You ache for her but you will no longer be blessed by her presence. She’s dead and a piece of you is dead too. She slipped away quickly. She slipped away before you could get all of her insight, her knowledge, her memories, her expertise. She slipped away before you could tell her everything. 

She died with things left unsaid, because let’s face it, there is always more to be said. Always more hugs to be given. Always more memories to make. Always more left to say, to know, to wonder.

In her absence I find myself yearning for answers to the questions that pierce my heart and soul. Sometimes in the middle of the night, sometimes while in line at the store, sometimes while driving down the road, these questions pop up and remind me of the harsh reality of her death. She isn’t here. She can’t answer. I won’t know. 

But it doesn’t stop me from asking…

Did she know that her smile could light up a room? That I would still remember it like I saw it yesterday. That when an image of her pops in my head, her best accessory is always her smile.

Did she know that her influence is endless? That we would listen to her with intentionality now that she is gone and honor her in every way possible. 

Did she know that she was loved? Truly loved. A love so deep, so pure, so effortless, that it occupies a part of our heart and soul that no other love will ever replace.

Did she know how many people admired her, looked up to her, and would miss her when she was gone? Did she know the amount of people that saw her as an inspiration?

Did she know how much she changed our lives? Did she know that even from the grave she’d be pushing us to be the best version of ourselves? That even from the grave she’d be inspiring us and motivating us to live our best lives?

Did she know that she was more than a mother? That she was the best teacher, friend, counselor, nurse, and so many others. 

Did she know the many roles that she played in our life? Did she know how many empty spaces she would leave behind?

Did she know that she was my hero, my person, my everything? 

Did she know all that she was? Did she know all that she was loved for? Did she know her greatness, her never-ending legacy, her joy?

Did she know that she can’t be replaced? That she can’t be forgotten? That she is missed so fiercely it changes the composition of our heart?

If not, I’m telling her now. Wherever she is. Whatever her view. I say...

Mom, you are loved and missed more powerful than words can describe. You were everything and remain everything. Your smile, your laugh, your touch and your life, are irreplaceable. You are the holder of a piece of our hearts. You are the keeper of a spot in our soul. Your absence hasn’t changed your importance, it’s solidified it. You are and have always been our everything. 

xox, Chels

Written by Chelsea Ohlemiller.

Originally published here (2019):

You Don’t Just Lose Someone Once…

 You Don’t Just Lose Someone Once…

You lose them over and over,

sometimes many times a day.

When the loss, momentarily forgotten,

creeps up,

and attacks you from behind.

Fresh waves of grief as the realization hits home,

they are gone.


You don’t just lose someone once,

you lose them every time you open your eyes to a new dawn,

and as you awaken,

so does your memory,

so does the jolting bolt of lightning that rips into your heart,

they are gone.


Losing someone is a journey,

not a one-off.

There is no end to the loss,

there is only a learned skill on how to stay afloat,

when it washes over.

Be kind to those who are sailing this stormy sea,

they have a journey ahead of them,

and a daily shock to the system each time they realize, they are gone,


You don’t just lose someone once,

you lose them every day,

for a lifetime.

Donna Ashworth 

From ‘I wish I knew’:

Art by Clouded Dreams on Etsy 

Clouded Dreams Studio

#griefquotes #grief

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Ivone Rodrigues

Ivone Rodrigues (48) of Georgia died April 11th, 2019 in the Wellstar Cobb Hospital, Austell, Georgia. 

She was born in Sao Filipe, Fogo, Cabo Verde daughter of Olivio and Clarise G. (Goncalves) Rodrigues of Brockton. Ivone loved to cook and socialize with her family and friends. 

In addition to her parents she is survived by 3 sons, Charles DeBarros, Davonne DeBarros and Marcus DeBarros all of Georgia, 2 daughters, Kayla Cannata and Kiara Rodrigues both of Georgia, 7 brothers, Joao Rodrigues, Joao Andrade, Julio Rodrigues, Arlindo Rodrigues, Jose Antonio Rodrigues, Irlando Centeio and Andre Cardoso, 5 sisters, Ilione Rodrigues, Regina Rodrigues, Carla Rodrigues, Landa Cardoso and Maria Rosa Soares, 2 grandchildren, James Cannata and Mah'Lyse Cannata, many nieces and nephews. 

Services in the Home of Funerarias Multi Culturel 238 Court Street Brockton Wednesday April 17th at 9:30 am. Followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Edith Stein Church 71 E Main Street Brockton at 10: 30 am. Burial will follow in Melrose Cemetery. Visitation in the Funeral Home Tuesday April 16th from 6-9 pm.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Frederick C. "Sonny" Mercier, Jr.

In Loving Memory of
Frederick C. "Sonny" Mercier, Jr.

Frederick C. “Sonny” Mercier, Jr., age 88, of Brockton, died unexpectedly, February 11, 2019, at Good Samaritan Medical Center. Sonny was the loving husband for 58 years of Beverly (Bishop) Mercier. Born, raised and educated in Brockton, he was the son of the late Frederick C. and Helen R. (Frawley) Mercier. Sonny served in Austria with the Army during the Korean War and was a longtime member of the Whitman VFW and Easton American Legion. For 32 years, he worked in construction with his father at FC Mercier & Son and retired in 1995 after working with his sons for 16 years at Mercier Garage.

A cowboy at heart, he loved horses and old westerns. He also enjoyed summers in Mashpee, fishing, hunting, antique cars and his dogs, especially his latest companion Pippin. He was an avid storyteller, recounting his many colorful stories to whoever would listen. Spending time with his family was most important to him. He was especially proud of his five grandchildren, spoiling them every chance he got and watching them grow into accomplished young adults. He was loved and respected by many dear friends.

Sonny is survived by his children Fred C. Mercier, III and his wife Peg of East Bridgewater, John F. Mercier of Brockton, and Beth A. Boucher and her husband Bob of Brockton and grandchildren Kate and Ryan Mercier and Sarah, Kyle and Alaina Boucher. He was the brother of Beverly A. Bercovitz of Easton, Audrey Hood of East Bridgewater and the late Charlotte Vose; brother in law of Claire Cummings, Lois Bishop, James Bishop and his wife Colleen all of Brockton and the late Dennis Bishop and Lawrence Cummings. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Visiting Hours will be held in the Conley Funeral Home, 138 Belmont Street (Rte 123) Brockton, Thursday 4-8pm. The funeral procession will gather at the funeral home Friday at 9:30am for a funeral Mass in Our Lady of Lourdes Church at 10:30am. Burial will follow in Pine Hill Cemetery. Donations in Sonny’s name may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Operation Smile, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Joan E. (Foster) Chassey

Joan E. (Foster) Chassey, of Middleboro, formerly of Brockton, passed away on Monday, October 29, 2018 at the age of 82. The former wife of Phillip E.S. Chassey of Taunton. The loving Mother of Phillip E.F. 3rd Chassey of East Bridgewater, Craig Chassey of Brockton, Christopher Chassey of San Antonio, Texas, and the late Mark Chassey of Brockton. Grandmother of Katherine Chassey of San Antonio, Texas. Visiting hours will be held in the Sampson-Hickey-Grenier Funeral Home, 309 Main St., Brockton on Sunday, Nov. 4, 1 - 4 p.m . A graveside service will be held at Coweeset Cemetery, 875 Pearl St., Brockton, on Monday, Nov. 5, at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends respectfully invited to attend. For directions or to sign an online condolence visit
Published in The Enterprise on Nov. 2, 2018