Mourning Coffee with Tracy Lee

Recent Articles


There are five powers that you can claim and utilize to ward off Complicated Grief. These five powers should be claimed and implemented at the onset of loss, however, if you find that you are discovering them later on, later is better than never. The key is to remain steady in your endeavor to recover by seeking and adopting these powers. Decide from the onset that you will recover from this loss and do all that you can to avoid complicated grief. The five powers are knowledge, truth, organization, support, and spirituality. Continue Reading →

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In my funeral and grief counseling practice, clients often ask me how to recognize when they should seek professional assistance with grief. The following five factors are my “Go-To” list for consideration. If a survivor finds that any of these factors apply, I suggest that they consider enlisting assistance with grief recovery immediately. FACTORS THAT HINDER RECOVERY

Overworking oneselfAbusing drugs, alcohol, or other substancesCompulsive behaviorAvoiding emotionsMinimizing feelings

If you recognize any of the above symptoms, talk to a mental health professional right away. Left untreated, complicated grief and depression can lead to significant emotional and physical health issues and even suicide. Continue Reading →

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Sunday was my birthday. I woke up early, showered, and as I gathered my church clothes, I realized I needed something out of the laundry. It just so happens that my personal laundry machines are right next to my work laundry machines which are located in my embalming room. I walked the distance from one end of my building, where my apartment is located, to the other end of my building, where my embalming room is located. I reached into my pocket for the embalming room key and unlocked the door. 

As I entered the room, I noticed that overnight, our first call man had had a busy shift picking up decedents. Continue Reading →

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I buried a man this past week who as a young child was adopted. His children wanted his biological parents, as well as his adopted parents, listed on his death certificates. Unfortunately, death certificates in the state of Texas, and I believe nationwide, do not allow this. Perhaps death certificates restrict listing adoption information in order to protect the biological family’s secrets. Maybe it is restricted to protect the adoptive family as well. Continue Reading →

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This week is the 20th anniversary of September 11th; the worst enemy attack ever on America’s mainland by terrorists. Surprisingly, there will be those who will observe today by going about their lives as usual. For me that is not possible. I remember the moment the attacks took place. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. Continue Reading →

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Through my practice as a grief counselor, I have met and spoken with many people who do not believe in a deity. To me, these individuals are the saddest survivors of all. When their loved ones die, they are quite often more confused, more wounded, and more afraid than survivors who are more spiritually leaning. 

Initially, non-believer sessions are consumed with questions about the hereafter. As I observe them, I see that they are formulating an acceptable scenario within themselves about what has happened to their loved one and what will someday happen to them. After they reach a place of peace, I find that many of them, if not most of them, have transitioned to a place of spiritual growth. Continue Reading →

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I am not a doctor, but I see from a unique angle, the fallout from the COVID pandemic. COVID-19 has been a beast of an illness for some. For others, not so much. As a funeral director, I see the uptick and decline in deaths in a real-time situation, especially in the area in which I live. I understand that people are afraid of the vaccine. Continue Reading →

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There are times in life when you are pleasantly surprised. For me, yesterday was one of those days. My day began as many do for a funeral director, with a flurry of families and mountains of paperwork. Yesterday, however, took a turn that was quite surprising. 

As I headed into my office, my number one priority for the day was a client in flight from the west coast to the Dallas/Ft Worth airport. My transport driver left East Texas at 4:30 AM. Continue Reading →

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Earlier this year I had the privilege of being in Maryland for my granddaughter’s birth. While I was there, my husband and I wanted to take our other grandchildren, her siblings, to Chesapeake Bay to walk the pier and enjoy ice cream sundaes together. 

As we walked the pier, enjoying the cool breeze and melodious songbirds, we noticed that the benches lining the walk had memorial plaques on them. Our grandchildren are homeschooled, so we decided to practice reading the plaques as a language arts activity. 

Many of the plaques were in honor of military personnel, some were for grandparents who loved the beach, and others had meaningful quotes. The most profound one on the pier that remains with me today, read as follows: 

CDR Dan Shanower

Killed by cowards on 9/11/2001

“Freedom Isn’t Free”

I have always been a very patriotic person. I love America and all that she stands for. Continue Reading →

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Although it may not seem like it, overcoming grief is possible. Sometimes, you may feel as though overcoming your grief is a betrayal to your loved one. Let me assure you this is not true. You may worry that recovery indicates that you have stopped loving your loved one. This is also untrue. Continue Reading →

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