Connection and Kindness: How We’re Different

We love feedback and part of my job at O’Connor is to meet with families we have recently served to collect their responses, experiences & stories of their time with us.


I love asking the question,

“So, why O’Connor?”

Many families have had a previous experience with us and we are who they trust. Some chose us because of what  I call “The Six Degrees of O’Connor” – their kids went to school with one of the O’Connor children or grandchildren, or they know Joe & Jane O’Connor from church, their community or other organizations.  Other people I sit with mention driving by for years and knowing this is where they would come when they needed a mortuary.

Recently there has been a trend on an answer that makes me so proud. “Out of the three mortuaries we interviewed, O’Connor was the only one who asked about our loved one.”

Isn’t that sad? If we aren’t in this business to connect with others and care about the loss that has been suffered, we shouldn’t be doing this.

Photo Courtesy of ©


I’ve found that most of the people calling the mortuary for the first time have a need to talk through what has just happened to them, what they’ve just lost. While they may call with the goal of obtaining the cost for our services, once they are treated with kindness and compassion – and not as a transaction – they are able to talk about what really matters.  Once the conversation moves into their life and that of the dear one they have lost, I’ve noticed a marked relaxation in the voice on the other end of the line, they are connecting with me, I am a person, not the credit card machine they talked to at the other place.

This idea of connection and kindness translates into any interaction. I recently decided to try a new dry cleaner. I first walked in and saw the racks were full of clothes – this indicated to me they have many satisfied clients and I quickly learned why this is the case. The owner, Jenny, is the sweetest lady and was concerned that one of my suits still had the tags on it. “Have you tried this on? It’s okay?” She showed concern over removing tags until she knew I was pleased with my purchase. Her concern for her clients is what has brings her so much repeat business. We are people to her, not a transaction.


When I moved to Aliso Viejo several months ago, I had to find a kennel to board my dogs for a few days during the moving process. I went and toured a facility called Pet Suites. I was not only impressed by how clean it was, but by the active interest they took in my dogs from the start.

Now Pet Suites is the only place I would take Max and Bella for boarding or a day of “doggie daycare”.  They call my dogs the “Bristol Kids” when they come in and at the end of the day when I pick them up I get a full report on how they played, if they didn’t act quite right or if Max had to be pulled out for bad behavior.

They have made a connection by treating my dogs as if they are part of their family.

We are not just a transaction to them.

Treating people with kindness should always be our highest goal. It is the lasting impression I want anyone calling O’Connor to have.  Another proud moment for me when meeting with families is when they say “Everyone here is just so nice.” Those are lasting memories they take away.

 || what do you think?

Can you remember a time you were treated as a credit card instead of a person?

Have you stopped using a business you relied on for years after realizing they no longer made an effort to maintain a connection?

Has your family been served by O’Connor Mortuary? Please share your stories of who left a lasting impression on you.

Molly Keating
Molly Keating
Molly grew up in and around funeral homes her entire life. In 2009 she began working for O'Connor Mortuary and found a bridge between her passion for writing and her interest in grief and bereavement. In 2016 she earned Certification in the field of Thanatology, the study of Death, Dying and Bereavement. She is honored to be able to write about these taboo topics with knowledge, compassion, and a unique perspective.


  1. Amy says:

    It is such a good feeling to work for such an amazing organization that puts families first. To know that families can trust us with their most prized possession during one of the of the most difficult times in their life.
    Getting the feedback from our families allows us the opportunity to sharpen our skill and improve. Without that we wouldn’t be successful.
    We have all been on the receiving end of bad service. Once you receive flawless service there is no reason to expect anything less.
    Thank you for what you do to serve our families.

    • Lori says:

      I think you and I are both in seasons where we are more grateful than ever for O’Connor compassion, care and service. We will not have to go through the process that many of the families we serve do of interviewing providers.
      I find great peace in knowing The Covington has our number should anything happen to my Grandma before she goes back home.

      I can’t tell you how much I enjoy sitting with families and hearing of their experiences. It makes me more proud than ever of the O’Connor team. The feedback is positive the majority of the time. I would say we are doing something right!

      I appreciate your gratitude, but truly, I love each aspect of my job. I get paid to sit and talk to people! I could not have spoken a better position for me into existence.

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