Celebrating Life


Most of the time, the loss of a loved one is a time of mourning, sorrow and questioning. But often times, we look at this painful time as celebration of life and legacy that he/she has impacted on our lives. We celebrate the love and memory of our loss to carry us through this difficult time.

Todd’s in-law family has gathered together to pay respects to the loss of a loving uncle, brother and man, Dean. Because of this loss, we are again reminded of how valuable every moment of life is, how precious loved ones are to our daily breath and how we should celebrate each passing minute that we have with each other.


After several days of intense funeral planning and estate organization, the family took a much needed break from the chaotic week. We all decided to visit the tidepools at Crystal Cove State Park, hoping to find ocean life lurking behind the rocky crevices of the seawater filled pools. This refreshing get away exposed us to beautiful life brimming and basking in the warm sunshine: barnacles, sea anemones, mussels, sea snails, crabs and starfish, all living a glorious life in this unique ocean habitat.

Everyone found their special place along the beach and at the tidepools. The kids played in the water, dug in the sand and chased miniature crabs in the tidepools. The adults took in a deep breath of the ocean air and found peace in the crashing waves, the beautiful sights of birds skimming the water and life inside the rocky pools.


Both Todd and I photographed and shot video footage of each special moment and indulged ourselves in the beautiful, gorgeous and healing sunset. This evening was a celebration of family, friendship, love and life.

Photos at Crystal Cove State Park

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Paula Maack

    This is such a gorgeous post. The sentiment is so beautiful, one can’t help but be touched by the message hope.

    My condolences and blessings to you and yours. I applaud your celebration of life! That’s what it’s all about.

    All my best,

    ~ Paula

  2. Simply...Gluten-free

    I am sorry for oyur loss but applaude your celebration. Lovely post.

  3. Food Woolf

    There’s something about being near the ocean that just tells our souls that we are not alone and that everything is going to be fine. What amazing, beautiful photos. So wonderful to be by the ocean with you and Todd’s family. My heart goes out to you all. Hugs, B

  4. veron

    My deepest sympathies. times like these are when we realize what matters most in life…

  5. White on Rice Couple

    Thanks again for all of the well wishes. It truly shows how warm and caring the blogging community is. Hugs for everyone. Todd.

  6. Judy

    So sorry for your loss but what an incredible way to celebrate life!

  7. barbara

    I’m sorry for your loss. There is nothing like the ocean at a time like this. Most afternoons I go down and sit on the beach and watch the waves for a little while. It always makes my day better.

  8. Leah

    You’ve captured an incredibly tender moment beautifully, yet again. My heart is with you in your time of mourning, and in counting my blessings I just want you both to know how grateful I am to have you as friends.


  9. matt wright

    Amazing post guys. Brought a tear to my otherwise normally completely dry eyes.

    Fantastic photos – love the shots of Todd, and the nippers playing in the water.

    You guys seem to spend a lot of time jumping on the beach 😀

  10. krysta

    i’m so sorry you two. words are never enough at a time like this so i just wanted to know i will be thinking about you.

  11. Robin

    I’m so sorry for your family’s loss, but happy that you all had the good sense to take some time away together and celebrate life. Best wishes, you guys.

  12. Julie

    So sorry to hear about your loss. Hugs to you both.

  13. White on Rice Couple

    Thank you everyone for your well wishes. Uncle Dean being my brother-in-law’s uncle, we hadn’t known him all that long, but in the brief time that we were able to spend with him, it was easy to see he was a warm, kind hearted soul. We enjoyed having him over for dinner and wished we could spent more time with him. It was a shock for us that he passed so quickly, and I’m sure even more so for his immediate family. His passing was an ice-cold reminder to appreciate and savor our loved ones today. Thanks again for the condolences. We will pass them on to the family accompanied by warm hugs. Remember to enjoy every moment in life. Todd.

  14. Cynthia

    My sincere condolences. And thanks for the beautiful scenes of life.

  15. giz

    Very sorry for your loss. Your attitude to loss is healthy and even more so when you’re actually in the midst of it instead of giving the advice to someone else. Kudos.

  16. Diana

    What a beautiful post. I just lost my uncle a few days ago and haven’t had a chance for a celebration of his life yet, but I was very uplifted by your photos. I just posted myself about the joy we can find in these times of suffering. I’ll be praying for your family.

  17. Sandie

    My thoughts go out to you and Todd’s extended family. Saying goodbye to a loved one is one of the hardest things a person/family can go through. You are so lucky to have each other during this particular passage of time. Hugs to you both!

  18. Allen of EOL

    Hugs to you both! What a beautiful and thoughtful tribute. All the best to your family.

  19. Melody C.

    And that is the way to celebrate life and bring family together. The sunset exploration of a special beach seems an especially appropriate way to close a hectic few days that include a funeral and lots of reflective thinking.

  20. flfarmgirl

    Hugs to you for sharing and reminding us to live each day and each moment fully and to hold friends and family close.

  21. Victoria

    What a beautiful post.

    Todd’s uncle would rather be celebrated than mourned, I am sure. But that doesn’t mean he won’t be sorely missed. I send you both my sympathy and my love.

    Let’s all live life to the fullest! And I will send a toast Dean’s way.

  22. Chez Us

    Todd & Diane,

    Our deepest sympathies to you both & your family. There are never the right words to say at a time such as this, except that you are in our thoughts!
    We cannot agree more …. live everyday as it could be the last.

  23. Jacqueline

    So sorry for your loss. I hope the memories of Todd’s uncle will soften the grief. Good to remember to hug someone today!

  24. Heather

    what a lovely post. the tidepools look gorgeous. i’m really sorry for your loss of your uncle.

  25. desiree@lookiloos

    so sorry for your loss. wonderful tribute. thanks for the reminder…

  26. Nate

    I love to go to the tidepools. You see so many interesting and wonderful things down there.

  27. Amy


  28. Simone (junglefrog)

    My deepest symphaties to you for the loss of Dean and what a beautiful way to celebrate life. Loved the post, beautiful words!

  29. Melissa

    I will hug someone I love. *Hug* That beach is beautiful and so were your thoughts and photos. Thanks for sharing that with us.

  30. The Daily Colander

    Great post. Beautiful pictures. Wise words.

  31. Rita

    I think seeking nature in those times makes sense because it reminds us that life is always renewing itself (in many ways). I hug you guys, and send my best wishes to Todd’s family.

  32. jen yu

    I’m sorry, sweeties. Loss is never easy, but it looks like you all know what to do. It looks like you know what is important. I love the pic of Todd smiling. Big hugs to both of you (and nice verticals!). xxoo and extra xxoos.

  33. Happy Cook

    Sorry to hear about Todds uncle.
    I totally agree one should celebrate and enjoy the family and freinds as often as one can.

  34. Phoo-D

    Having also experienced a loss last month you have my deepest sympathies. The ocean is a beautiful and joyful way to celebrate life and feel spiritually refreshed. Thank you for sharing the touching photos and story.

  35. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy

    My deepest sympathies to you and your family. I understand only too well the pain of losing a loved one. What a lovely way to celebrate Dean’s life!

  36. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    A lovely tribute to the spirit of Todd’s uncle. My thoughts are with you both at this difficult time.

  37. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

    How lucky Dean was to have you both in his life. Beautiful tribute.

  38. Peter

    My deepest sympathies. You’ve left a touching tribute for all to see.

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