Sad Documents And Images

Final Documents, Resting Places, and Memorabilia

By Mike O'Gara, with help from siblings and other family members

This page is as much for future generations of our family as it is for the present family members. Who knows what the generations to come will make of all of this.

A few of these images are duplicated on the first page of this site.
But they seem to belong here, too, so here they are.

As on the other pages, these items are generally arranged by date.

This is our dad's death certificate.
I was the first one to reach the hospital after he died.
I didn't realize the end was that near, after so many false alarms.
I guess I was just denying reality. I'd never lost a loved one before.

It still hurts terribly that I could have been there with him at the end, and wasn't.
Even though he was so doped up with Morphine that he likely wouldn't have
known I was there, it still hurts.

I was emotionally numb as we talked to the doctor and such, that day.
But the numbness sure wore off by that evening,
when the loss came down on me like a ton of bricks.
Click for fullsize image.

The map to dad's grave. I think Maureen gave me this.
I was at the formal funeral service for Dad,
but I never went out to the cemetery out in Riverside.
My dad isn't there. His remains are, but he isn't.
Click for fullsize image.

Dad's headstone. Maureen took this picture.
He was buried in a military cemetery.
Mom told Maureen she chose that because she thought
it was what dad would have wanted.
He was always proud of his time in the Army,
and of making it to the rank of Captain.
He was buried in his old uniform.
Click for fullsize image.

Dad's World War II dog-tag.
Mom saved it for more than 45 years after the war.
She kept it in her "precious stuff" box.
I have it now. I didn't get many of dad's personal effects
when he died, so I'm happy to have this.
Click for fullsize image.

Mom's death certificate.
I was with her, holding her hand, when she died.
Tim and I were taking turns staying by her bedside in the hospital.

The end came in the night, while I was there.
Tim and his family were there earlier, but had gone home to sleep.
When they left to go sleep I doubt she knew much of anything,
since she was given enough morphine to ensure she wasn't
in pain, and wasn't responsive to anything by then.

I felt so helpless!
All I could do was hold her hand and talk to her,
but I don't think she heard or knew I was there.
Click for fullsize image.

This identifies the burial plot with mom's remains.
Her burial plot is near Tim's place in Canby, Oregon.
Mom really wanted to be buried in the Catholic cemetery,
and fortunately we were able to arrange it. The "burial policy"
she'd bought years before helped make it possible to bury her there.

Father Ed -- from her church -- presided over the service.
She really liked him, and would have been pleased at that.
He knew her quite well, so his words meant something.
Click for fullsize image.

My hand-drawn directions to mom's grave, from Tim's house in Canby.
We didn't have a separate funeral, just a ceremony at the gravesite.
Then all the folks gathered back at Tim's to remember her.
Click for fullsize image.

Mom's headstone. Tim took this picture.
As mentioned above, she was buried in a Catholic graveyard.
We all gathered at the graveside for the funeral service.
It was cold and rainy and windy. Matching our moods.

I had a hard time leaving, after the service.
I kept wanting to touch the casket, one more time.
And to remember her voice.
Click for fullsize image.

Mom's wedding rings.
She was wearing them when she died. But then, she always wore them!
She even kept wearing them after dad died.
They're almost worn through, from all the years of wearing.

I brought them back from the hospital, and all the siblings
said I could keep them.

I also saved a small lock of her hair from the hospital.
None of my siblings wanted me to split it with them.
Maybe it's meaningless, but it was part of mom.

I don't have many of mom's personal things.
We all thought it best for Tim to keep most of them,
since he lived so close and had seen her use them the most.
Click for fullsize image.

For future generations of our family:

Places change, over time.   Buildings are torn down and new larger ones built, roads are rerouted or renamed, street addresses change. Going back to "the old homestead" after 20-40 years sometimes results in not being able to find it.

GPS coordinates probably won't change. I expect them to remain constant for a very long time. Here are coordinates for a few places future family members might want to locate. Perhaps these will work even when nothing else will:

-- Mom's gravesite: N 45 degrees, 17.534 minutes; W -122 degrees, 39.272 minutes.

-- The parking lot just West of the hospital where mom died: N 45 degrees, 21.372 minutes; W -122 degrees, 35.292 minutes.

-- The street in front of the hospital where dad died: N 33.797937 degrees; W -118.302544 degrees.
(Note different numbering system for the above).

I hope to add more -- or have other family members send the information to me -- as years go by. While these locations and others can still be found.

How to save the full-size images onto your PC:

You should first have clicked on the thumbnail image, and your browser will be displaying the larger image in a new window.

Typically, depending on your browser, you then right-click on the the large image, select the "save picture as" choice, and save it to wherever you wish on your computer.   You definitely only want to save the full-size images, not the less-detailed thumbnail images.

Then close the window showing the full-size image, and you'll see the "thumbnails" page again.

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