Kevin M. O’Connor is the author of "Two Floors above Grief: A Memoir of Two Families in the Unique Place We Called Home." His prior writing includes a dissertation, personal letters, articles in professional publications, anthologies, and presentations delivered at conferences, seminars, and webinars. Raised as the son of a Chicago suburban undertaker, O’Connor built a fifty-year career as an elementary teacher, principal, and graduate instructor in California, Illinois, and Florida. He enjoys chronicling the stories of families and friends through genealogical histories. He provides training in university and professional settings. His most recent seminar and course work is "Enrich Your Family History: Organize Your Ancestors' Letters." He also sings and performs in theaters. He resides in Ft. Lauderdale with his husband, Leon. Their family includes five sons and seven granddaughters. He references further connections to his writings, continues his stories, and highlights his perspectives at www.kevinoconnorauthor.com.
Two Floors Above Grief: A Memoir of Two Families in the Unique Place We Called Home
As a child in the 1950s, Kevin O’Connor knew his house was different than his friends.
A stately, three-story, nineteenth-century Victorian. His bed was tucked next to a stage in a former ballroom. His uncle and aunt lived with their three daughters on the floor below. A sizeable electric organ in a bay window of the first-floor mortuary business. Stacked caskets and an embalming room in the basement.
Nobody had a house like his.
Set from the 1920s to ‘80s, Two Floors Above Grief is full of fascinating details and anecdotes about life as a funeral home child, brought to vivid life through a compelling collection of letters written by O’Connor and various family members who lived and worked together at the O’Connor Funeral Home in Elgin, Illinois. Blending the twenty-four-hour business of death and its constantly ringing phone with the joy experienced by his families through music, pets, backyard basketball games, co-parenting, faith, and celebrations, O’Connor offers a reflective love letter to the affirmation of family love and embracing life.