Welcome to MDOC

As survivors of early mother loss, what we all want is to keep our mothers alive! The Orange County Chapter of Motherless Daughters is an organization that serves to metaphorically and symbolically keep our memories and relationships with our mothers alive. MDOC is a non profit organization for women and young girls, who were age 21 or younger, when they lost their mothers through death. Through MDOC, we are committed to providing a healing, supportive, and nurturing environment for our “Sisters at Heart.” Throughout the year, we provide activities and events to help us remember the special woman who welcomed us into the world, and whose untimely death altered our lives forever. We love; we remember. Although we wish it had been different, the interaction with other motherless daughters helps validate our experiences. MDOC provides a sounding board where we can tell our stories, share our pain, and heal our wounded hearts. Collectively, MDOC helps us stay connected to what we had, as well as help navigate the direction of our future.

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Conference Wrap Up

Dear Conference Attendees,

The flights home have been completed, the blog posts and articles are being written, and I’ve taken some good long recovery naps…so now feels like a good right time to thank you all again, so very much, for being part of the Motherless Daughters Anniversary Conference last Saturday. I hope it was a worthwhile and memorable experience for you all. I know it was for me, and each and every one of you took part in making it that way.


Irene has posted conference photos over at the Motherless Daughters of Los Angeles page, and we’ll be posting Cheryl’s speech online soon for everyone who couldn’t make it, or who wants to hear it again.
Conference attendee Marisa Ramel Bardach did a beautiful write-up about the conference over at Modern Loss, which you can read here. And look for Samantha Dunn’s piece coming soon in the Orange County Register.
Speaking of Orange County — let’s wish all the women of MDOC a beautiful Motherless Daughters’ Day Luncheon when they hold theirs tomorrow!


I mentioned at the conference that we might have one spot open on the Peru trek from July 29 to August 9, and it turns out that we do. If you’re interested, you can read about all the details here, and if you have questions or want to join us, please contact me at hopeedelman@gmail.com or Allison Gilbert at allison@allisongilbert.com for more information and the registration link. Since there’s only one spot and it’s open enrollment, we’ll offer it on a first-come, first-served basis — so if you think you want to join us, please contact one of us soon!


Several conference attendees mentioned they’d like to start a Motherless Daughters group back at home. General instructions for how to start a group are printed in the back of the new edition of Letters from Motherless Daughters. I can also send them to you via email. Send an email request to hopeedelman@gmail.com and I’ll get the document out to you. You might first want to check to see if there’s already a local support group operating through independent means or through Meetup.com. Sometimes it’s easier to join up with an existing group than to start one.


Irene and I will be retiring this email address soon, but you can stay in touch with me through my regular Gmail address and my web site, and with Irene through Motherless Daughters of Los Angeles. If you’re local to Southern California, don’t forget to sign up for her mailing list or the one over at MDOC to participate in next year’s luncheons!
Sending you all best wishes for a peaceful and joyous summer,
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Motherless Daughters Day Luncheon 2017

Motherless Daughters Day Luncheon

Saturday, May 13, 2017

11:30am – 2:30pm

Venue: Costa Mesa Country Club

1701 Golf Course Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626   714-540-7500

Our guest speaker, Claire Bidwell Smith is the author of The Rules of Inheritance (Penguin 2012) and After This (Penguin, 2015). The Rules of Inheritance has been published in 17 countries and is currently being adapted for film. Claire has a masters degree in clinical psychology and works in private practice, specializing in grief. She regularly teaches writing workshops and gives talks on both writing and grief.

Please feel free to bring a photo or remembrance of your mother to share.

Message from the Host

Thank you very much for your prompt RSVP that will allow us to plan accordingly.

Please submit your check in the amount of $25 prior to May 1, 2017 to:

Debbie Siciliani c/o:  MDOC

2 Arado, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

Question or dietary restrictions may be directed to Laura Gibson via email at: motherlessdaughters@yahoo.com

Look forward to seeing you!


 Costa Mesa Country Club
1701 Golf Course Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626




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Motherless Daughters Conference in Los Angeles

As many of you already know, this May 10 will mark the 20th Anniversary of Motherless Daughters. It will also mark the very first Motherless Daughters Conference in Los Angeles, a full day of workshops, lectures, and talks about early mother loss co-hosted by myself and Irene Rubaum-Keller, MFT, the founder of Motherless Daughters of Los Angeles. It will also include the annual Motherless Daughters Day luncheon and Circle of Remembrance, which the Los Angeles group will be sharing with motherless women from all over the country this year.
Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild, will be our keynote speaker. Workshop leaders and panelists will include Jennifer Lauck (Blackbird), Claire Bidwell Smith (The Rules of Inheritance) and Allison Gilbert (Parentless Parents).
Because you have been a longtime supporter of Motherless Daughters and its associated activities, you are invited to take part in a special Advance Registration period. The web site will be widely publicized starting in two days, but if you’d like to register early you will be guaranteed a spot. We’re expecting the conference to fill fast, so if you know you want to join us–please don’t hesitate!
More information is available at the conference web site, http://www.motherlessdaughtersconference.com.
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MDOC “Sisters at Heart”

A very special thanks goes to Cathy Draeger for bringing new ideas to our chapter. Thanks to Cathy we now have a new logo, beautiful brochures that have been professional done, pens and shopping bags with MDOC new logo and our website information printed on them to distribute and get the word out that we are stronger than ever before. This will enable us to continue our activities in our effort to reach out to other motherless daughters. Cathy has also been very generous in opening up her home for our Continuing Bonds series and the Remembering through Art workshops.

MDOC would like to give a big thanks the new officers and new board members for stepping up in supporting our chapter MDOC to a bright and new future for all motherless daughters.

Pass President  Cathy Draeger

Secretary  Laura Gibson

Treasurer  Tara Penton

Members of the Board  Cindy Hallgren, Ilene Osran, Randi Rubin


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