This site provides a listing of people who are in service to the dying as Home Funeral Guides or Midwives or Doulas to the Dying. The listings on the site are free, and one person is not recommended over another.
What is a home funeral?
A home funeral can span the time from when a person is first diagnosed with a terminal disease to the funeral itself. In the process family and friends care for a loved one as they are dying and/or after their death.
This care can occur in a home, or in a medical facility if allowed. The emphasis is on respectful, non-invasive and environmentally-friendly care.
After-death care may include:
· preparing the body by bathing, dressing and laying out for visitation or vigil
· filing necessary certificates or permits
· facilitating the final disposition of burial or cremation
· hiring professionals for specific tasks or products
What is a home funeral guide?
A home funeral guide offers support and assistance to family and friends to carry out after-death care. Their goal is to facilitate maximum involvement of the family in charge of the funeral process, and their community. Some home funeral guides are also death midwives.
What is a Death Midwife, Soul Midwife or Doula to the Dying?
A death midwife is a person who guides and supports the dying person and/or their families in order to facilitate a gentle and tranquil death. This may include focus on the spiritual aspects of dying as the soul moves out of the body and beyond. Some death midwives are also home funeral guides.
Below is a short (5 min) CBS news report about a home funerals that will provide you with a quick summary of what can be involved when family and friends provide after-death care for a loved one.
While we maintain this website, we are not familiar with the funeral laws in your area. Please consult your local authorities or a home funeral guide near you to find out what might be required in your area.
If you are in the US, the Funeral Consumer Alliance (FCA) website (http://funerals.org) for more information. There are affiliates or chapters in almost every state, and your local FCA chapter could give you specific information. And state-by-state laws related to home funerals can be found at http://funeralethics.org.rights. Also, Lisa Carlson, co-author with Joshua Slocum of Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death, is an excellent resource to consumers.
We hope this site serves you well.
Donna Belk and Sandy Booth,