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End-of-Life Doula Training and Referral, since 2016
Advance Care Planning, since 2014
Death Cafe, since 2012
Home Funeral and Green Burial, since 2009
About Home Funeral:
Contrary to popular belief, embalming, cremation or burial is not required within 24, or even 48, hours of death under most circumstances. Families can care for their own loved one in the home after death. This is what everyone did three to four generations ago, and what many people still do throughout the world. It’s called a “home funeral.” With proper care it is safe, simple, inexpensive and legal. I have provided information and consultation to over 50 families, through in-person or phone consultation, so they could thoroughly prepare for and understand how to care for their own dead at home, whether the death was anticipated or sudden.
I also teach about and advocate for green burial. In June 2015 I spoke at the Michigan Association of Municipal Cemeteries annual conference. I have consulted with several other Michigan cemeteries. I served on the Board of Directors of the Green Burial Council and the National Home Funeral Alliance.
The benefits of home funeral and green burial include personal expression of grief in a relaxed and loving atmosphere, the love and honor that only family members can provide, inclusion of the family and the community, and an easier grief journey for those involved. Both options offer environmental benefits as well. Read more about Green Burial here.
What is a Home Funeral?
A home funeral is a loving way to honor and care for your loved one after death. It can include any of the following:
• Bringing the body home (if not already at home)
• Washing and dressing the body
• Laying the body out on a bed or sofa in the bedroom or living room
• Cooling the body with dry ice
• Inviting friends and family to a home visitation or wake
• Having a funeral service at home or in a place of worship
• Having a green burial, either on your own property or in a cemetery.
Embalming is rarely required; however, most funeral homes will not allow a public visitation without it. In Michigan (according to state law) a funeral director must be hired to sign the death certificate and supervise the transport the body to the cemetery or crematory. There are several local funeral directors who are supportive of home funeral. Please contact After Death Home Care for referrals.
After Death Home Care is sensitive to Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Native American, Anthroposophic, and other traditions concerning death care and encourages you to observe your particular cultural practices in caring for your loved one.