Threshold Support Circle provides a forum and resources to explore end-of-life issues and after-death care. We believe that life can be lived more fully when we befriend and come to terms with the reality of death as part of the natural cycle of life. We offer opportunities to discuss options, ask questions, learn new skills, and share stories of personal experience.
- Create a local community to educate individuals and families about their options in after-death care
- Share opportunities to create meaningful rituals for celebrating loved ones before and after death
- Provide information about the spiritual, emotional, ecological and economic benefits of caring for our own at death
- Offer workshops and events to support caregivers, family members and friends dealing with death, loss and grief
Our regularly scheduled events include guest speakers, workshops, film screenings and themed discussions. As members of the National Home Funeral Alliance (NHFA,) the Funeral Consumers Alliance and Green Burial Council, we share resources from the growing home funeral and green burial movements.
“Far beyond where winds have blown, waking into realms unknown
Footsteps free of space and time, silent thunder, holy mind
In the heart a song of peace and mercy calling me back home.” — Michael Stillwater
Home Funerals – Reclaiming an American Tradition
Background and Benefits of Home Funerals
Until the late nineteenth century, Americans most often died, as they had been born, in their own homes, cared for by their family and community members. After a death, the family washed and laid out the body, dressed or draped it, and ordered the coffin from the local carpenter. Family and friends carried the coffin to the graveyard and often dug the grave themselves. Dying, like birthing, was integrated into living. Families caring for their own at death were able to take the time they needed and begin to heal as they engaged in these last acts of love.
Today we all have the right to choose natural death care and a home funeral for ourselves and for our loved ones. Family members are empowered to direct the arrangements and take the time they need to say goodbye. With the support of friends and community members, the family provides respectful and compassionate care of the body and may hold a ceremony or vigil in the intimacy of a home or nursing home. A more formal religious service may follow, before cremation or burial. Some funeral homes support family directed natural death care, by providing such services as transportation. Those who choose home funerals appreciate the freedom to honor their loved one in a uniquely meaningful way, to slow the pace, encourage participation of family and friends, control the budget and be environmentally responsible.