Home Funeral

Articles, blogs, resources around home funerals.

Highlights From the NHFA Conference!

About 120 people from 3 countries gathered last weekend near Baltimore, Maryland for the National Home Funeral Alliance Conference.  The conference was both inspiring and practical, a wonderful chance to learn from experts and network with other Home Funeral Guides and progressive Funeral Directors. Friendships were strengthened and new friends were made as we continue to support one another in this movement!

TSC played a vital role as the ‘boots on the ground’ team to support many of the logistics for the conference. We created a community altar, a Before I Die chalkboard wall so participants could record their wishes, stuffed the official NHFA swag bags with promotional materials, coordinated registration, recruited vendors, and opened and closed each day with centering exercises as well as evening storytelling around the bonfire. In addition, we facilitated a session on Starting a Threshold Group!

The expert panels included 3 religious leaders sharing Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim perspectives on after death care; advocacy advice from the Institute for Justice, Director of the Funeral Consumer’s Alliance Josh Slocum, and a legal historian of funeral care; a panel on building bridges to hospices and hospitals; and a panel focusing on working with authorities including the Director of the MD Mortuary Board and the Medical Examiner’s Office.

Skills sessions included Body Care, Creating Memorial Ceremonies, Pet Home Funerals, Self Care, Home Funeral Storytelling , and Starting a Threshold Support Group.

In addition, 3 films were screened: “In the Parlor” by Home Funeral Guide Heidi Boucher, “Zen and the Art of Dying” a documentary about the Australian deathwalker Zenith Virago, and “The Art of Natural Death Care” by Katelyn La Grega. Heidi and Zenith were present at the conference and offered a question and answer session together.

Join the now over 1,400 NHFA members in this movement. Membership is free! www.homefuneralalliance.org

Some photos from the conference:

Sacred Altar

Body Care with Claire Turnham and Jerrigrace Lyons



Before I Die Wall

Heidi Boucher with her film In the Parlor


     Jerrigrace Lyons

Old and New Friends: Kim Adams, Zenith Virago, Peg Lorenz, Nina Thompson, Lee Roark

      NHFA Coffin               

Pia Interlandi’s Garments for the Grave

Silent Auction Room


Wool baby coffins from Bellacouche

Panel of Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim perspectives on after death care (David Zinner, Lucinda Herring, and NoorudDean Abu Ibraheem)

A Home Funeral Documentary

In The Parlor: The Final Goodbye

This is a wonderful documentary highlighting the growing sentiment that home funeral care is the last gift we can give out loved ones, and ourselves.

“Rejecting the mainstream tradition of hiring funeral professionals to care for the deceased, families in search of a more personal and fulfilling way to say goodbye are taking an active role in caring for relatives who have died.

Both a critical look at the American relationship with death and an inquiry into the home death care movement, In The Parlor: The Final Goodbye takes viewers on a journey where very few have gone, and challenges us to reflect on this uncomfortable subject, which so often is hidden away and ignored.” — http://intheparlordoc.com/

Congratulations to Amy Cunningham

The Threshold Support Circle would like to congratulate New York state licensed funeral director, and fellow TSC colleague, Amy Cunningham on being listed as one of the the “Nine Most Innovative Funeral Professionals” in the country by FuneralOne, a leading voice for change in the funeral industry.

Take a moment to check out Amy’s blog The Inspired Funeral

A Will for the Woods is a must see documentary!

This is an eye-opening, engaging film, that showcases one man’s commitment to change how his community thinks about modern day funeral methods and the impact they have on our environment. The documentary focuses on Clark Wang, a musician and psychiatrist, who has been battling lymphoma for the last seven years. He has come to terms with the idea that he will most likely lose his fight and his burial would be the final outcome. This has given him time to examine and reflect on how his own death would impact the environment. He decides that his final act will be one that will in his words “set a pattern” in his community of going back to “traditional and natural ways of handling our dead”. This is a must see documentary that will have you reflecting on what you want your legacy to be, how we in our own communities can change the way we care for each other in death as we have in life, and ensure that our passing will leave a positive impact on the world we leave behind.

A Will for the Woods – Official Trailer from A Will for the Woods on Vimeo.

Please visit the official website for all the directions on where you can find the film: www.awillforthewoods.com

A note from the A Will for the Woods team:

“If you are outside the US and Canada, we anticipate that the online and DVD version of the film will be released around the entire world this April. However, the film is available everywhere for community screenings. Please visit the SEE page on our website to find out how you can bring the film to your area and discover all the countries we are already visiting this year, including Australia, South Africa, and the UK!

Love from the A Will for the Woods team,
Amy, Jeremy, Tony, and Brian”