"Running my own wedding planning firm for the past seven years had afforded me the unique opportunity to work with families intimately to help their dreams come true. Being able to apply these skills to my true calling - empowering families at the end of life and beyond - is an honor, and my dream come to life."
Home Funeral Guide
As a child, Christina held no shortage of curiosity surrounding death and its inherent power, as she'd always felt deeply tied to the Earth. This captivation only intensified following the death of her beloved grandmother and primary caregiver at the age of 12, which remained an imprint riddled with unresolved grief. She had been kept out of the lines of communication surrounding Elizabeth's enduring breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent battle, and when death held the whisper of imminence, she simply disappeared. There were no good-bye's at the hospital. No thank you's to be said for the role she had stepped into as mother for one who could not. No funeral to ruminate upon the profound space she'd held in two little girl's lives. She was gone without a trace, without discussion.
After being awarded an academic scholarship to UCLA, Christina went on to pursue the study of Psychology in an effort to make sense of some of the tragedies of her younger years. This opening of wounds led to an intrinsic pursuit of the arts that culminated in several long-term commissioned projects, eventually evolving into a full service wedding and event planning company. While the light and love of the wedding world filled her life with an abundance of joy, she continued to be pulled toward the great abyss of mortality. She found herself teetering over the edge once more with the unexpected death of her father.
As the next of kin, Christina descended into the world of the funeral industry to fulfill the suspected wishes of her mostly unknown father. She found herself thoroughly perplexed by decisions to be made. Open casket or closed? How long would they need the viewing room for? So many questions. So many timelines. So few answers. She found herself once more, harshly confronted by the American way of death...that is denial.
The day of the funeral, she arrived early to prepare herself for the ominous open casket, and took to task readying the room at the farthest perimeter. As she drew closer to the husk of the man she'd only known the shadow of, the air buzzed as the iron weight of the unknown rang in her ears. There he lay, like a clay reproduction of a Civil War soldier. Thicker than thick costume makeup coated his face and and hands, his mouth sat frozen, uncomfortably clenched. They had reconstructed his face so her little sister could see the father she never knew one last time . She wanted to care for him, be with him...take him home and get to know some semblance of him. Memorize the deep wrinkles in his furrowed brow that she was never able to study in life. In death, he was hers. Until half past 11 when the grieving was scheduled to conclude, for funeral homes are busy places.
The next few years were colored by great periods of growth and a brush with her own mortality after becoming debilitated as a result of an undiagnosed illness. It was during this time of reflection and healing that a window was opened in her mind. She began to clear all pathways that kept her sequestered from the Earth, as she was beckoned by the calls of her Sioux ancestry. And as often happens when we become deeply rooted in the Earth, so then death became teacher and friend. She began to study herbalism with Michael Tierra to heal her body. Jung, and Clarissa Pinola Estes, and anthroposophy to heal her mind, shamanic rituals to heal her spirit, and eventually death and dying with JerriGrace Lyons to release her grief and transmute past suffering into the power to help heal others. An ordained inter-faith Minister, Herbalist, and Reiki healer, Christina lives in Belmont Shore, CA with her two pugs and a man that loves her. She hopes to bring families peace and comfort in times of sorrow, so that all of our souls may fly free.
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
MARY ELIZABETH FRYE