WHAT is a HOME FUNERAL?
From the National Home Funeral Alliance: A home funeral is a family or community-centered response to death and after-death care. Most state laws support the right of the family to care for their own departed. Depending on the specifics of each state’s law, families and communities may play a key role in:
Preparing the body for burial or cremation (Bathing, dressing, anointing)
Planning and carrying out after-death rituals or ceremonies such as laying out the deceased for visitation and holding a funeral service in the home
Filing of death-related paperwork such as the death certificate and disposition permit.
Transporting the deceased to the place of burial or cremation
Facilitating the final disposition such as digging the grave in natural burial
WHAT is a HOME FUNERAL GUIDE?
A Home Funeral Guide is an advocate and educator that empowers families in all aspects of after-death care and family-led funerals. From the National Home Funeral Alliance; "Home Funeral Guides do not seek to conduct the after-death care themselves. Home Funeral Guides believe that after-death care is most meaningful when carried out by family and friends of the deceased. Home funeral guides, therefore, seek to minimize the involvement of anyone other than family and friends in after-death care. They are guides and not directors."
IS IT LEGAL?
Home Funerals and family-led after-death care are legal in almost all 50 states, and embalming is not required unless under special circumstances involving certain communicable diseases and long-distance transport.
WHAT is the PROCESS of a HOME FUNERAL?
1. We meet to discuss all aspects of your home funeral, ideally several weeks before a death is expected to formulate an ideal death-care plan.
2. After the death has occurred, we will arrive at your home within 4 hours of transition, often sooner.
3. We will guide you to bathe, anoint, and dress the body in preparatin for the in-home wake.
4. The body is kept cool with dry ice during the 1-3 day vigil.
5. A guide will help you complete all necessary paperwork, including the Death Certificate and Disposition Permit.
6. Disposition arrangements are made (burial, green burial, or cremation).
7. A cardboard casket, pine box, or shroud are delivered to the home to be decorated by family and friends.
8. A funeral is held at the home or other location.
9. The body is transported to a cemetery or crematorium for final disposition.
ARE HOME FUNERALS APPROPRIATE for CHILDREN?
Providing loving after-death care in the home affords a unique parenting opportunity to guide your child through grief in a private setting without the time constraints of a modern funeral. Children are able to experience the reality of death in a calm, familiar environment that helps to facilitate a greater acceptance of the loss. Engaging in prayer and ritual together can be very healing for families as the burden of responsibility is shared and grieving becomes truly communal, rich with support.
WHAT does a HOME FUNERAL COST?
While costs may vary widely from family to family, home funerals generally cost significantly less than "conventional" funerals. Today's funeral costs an average of $7,000 to $10,000, whereas a home funeral with cremation can be achieved for as little as $2,000.
WHAT is a DEATH DOULA?
A Death Doula acts as an advocate, educator, and companion to the dying. We fill the gaps in palliative care so that families are free to hold hands and be truly present while the midwife can focus on the more subtle and often ignored aspects of both physiological and spiritual comfort beyond what hospice provides. With a death plan in place, the guesswork surrounding what a loved one might want is greatly lessened. A Death Doula can help lead the dying and their families through ritual to say goodbye and make transitioning as peaceful as possible.