CARE for your OWN DEAD
"Americans are the only culture who consider death optional."
- JerriGrace Lyons
Family-led death care is far from a new concept. From cradle to grave, families traditionally assumed all responsibility when it came to caring for their loved ones throughout their lives in this world and in some belief systems, part of the next. Thus, this constant immersion in the cycle of life and death likely lessened some of the trauma we now experience with respect to loss in Western society. With the often astounding accomplishments of modern medicine comes a dramatic shift in the way we view mortality. Death is treated as a failure in today's high-stakes medical climate. Our inherent connection to the cycle of life and death has been sanitized, broken. The resulting mentality is one of confusion, terror, and denial.
As many of us become more desirous of liberation from conspicuous consumption and strive to assume responsibility for the Earth, caring for our loved ones near the end of life and after they've departed becomes a natural extension of these ideals. While the idea of caring for our own dead may be anxiety-inducing at first glance, fear subsides as we are invited into a space to experience grief in our own time. As we face the unknown we establish meaningful interpretations of loss and our place in the world of the living becomes illuminated in full color. Through silence, laughter, and tears we are invited to step into our lives fully present as we reminisce about our relationship and tenderly prepare our loved one for a final goodbye.
A HOME FUNERAL as defined by the National Home Funeral Alliance’s Code of Ethics:
This is a family or community-centered response to death and after-death care. Through the millennia, this was the way we used to care for our dead; within the context of the family or the community. 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:
Planning and carrying out after-death rituals or ceremonies (such as laying out the deceased and home visitation of the body)
Preparing the body for burial and cremation
Filing of death-related paperwork such as the death certificate
Transporting the deceased to the place of burial or cremation
Facilitating the final disposition such as digging the grave at a natural burial
Home Funeral Guidance may include assistance with the following elements of a home funeral;
Based in Long Beach, CA, we are able to assist you in-person in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
Free 15 minute phone consultation to see if a home funeral is right for you (followed by an in-home consult)
Cemetery or crematorium recommendations that will fulfill your individual needs
Coordinating with applicable agencies and/or personnel to arrange transport of the decedent if necessary
Recommending dry ice vendors or supplying dry ice as needed
Arrival at the home or place of death within 3-4 hours (depending on your location, often sooner)
Loan of all supplies needed for family-led after-death care of the body
Bedside ministerial support, before and after transition
Ritual design, guidance, and leading of rituals as requested (including Sacred Bath & Anointing, Smudge & Sound, Mandala Creation, and Chakra Unwinding)*
Education and counseling regarding sacred bathing and/or anointing practices in honor of the decedent
Assistance creating sacred space and/or altars to honor your loved one
Visits to the home funeral location to oversee dry-ice preservation during the wake
Available 24/7 to answer questions and provide support via telephone and email
Guidance completing required paperwork (such as the death certificate; disposition permit and cremation authorization, if applicable)
Delivery of cardboard cremation casket if requested, along with art supplies for the family to decorate the vessel
Memorial service design and event planning services as requested
Guidance for transportation to a cemetery or crematory after in-home vigil
Return of cremains to family, or guidance in the creation of a scattering ceremony, if applicable
Phone, in-person, and email support as needed
* Certain rituals may be designed and arranged for an additional charge, due to their intricacy (including all Despacho ceremonies). Our role is not of that of a funeral director, but that of a minister, educator, and advocate. All hands-on assistance offered free of charge.
HOME FUNERAL ASSISTANCE
Beginning at $1500.00
Education and guidance will be provided as needed to suit the individual needs of loved ones. Please reference the above list for suggested realms of support.
Please request a personalized quote or call for your free 15 minute consulation. Full-service event planning services also available per request.
A LA CARTE CONSULTING
$120/hr (2 hr minimum for in-person guidance)
Education and guidance provided over the phone or in-person regarding specific elements of home funerals.
SACRED BATHING GUIDANCE ONLY
Beginning at $500.oo
For those requiring guidance for the sacred bath and anointing ceremony only, not including preservation counseling. This option may be ideal for friends and family experiencing the death of a loved one in a hospital or hospice scenario that already have alternative funeral arrangements in place and will not be holding an in-home vigil.
We will guide you through the process of bathing and preparing your loved one's body with a bath of herbs and essential oils for burial or cremation. Ministerial Support, Sound cleansing, smudging,ritual guidance, and chakra unwinding included as requested, in addition to dressing or shrouding.
After death, keep your loved one at home or bring their body home
Bathe and prepare the body naturally for the 1-3 day in-home wake
File necessary paperwork and enjoy meanigful ritual at home
Arrange for cremation or burial and decorate the casket, if desired
Transport the body to be buried or cremated when ready to say goodbye