Home Funerals

A home funeral is a more personal way of saying goodbye, this low cost burial makes for an earth friendly transition and resting place.

| April/May 2003

Learn how to plan a home funeral to provide your loved one a dignified passing and green burial.

Home Funerals

Your mother is dying. You want to care for her yourself, at home, when death finally arrives, rather than hiring a mortuary. She feels the same. Together, while there is still time, you decide to plan her service and burial. How do you begin?

Three books are especially helpful: Caring for the Dead: Your Final Act of Love, by Lisa Carlson; Guidebook for Creating Home Funerals by Jerri Lyons; and Dealing Creatively with Death, A Manual of Death Education and Simple Burial by Ernest Morgan.

Carlson, executive director of the nonprofit Funeral Consumers Alliance in South Burlington, Vermont, has become a national spokesperson for the "do-it-yourself" funeral movement in the last few years. She says such burials, especially on private land, appear to be on the rise. "There's no easy way to track it, but there seems to be an ongoing interest in family burial. It's being done quietly, but the number of inquiries on this topic at the Funeral Consumers Alliance is definitely increasing."

The trend is totally predictable, she adds. "The generation that demanded natural childbirth in the '60s and '70s, and recycling in the '90s is wanting green burials, including do-it-yourselfers, now."

Author Jerri Lyons is director of Final Passages, a 7-year-old not-for-profit organization in Sebastopol, California, and a death midwife. Her goal with Final Passages is "to reintroduce the concept of funerals in the home as a part of family life and as a way to deinstitutionalize death." Through this nonprofit project, she provides information and education, and through her own for-profit company, Home and Family Funerals, she offers her death midwife services. She knows of several other death midwives in California and one in Maryland: others may be working quietly on their own in other areas.

7/1/2007 9:49:43 PM

Is there a green burial resting place in Ohio?

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