HOME FUNERALS: READ, WATCH & LISTEN!

A home funeral happens when a loved one is cared for at home or sacred space after death, giving family and friends time to gather and participate in:

  • planning and carrying out after-death rituals or ceremonies
  • preparing the body for burial or cremation by bathing, dressing and laying out for visitation
  • keeping the body cool with noninvasive techniques, such as ice
  • filing the death certificate and obtaining transport and burial permits
  • transporting the deceased to the place of burial or cremation
  • facilitating the final disposition, such as digging the grave in a natural burial
  • hiring professionals for specific products or services

Home funerals may occur within the family home or not. Some nursing homes, for example, may allow the family to care for the deceased after death, and more church committees are housing and caring for the dead. The emphasis is on minimal, non-invasive, and environmentally friendly care of the body. Support and assistance to carry out after-death care may come from home funeral educators or guides, but their goal is to facilitate maximum involvement of the family in charge of the funeral process, and their social network.


Below is information to help you learn more about home funerals.


BROCHURES

EDUCATIONAL FLYERS

BOOKS

  • The NHFA maintains a book list of suggested reading in a variety of death-related topics as listed below. Our book list is extensive and divided into easy-to-navigate categories. The Education Committee welcomes suggestions and additions.
    • Being Present With the Dying
    • Celebrations and Rituals
    • Children: Explaining Death to Kids
    • Commentary
    • Conscious Dying
    • Creative Endings
    • Exploring Death
    • Home Funerals
    • Home Funerals: How-to Guidebooks
    • Legalities
    • Music
    • Natural Burial
    • Planning & Advance Directives
    • Seminal Works
    • The Dying Process

MAGAZINES

ARTICLES

  • Now for a New Undertaking…Welcome to the Ideal Death Show, by Tim Willis, Newsweek Magazine 9.13.14 featuring Claire Turnham | Read
  • Notes From a Home Funeral, by Rebecca Novick, Huffington Post 6.30.14 | Read
  • A Different Way to Deal With Death, by Val Fortney, Calgary Herald, with Sarah Kerr 6.18.14 | Read
  • That Precious Time: Present with the Dead Body, Order of the Good Death, by Cassandra Yonder 5.4.14 | Read
  • Corporatization of funeral industry drives quest for alternatives by Mary O'Connell CBC 5.7.14 | Read
  • Death Doulas: helping people face up to dying by Eleanor Tucker, The Guardian 5.4.14 | Read
  • What is a Funeral Celebrant? I'm Sorry to Hear 4.15.14 | Read
  • There's More to Death Than Funeral Homes by Stacey Escott,  theSpec.com 4.14.14 with Rochelle Martin | Read
  • The Rise of Back-to-Basics Funerals by Susan Chumsky, The New York Times 3.12.14 featuring Amy Cunningham | Read
  • A Passage to India – Life, Death and the Healing Power of Ritual by Matt Perry, The California Health Report 1.6.14 | Read
  • Midwives for the Dying The Atlantic, 12.16.13 | Read
  • The Greenest Things to Do With Your Body After You Die, The Atlantic article from 12.13.13 featuring Amy Cunningham | Read
  • For Some, At-Home Funerals Offer Last Chance For Connection by Anne Mostue WGBH from 12.4.13 featuring Peg Lorenz | Read
  • Inside a Home Funeral, The Daily Beast, 2.5.13 | Read
  • Home Funerals Grow As Americans Skip The Mortician For Do-It-Yourself After-Death Care, Huffington Post, 2.21.13 | Read
  • For In-Home Funerals, a 21st Century Revival, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 11.30.11 | Read
  • Think Outside the Box, US Catholic Magazine, 11.11 | Read
  • Home Burials Offer an Intimate Alternative, New York Times, 7.21.09 | Read
  • The Surprising Satisfactions of a Home Funeral by Max Alexander, Smithsonian Magazine 3.09 | Read
  • Home Funerals Restore Intimacy to Grieving Rituals by Adriana Barton, The Globe and Mail, Canada, 5.26.10 | Read
  • The High Cost of Dying, AARP Bulletin, 9.09 | Read
  • Death Midwife Also Assists at the End of Life by Dawn Turner Trice, Chicago Tribune, 11.21.11 | Read
  • Standard Funeral Not Sole Option by Levi Pulkkinin, Seattle Times, 3.07 | Read
  • More Families are Bringing Funerals Home by Joy Jernigan, MSNBCnews.com | Read
  • Death Becomes Her, by Nancy Keats, Wall Street Journal Magazine | Read
  • The Funeral: Your Last Chance to be a Big Spender by Gabriella Glaser, New York Times, 4.00 | Read
  • Rev. Olivia Rose Bareham | Death Midwife,  The MOON Magazine | Read

DOCUMENTARIES

  • A Family Undertaking Explores the complex psychological, cultural, legal and financial issues surrounding the home funeral movement
  • The Most Excellent Dying of Theodore Jack Heckelman A heart-warming full length documentary of the courageous dying of a man determined to die consciously, directed by his sites, Nancy Jewel Poer
  • Beyond Goodbye shorter version of the film “Remembering Josh” which records the life of a young man as he was remembered at his funeral early in 2011
  • Dying Wish The story of a courageous physician facing his final days by Karen Van Vuuren

ONLINE VIDEOS

INTERVIEWS


PRESENTATIONS

BLOGS


Disclaimer: The resources and trainings listed on this website are intended for members' and visitors' information only. The NHFA is in no way responsible for the actual content, and does not benefit from transactions between consumers and vendors.




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