Kate’s Still Here "I understood: We don’t know what to expect when we see a dead body. We fear smell, we fear visible signs of decay. We fear ourselves. Facing someone else’s mortality means facing your own, in all its animal functions. The affection Deloy had for Kate’s body, the way he did not shrink, was reminiscent of a mother’s love for her child." —Libby Copeland writes in her article, after interviewing Kate's husband, Deloy, and Sara Williams, their home funeral guide, in Esquire Magazine 11-14-17
Opting for a funeral at home: Challenging cultural norms "The greatest misconceptions are that we are fringe people looking to shock or challenge people’s sensibilities and go up against the established funeral industry. Neither is the case. We are looking to unveil realistic options about a topic that has been mystified for decades to people regardless of their ability to pay or their religious or spiritual leanings. We hope that the industry listens to what the public is demanding by responding with real change from within." —Lee Webster, interviewed by Amy Wright Glenn, Philly Voice 8-28-2016
A Different Way of Death: Why the Alternative Funeral Movement is Taking Hold in the United States “Lee Webster, the president of the National Home Funeral Alliance, is at the forefront of educating the public about home funerals. Along with many other home funeral guides throughout the nation with the same goals, Webster hosts presentations to people of all walks of life to introduce them to this option. Despite the popularity of conventional methods, home funerals are legal in every state.” By Kristen Warfield 5-12-2016
Start-Ups Take Rites From the Funeral Home to the Family Home “In the last decade, a small but growing segment of the funeral industry has begun catering to those who want a more natural, intimate end-of-life experience. Home funeral advocates and practitioners link their movement to the home birth, hospice and environmental movements.” By Claire Martin, New York Times 1-31-2016
Fort Worth, Arlington families choose home funerals for their loved ones “Her daughter transported her father’s remains in her van. Hospice workers helped prepare the body for services. Smith said she filled out the death report, and where it asked for the funeral director’s signature, she took the advice of Jim Bates, a North Texas-based guide for the National Home Funeral Alliance, and wrote “acting” in the space and signed her own name. That alone saved her $1,600 to $1,700 in funeral home fees, she said.” Great facts, stories, quotes, photographs and videos. By Robert Cadwallader, Star-Telegram 10-11-2015
What’s a Death Midwife? Inside the Alternative Death Care Movement: Char Barrett, progressive funeral director, breaks it down. From funeral cooperatives to green burials, there’s a kinder, gentler, less expensive way to die. By Jennifer Luxton, Yes Magazine 9-3-15
Who Owns the Dead? For decades, Americans have been increasingly distanced from the dead. A small group of women is working to change that. By Libby Copeland, New Republic 6-24-15
Are We Revolutionizing the Way We Die? “People are more and more wanting to do death and end of life in their own way, with values that match their own,” Kateyanne Unullisi says. “If you want to be more hands on and take responsibility for your loved one, [NHFA] wants everyone to know that is legal and available.” By Katy Rank Lev, Dame Magazine 4-22-2015
The Rise of Back-to-the-Basics Funerals Progressive funeral director Amy Cunningham shows why Baby Boomers Are Drawn to Green and Eco-Friendly Funerals. By Susan Chumsky, The New York Times 3-12-15
Home Funerals Grow As Americans Skip The Mortician For Do-It-Yourself After-Death Care “There are people who get it and think it’s a great idea. And there are people who have been so indoctrinated to think a different way, a less hands-on way, that they can’t imagine anything else,” says Elizabeth Knox, the founder of Crossings, a Maryland-based home funeral resource organization, and the president of the National Home Funeral Alliance. By Jaweed Kaleem, Huffington Post 2-21-15
Showing the Family How To, photo courtesy of Sara Williams, Shrouding Sisters
Kate's Hands at Rest, photo courtesy of Sara Williams, Shrouding Sisters
The NHFA maintains a book list of suggested reading in a variety of death-related topics as listed below. The NHFA Book Listis extensive and divided into the 15 easy-to-navigate categories you see below. We welcome your suggestions and additions at email@example.com.
The NHFA is a nonprofit 501c3 organization committed to supporting home funeral education. The NHFA does not offer certification opportunities. Membership in the NHFA and participation in its activities does not constitute endorsement of any kind.