Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (she/her)
Isabel is a human-centered designer in the deathcare space. She is also an INELDA-trained death doula, a home funeral guide, and a member of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Pennsylvania. She helps doulas and death-positive businesses create a more inclusive and accessible experience for their clients through human-centered design workshops and also creates online courses and offers freelance graphic design work for death-positive businesses and organizations. Her primary goal is to make death a more equitable experience for all, and one day hopes to open a real-life "death cafe" and death education space in Philadelphia! You can find her on Instagram at @thedeathdesigner.
Layfayette, IN (they/them)
Izzy is a recent Mortuary Science graduate soon to begin their funeral director’s apprenticeship. Izzy’s interest in deathcare came after experiencing a death in the family in their youth, and seeing the shortcomings of the funeral industry firsthand. This event would lead Izzy to enter mortuary school with a passion for affordable accessible alternative deathcare and leave it assured of the need for culturally literate deathcare practitioners. They hold their Crematory Operator Certification in both flame and water cremation, and expect to complete death doula, celebrant, and support group facilitator training by the end of 2023.
Denver, Colorado (she/her)
Marilynn worked as death investigator in a coroner’s office for more than a decade, and in that role, she created space for the living to witness their experiences while normalizing death. With a background rooted in practical after-death care and a desire to relate with those in her community in a different way, she transitioned and is now an End-of-Life Doula with focus as a Death Educator, Home Funeral Guide, and Grief Recovery Specialist. Marilynn is also a member of the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (Region VIII) and is Secretary for the Funeral Consumer Society of Colorado. In both her professional and personal relationships, she seeks to empower individuals to be their most authentic self by removing barriers and inspiring opportunities to discover personal truth and expression.
Grovetown, GA (she/her)
Kaleigh entered the deathcare space with an eclectic background, having first served in the Army and earning a master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy before pursuing death work. She is a trained end-of-life doula and previously worked at a green funeral home in Colorado. Kaleigh currently works as a Marriage and Family Therapist full time, and is also a teacher/practitioner of yoga, meditation, and Reiki. She cares deeply about holistic, environmentally-centered care for all beings at every stage of life.
Portland, Oregon (she/they)
Growing up in a family involved with end-of-life care, Winx Vestrit (she/they) has always had a strong calling to community deathcare and service. In 2020, they trained as an end-of-life doula, specializing in LGBTQIA2S+ deathcare, pet deathcare, eco-friendly body disposition options, home funerals, and end-of-life planning. Paired with their work in social media, web programming, and customer success, Winx works to educate and support their community in exploring ways to inhabit the mysterious, beautiful, difficult, and transformative spaces around death.
Chicago, IL (she/her)
Hey! I’m Patrice. I go by the name Lady P. 3rd Eye! I was born and raised in New Jersey. I currently reside on the west of Chicago in the Lawndale Community. I also wear many hats… I am a mother of our beautiful children. I’m a Spiritualist, Hypnotist, End-of-Life Doula, Integrative Healing Arts Practitioner, and Mortuary Science Student! I love art, comedy, nature, traveling, music, dancing, singing, and food!
Blanchester, OH (she/hers)
Alaura is a trauma informed aromatherapist, folk herbalist, home funeral guide, pet death doula and abortion doula who stewards a homestead in the Midwest. She came to deathwork after standing vigil at her mother's passing, she focuses on helping those dealing with loss, grief, trauma and auto immune issues, and is passionate about bringing hard conversations, including those about death dying, into everyday life. She believes that the only way to move forward is to look face first into the shadows, and that having community around you can bring light into the darkness. Her work is centered around a desire to provide relief, comfort and care to those who may otherwise be facing their struggles and challenges alone.
Houston, TX (she/her)
Claudia is a curious and creative artist, dynamic and didactic educator, hospice volunteer, and a full-spectrum doula. Born in Bogota, Colombia, before moving to the United States in 2009, Claudia has had the unique opportunity to witness two cultures, providing her with profound insights into how death, the great equalizer, is dealt with in a myriad of different ways. Seeing how mortality and our human desire to honor it connect us all has led Claudia to work with the end-of-life period as a vehicle of solidarity. She aims to use her knowledge to serve communities and individuals by educating and helping them make informed choices throughout these processes, all while addressing her fears about her own mortality.
San Francisco, CA (she/hers)
Mel is currently our part-time admin and our only paid staff member! She helps support our work behind the scenes by managing our social media, helping organize and promote our special events, producing our newsletter, and providing general administrative support.
In her life beyond NHFA, Mel is a humanist chaplain and MSW with a special interest in companion animal deathcare. She has spent much of her career working in small nonprofits, and her professional experience includes marketing and development for community-based organizations. She also specializes in trauma-informed supportive services for sexual and gender minority youth, survivors of sexual violence, and people experiencing homelessness.