"For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance."
– Kahlil Gibran
Home Funerals & After-Death Care Education
As an After-Death Care Educator (ADCE), also known as Home Funeral Guide, I provide educational information and instruction about after-death care and home funerals to the dying person and their family. These services are separate from and/or in addition to end-of-life doula care.
What is a Home Funeral?
Home funerals are becoming increasingly popular as more people are seeking to take control of the dying process and create personalized end-of-life experiences for themselves or their loved ones. Home funerals provide families with the opportunity to care for their loved ones in a familiar and peaceful environment, allowing them to say goodbye in a way that feels meaningful and authentic. They can provide an intimate setting for those mourning a loved one’s passing, allowing them to come together as a community to pay their respects without feeling overwhelmed or alienated by larger gatherings. Home funerals can also be tailored to reflect the individual being remembered, allowing mourners to create meaningful tributes that they may not have been able to do otherwise.
Home funerals are both safe and legal. It is legal in all states to have your loved one’s body at home after they die. Here in New Hampshire, no one is required to purchase the services of a funeral director or funeral home. Families may conduct any or all tasks commonly performed by a funeral home (except embalming which is NOT required by New Hampshire law), and may bury on their own property if certain provisions are met — although some towns and cities may have zoning preventing this. Check with your municipality to be sure.
The trend toward home funerals is also driven in part by environmental concerns, as traditional funeral homes can involve the use of chemically-treated embalming fluids and other materials that are potentially damaging to the environment. Home funerals don’t require any of these chemicals and are much more eco-friendly.
But while home funerals provide a unique opportunity for those who wish to remember their lost loved ones in an intimate setting, it’s important to note that they might not be right for everyone. Some families may feel uncomfortable holding a service in their own homes or may choose a traditional funeral home due to religious reasons or other preferences. Ultimately, the decision should come down to what feels most comfortable and appropriate for each individual family.
This resurgence of home funerals is providing families with an affordable, more personal option for celebrating life and remembering those who have passed away. By choosing this type of funeral service, families can create meaningful tributes without sacrificing comfort or breaking the bank. As this trend continues to gain momentum, it’s likely we’ll see the number of home funerals become even more prevalent in the years ahead.
After-Death Care Educators (ADCE) – also called home funeral guides – are becoming increasingly popular as more people seek out methods of dealing with the deceased at home. As an ADCE, I help families through this process by providing guidance on:
- how to prepare the body
- create a meaningful ceremony
- and properly handle the legal paperwork involved
I work closely with families to help them navigate the practical and emotional aspects of home funerals. This may include providing guidance on how to prepare the body for burial or cremation, as well as helping families understand the legal and logistical requirements involved in home funerals.
One of the key benefits of home funerals is that they provide families with the opportunity to be fully involved in the after-death care process. This may include washing and dressing the body, creating a home altar or memorial, or even holding a home funeral ceremony or vigil. I work with families to help them understand their options and create a personalized plan that honors the wishes of the deceased and the needs of the family.
I also serve as an advocate for families who are choosing to have home funerals. I work with funeral homes, hospices, and other professionals to ensure that families are able to access the resources and support they need to create a meaningful and dignified home funeral experience.
Ultimately, my goal is to empower families to take control of the after-death care process and create a personalized and meaningful end-of-life experience for themselves or their loved ones. By providing education, guidance, and support, I hope to help families navigate this difficult time with compassion, grace, and dignity.
The home funeral movement is transforming the way we view and deal with death. After-Death Care Educators/Home Funeral Guides are essential resources in this transformation, offering families a dignified, meaningful way to say goodbye. If you or someone you know is considering arranging a home funeral, please contact me for more information.
Home Funeral Resources
In addition to helping families through the practical and emotional aspects of death, After-Death Care Educators are also advocates for social change. We work to spread awareness about the importance of end-of-life planning, advance conversations around death and dying, and help create laws that protect individuals and their families when they pass away. In essence, we strive towards making death a more natural part of life.