How can I facilitate home funerals in my community?
Our movement grows because people like you have an interest and vision for your community regarding home funerals. This is still a pioneering effort in each community, and it can feel lonely. You are not alone! There’s so much information and support, thanks to the early efforts of folks like yourself who work to keep this human right open to families and friends who wish for this home death care.
Here are some ways to go about it:
(1) Get educated
- Become a member of the NHFA (it’s free) so you can receive monthly updates and stay current with leading thoughts and recommended practices for home funerals.
- Read these must-have books – written by those who know:
– Home Funerals 101
– Essentials for Practicing Home Funeral Guides
– Home Funeral Planning Workbook for Families
- Browse articles, videos, how-to manuals, press coverage and more in the Resources section.
- If you want more formal training, find teachers to reach out to in your area or online.
(2) Know your state laws and the issues that families face
- Read about Families’ Rights, and the companion piece, “What to do when rights are challenged.”
- Find specific laws about your state at the Funeral Ethics Organization.
- Connect with your local Funeral Consumers Alliance chapter. Find a chapter in your state, talk to them, see what they have available about home funerals. If they do an annual funeral home price list survey, obtain a copy of it so you know what funeral homes are charging in your area for their various services.
(3) Get to know your home funeral community
- It bears repeating: become a member of the NHFA (it’s free) so you can receive monthly updates and stay current with leading thoughts and recommended practices for home funerals.
- Take your time and explore our website.
- Follow us on Facebook for up-to-date stories, news and more.
- Join us for the NHFA monthly phone conversation. This is a great place to hear other folks share their stories on what’s happening in their area.
- Connect with other home funeral guides and industry leaders at the NHFA conference.
(4) Partner with others and cultivate conversations about home funerals
- Find groups or Meetups in your area that are already discussing the topic of death and dying (such as Death Cafes).
- Meet with your friends and share the idea of home funerals and see if you can answer all of their questions. The questions you can’t answer are the important ones because they let you know where you need more information.
(5) Share with others
- The NHFA provides materials you may use to help teach about home funerals. You are free to print our information sheet, use our editable slide presentation, and also use our handy press packet that details how to get the word out in your community.
- Write an editorial in the local paper about the benefits of home funerals.
- Get on a local radio show to talk about your experiences with home funerals.
- Host a group that discusses the issues around death and dying. Perhaps there is a green cemetery in your area or interest in that to use as a starting point. Or gather friends for a study group or a book or film club.
- Offer a free public talk at a library or church, or an informative lunch-and-learn to a hospice in your area.
(6) As opportunities for sharing and education develop, you can serve your community as a point or go-to person about home funerals.
- Create your own website. You’ll find great ideas by reviewing websites that other home funeral guides have created (Just remember to respect their rights to their writing and content – be sure to create yours in your own words and style.)