Your Open Forum

This open forum is for YOU. Use it to meet other NHFA members, post your home funeral stories, or ask each other questions. Enjoy!

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  • November 14, 2013 1:02 PM | Lee Webster (Administrator)
    Please send photos and ideas you'd like to see in our next e-newsletter coming out soon. We rely on you, our members, and the public to let us know what's happening and what you'd like to learn more about. Send your contributions to Thanks!
  • October 21, 2013 6:48 AM | Lee Webster (Administrator)
    Thanks to all for making this past weekend such a hit! 
  • January 28, 2013 2:13 PM | Merilynne Rush
    Dear NHFA Members,
    Would you like to have a yearly NHFA conference?  
    Would you like it to be a large conference?
    A retreat?
    A joint conference with another organization?
    A virtual conference?

    Would you be willing to sit with other members in your region and log on to a web conference hosted by the NHFA?

    Please let us know your thoughts and if you could help!
    Thank you,
    Merilynne Rush, NHFA Secretary and Events Committee Chair
  • November 16, 2012 8:02 AM | Peg Lorenz
    The conference call was attended by 12 members of the NHFA from 10 different states and two from Canada. After the introductions a couple of questions came up. One about how to organize the content of presentations. The other was about how to start after having been trained. Freddie from FL described how he presents information during a public presentation. Sandy from TX suggested forming a meet-up group which has been successful in her area. Before we ended Heather from MA described a situation she was anticipating tomorrow and asking for information and support. A young man, friend of her family had died that day in a car accident. She was informed that there were head injuries but that the family wanted a home funeral. We discussed caring for a body with those types of injuries, possibly similar to an autopsy. We gave Heather all that we knew and offered our continued support during this difficult time. The call ended on that note. Next call will be Dec. 9th, 8PM EST. 
  • November 01, 2012 9:34 AM | Merilynne Rush
    Dear Friends,

    Today is All Saints Day, Samhain, or Day of the Dead in Mexico. From the blog I quote:

    Shokti Lovestar beautifully summarised why the Day of the Dead and Sahmain are so important for us: "This is the time to remember the dead, honour death and rebirth in ourselves, and is an opportunity to face our fear of death, move beyond that fear and know our deepest nature."

    The hope is to increase our ability to live more fully.

    Blessings to you.
  • August 08, 2012 7:20 AM | Merilynne Rush
    As of August 2012 the NHFA has a new, simplified membership process that we hope you will find less cumbersome and more welcoming.  Anyone may join; there are no requirements.  We ask only that you contribute an amount that is affordable and generous to help further our mission to preserve the innate rights of families and communities to care for their own dead in a personal, respectful and environmentally sound manner by helping us create and sustain a network of ethical, responsible and knowledgeable home funeral guides.

    If you have any questions or would like to give us feedback, please don't hesitate to contact
    More information can be found on the "How to Join" link on this website.
  • June 19, 2012 10:38 AM | Peg Lorenz


    I'm a little late in posting about the last monthly member teleconference that happened on June 10th. We had a smaller group than usual, six including me. But smaller in some ways was better as everyone seemed to feel freer to jump in to the discussion. Heather from MA and Sharon from CA called in from the FCA conference in Arizona. They gave a report about the various speakers. Bart Windham who wrote "Notes from the Waiting Room" and who spoke at our last conference was there with a new book (didn't get the name). Also a Funeral Director from Vermont, Randy Gardner, spoke. The speaker that generated a lot of buzz was Ed Howard, a lobbyist for the Center for the Public Interest. For those of us who couldn't go to the conference we will have to see if there are notes or recordings of the sessions.


    Someone asked about how we find family-run funeral homes in our area vs the big conglomerates. Heather suggested we go to the FCA website, and look at the funeral home price surveys. One of the questions in the survey is how their business is structured.


    I brought up the subject of feeling like I am in a slump these days, working alone and not feeling like I have the energy to generate the next course of action. Everybody was very sympathetic and helpful. It's always nice to know that we're not alone. Olivia from CA talked about the big slumps that she has experienced. One strategy she has used is to "throw out an email to everyone I know and invite them over for tea". Get energy from others.  She also reminded us that we are creating a foundation so that when the groundswell occurs we will be ready to ride the wave.


    Charlene from WI suggested that one way to create energy around us is to have a class for people who are interested in getting deeper into home funerals vs just sitting through an educational presentation. She also inserted that she has an audio version of one of the sessions from our NHFA conference in CO. The Therese Shroeder-Shaker and the Buddhist monk sessions. You can contact her at


    Thank you all for participating. I encourage all our members to check out this monthly call. It's fun and informative!




  • April 29, 2012 9:35 PM | Anonymous
    We've updated our Member Directory, and you can now few our members by Location (State), or by Last Name

    Click on "About Us" on the left to see the new layout for our membership directory.

    This change is in response to requests from several of our members who wanted to be able to see NHFA members state-by-state. If there are more suggestions, please contact us!
  • April 09, 2012 12:19 PM | Peg Lorenz

         The Resource committee facilitated another member teleconference last night. We had a smaller group given that it was Easter Sunday. Attendees included home funeral guides and others just starting out. The whole country was well represented and included folks from CA, TX, MI, FL, PA and MA. The initial introductions are always interesting. It's wonderful to hear from people all over the country and exciting to know all the good work that is being done.          

         Discussions included questions from the Florida caller who is part of the Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetary and now he and a small group want to help families with home funerals. Callers gave him lots of resources and ideas for how to get started.

          I spoke about the recent legislative alert that went out after a committee in the PA senate attempted to insert language into a bill which would have restricted a family's right to bring their loved one directly to a crematory. With the help of the Funeral Consumers Alliance and numerous calls to individual legislators the language was removed from the bill. A great victory!

         The calls are a great way to connect to our larger movement. I encourage you all to check it out! 

  • March 13, 2012 5:22 PM | Anonymous
    During the discussion on Sun. Evening there was a discussion about groups to share and provide support to those providing care and support the end o f life.  I am part of a, "Threshold",group in Pa.  We share similar things like other groups but recently we have been using, "Undertaken With Love", as away to create common ground and now has lead us to looking at the purpose, affiliation and goals of the group.  The booklet c an be downloaded without cost and we shared the work with 2 people taking responsibility for a chapter each month.  We are being led in many ways and a wonderful and growing group has been part of the process.  Although I missed a couple of meetings I still feel part of the process due to the guidance of the booklet and the shared e-mails from members of the group.  
    We  meet monthly and have shared a an afternoon  about caring for the body with the community and have a movie night scheduled.
    Church affiliation for the group, State laws and structure availability, and financial considerations are just some of the exploration.
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