2017 Conference Sponsors

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Thank you for all our special sponsors, who keep our conferences vibrant. We love your support!  Sponsored Event

A Sacred Moment

A Sacred MomentA Sacred Moment, under the direction of licensed funeral director and first NHFA president Char Barrett, is proud to sponsor the premiere starting forum at this year’s NHFA biennial conference, The Unbroken Circle. Barrett is celebrating her 11th anniversary of providing compassionate help to families and communities looking to experience authentic, meaningful new ways to say goodbye. ASM is the only funeral service in the Northwest with years of experience providing home funerals and green burials. This forum speaks to a particular service need provided by Char and her staff, that of meeting the varied religious and spiritual needs of the notably diverse population of the Seattle WA area. It is thanks to many of these traditions’ preservation of home vigils that has enabled Char to reintroduce home funerals and support all families seeking them. – Char Barrett; Everett, WA

Friday Night Opener – The Unbroken Circle

Funeral Consumers Alliance of Maine

Funeral Consumers Alliance of MaineFCA of Maine is pleased to sponsor this event in honor of home funeral guide and advocate Julie Lanoie who has been a guiding light in bringing home funeral education to the Pine State. Her dedication as a hospice bereavement coordinator, home funeral guide, and home burial advocate exemplifies the work of funeral advocates in the North Country. FCAM is an FCA affiliate dedicated to providing education and advocacy for the public so they may be informed of the many options available for pre-planning the disposition of their remains in a dignified, affordable manner. – National FCA Chapters

New Hampshire Funeral Resources, Education & Advocacy

New Hampshire Funeral Resources Education & AdvocacyNew Hampshire Funeral Resources, Education & Advocacy (NHFREA) is group of trained home funeral guides and advocates who support informed funeral choice through education and advocacy. The group, consisting of nonprofit leaders, hospice staff, nurses, clergy, and professionals from other related backgrounds, offers information on a wide variety of funeral topics through stimulating public and private presentations, practical and informative hands-on trainings and practicums, and a vibrant web presence. – New Hampshire

Saturday Advocacy Session 1 – Everybody Can Be an Advocate: Here’s How

Threshold Support Circle

Threshold Support Circle provides a forum and resources to explore end-of-life issues and after death care options, including family directed home funerals and green burial. We are trained Home Funeral Guides and advocates who offer information and direct support to empower families and individuals caring for their own at death. Our public education services include workshops, events and film series for the local community. – Lee Hoyt, Sharon Moore, and Kim Adams; Baltimore, Maryland


Quality of Life Care

Quality of Life Care logoQuality of Life Care, LLC offers mentoring and training for people seeking assistance in creating innovative ways to serve the seriously ill, the dying and their families. Whether you are wanting end of life sensitivity training, an add-on service to your present practice, or to create a private practice, Deanna will guide you step by step. From the experienced end of life practitioner to the layperson with no experience, we offer a comprehensive, practically-based, holistically-centered model of care for your practice. Our 3-tiered process includes comprehensive end of life training, a personal self-awareness journey, and practice building guidance. If you are an experienced end of life educator/practitioner, ask about our Education Partner program. – Deanna Cochran; Austin, TX

Saturday Advocacy Session 2 – Building Bridges: Advocating to Hospices and Hospitals

Last Dance Shrouds

Shrouding is an ancient rite that is returning to wider practice as we thread a path between technology, innovation, ecology, and spirit. At Last Dance Shrouds we make affordable, friendly-to-use shrouds with a sewn in carrier, well suited for hands on family directed care after the end of life; a resource suitable for home funerals and funeral homes, green and traditional burial, and cremation. Made with soft organic or recycled cotton, our simple designs offer a clean slate for your own decoration and embellishment. Custom options are available. Whether you are making arrangements to care for a loved one after death, or simply being well prepared, we can help with shrouds that fit just right. Last Dance Shrouds provides a graceful way to help your loved one bow out in style. Visit our website at: https://lastdanceshrouds.com or email dina@deanbrook.org

Saturday Advocacy Session 3 – Everybody Wins: Working with Authorities 

Natural Burial Company

The Natural Burial Company sells biodegradaNatural Burial Companyble coffins, caskets, urns and natural funeral goods throughout the US and into Canada. Our crafters come from around the world, where the technique of making handwoven coffins has not yet been lost, and where direct-earth burials without vaults are still common. Your requests for and purchase of these products helps keep these handarts arts alive, and challenges the funeral profession to shift to more sustainable funeral and cemetery practices – before you need them! – Cynthia Beal; Eugene, Oregon

Saturday Afternoon at the Movies – In the Parlor

The Urban Death Project

Urban Death ProjectThe Urban Death Project is researching a new system of death care – called Recomposition – that connects humans to the natural cycles and solves for the current toxic, unjust funeral industry. Our mission is to create a meaningful, equitable, and ecological alternative for the care of the deceased. – Katrina Spade; Seattle, WA


Life Posts

Life PostsLifePosts’ mission is to ensure that every person’s life story can be beautifully told, vividly celebrated, and preserved. LifePosts’ easy-to-use storytelling tools enable you to create beautiful online memorials or obituaries, tribute biographies, birthday celebrations, and digital keepsakes for all of life’s important milestones. – Steve Waldman; Brooklyn, NY

Saturday Night at the Movies – Zen and the Art of Dying



Bellacouche – meaning “beautiful resting place” – is the old name for the ancient granite building where the Leafcocoon wool felt coffins were first designed. Now Bellacouche Wool Felt Studio is set in a beautiful and airy Unitarian chapel. Using wool as raw material, the aim is to be a part of a movement that has a more celebratory approach to funerals as in other cultures, and encourages an imaginative use of rituals old and new. The pieces are all hand-made, motifs are either sewn or needle felted in. Dyes are always natural. Yuli is a weaver by background and training, but switched to felt making in the late 1980s, making commissioned one-off pieces.  For the last 15 years, she has worked in the funeral world making shrouds for burial and taking reference from an ancient law that decreed that the dead must be buried in wool.  Wool is a gentle and sustainable choice for an environmentally benign funeral.  She lives and works where sheep have co-existed with humans for thousands of years, and remains convinced that this co-existence has a long while to run. – Yuli Sømme, M.A.; Moretonhampstead, Dartmoor, Devon, UK

Sunday Skills Sessions – Home Funeral 101—Body Care Basics

The Celebrant Foundation & Institute

Celebrant Foundation & InstituteFounded in 2001, the Celebrant Foundation & Institute (CF&I) is an educational nonprofit that educates and certifies personalized ceremony professionals called Life-Cycle Celebrants®. CF&I’s college-level, Life-Cycle Celebrant® certification program is taught live, on-line via an interactive format by seasoned Celebrant faculty members. The coursework is offered in several languages and Celebrants hail from countries throughout the world. Life-Cycle Celebrants® are masterfully trained in the art of ritual and ceremony. They are skilled ceremony officiants who perform and co-create customized ceremonies for weddings, funerals and other life events that reflect the needs, beliefs and values of the people they are honoring. As professionals, Life-Cycle Celebrants® abide by a code of ethics, a nondiscrimination policy, and many become Celebrant Alumni Association Members committed to continually improving their knowledge and skill. – Montclair, NJ

Sunday Skills Sessions – Creating Ceremonies for Home Vigils, Funerals, & Memorials

Mourning Dove Studio

Mourning Dove Studio

Mourning Dove Studio started from our own personal experiences – equal parts environmental concerns and the need for better ways to grapple with grief.  Our cardboard coffins support natural burial and the hands-on, compassionate practices of family-directed after-death care.  Our cardboard coffins are environmentally-sound, sensible, strong enough for burial as well as cremation and designed for personally-meaningful commemorative art-making.  They’re  sold at a wholesale price to you, providing you with a small revenue as you retail them to families and friends in need.   Upon your request (Ruth@mourningdovestudio.com)  we’ll send you a free 2’ exact replica to see for yourself as well as to have for a model.  – Carol Motley and Ruth Faas, Asheville, NC and Arlington, MA


Sunday Skills Sessions – The Power of Home Funeral Storytelling

Lifespan Doulas Association

Lifespan DoulasLifespan Doula Association, founded by Merilynne Rush and Patty Brennan in 2016, trains and certifies professional end-of-life doulas utilizing the doula model of care. End-of-life doulas provide non-medical, hands-on, holistic support to the dying and their family, including comfort measures, spiritual care, practical household tasks, Advance Care Planning, vigil-ing, and natural after death care. Our vision is that end-of-life doulas become mainstreamed in our culture so that everyone will have knowledge about and access to their services.  – Merilynne Rush & Patty Brennan; Ann Arbor, MI

Sunday Skills Sessions – How to Start a Threshold Care Group

BEyond Yonder Virtual School for Community Deathcaring in Canada

Virtual School Community Deathcaring

The BEyond Yonder School for Deathcaring arose from a desire to empower Canadians to take a participatory role in caring for the dying, dead and bereaved.  Since our culture has become so alienated from death, we don’t learn such skills in most North American families any longer, hence the need for “death midwifery” training at this time as we envision a culture where deathcaring is reclaimed. We recognize that wisdom resides in the heart of the learner, and have designed a program that brings up to 13 students into an intimate shared educational experience together.  Students find themselves forging surprisingly deep connections considering that the program is virtual!  There are many ways to connect via online forums, buddy chats, weekly live sessions and participating in the burgeoning community deathcare social movement, yet most of the daily coursework may be completed on one’s own schedule in their PJs.  Being an online program also offers the benefit of engagement with 10 fantastic leaders in the field from across the country, adding value to our core 12 week program. We focus on the value of reflective practice and learn to lead with our vulnerabilities in service of advance planning, being present to dying, witnessing death, guiding post death care, leading ceremony and honouring grief. Our certificate recipients have been serving their communities in a wide variety of ways as volunteers and those who offer service to the public for pay as well.  There are so many ways to participate in the community deathcare movement and we are all needed to bring death back home where it belongs. – Cassandra Yonder; Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Sunday Skills Sessions – Home Funerals for Pets


Threshold Support Circle

Threshold Support Circle

Threshold Support Circle provides a forum and resources to explore end-of-life issues and after-death care.  We believe that life can be lived more fully when we befriend and come to terms with the reality of death as part of the natural cycle of life. We offer opportunities to discuss options, ask questions, learn new skills, and share stories of personal experience. – Lee Hoyt, Susan Wallendorf, Sharon Moore, Kim Adams; Lutherville, Maryland

Sunday Skills Sessions – Taking Care of Yourself While Helping Others


Everyone deserves the right to achieve the most positive end of life experience possible. Doulagivers is committed to providing worldwide education and support for patients and their loved ones for the end of life process, and provides FREE Level I doula training that is appropriate for everyone. Doulagivers offers training and certification in the new specialized area of non-medical healthcare for the elderly, which provides holistic support for individuals and their loved ones before, during, and after death. There are three main trainings and services that Doulagivers teaches and certifies which are Eldercare Doula, End-of-Life Doula, and Doulagivers Care Consultant. End of life is not a dress rehearsal. We have to do better for both patients and their loved ones. This is an experience that we will all be touched by at some point in our lives. “We can help make end of life the natural, sacred experience it was meant to be.” Suzanne B. O’Brien RN, New York, NY

Altar Art Project

Final Passages

Final Passages

Final Passages is a non-profit organization, founded in 1995, offering education for personal and legal rights concerning home or family-directed funerals and final disposition (burial and cremation). It is our intention to re-introduce the concept of funerals in the home as a part of family life and as a way to de-institutionalize death. We are dedicated to a dignified and compassionate alternative to current funeral practices. – Jerrigrace Lyons; Sebastopol, CA

When I Die…Art Project