About 120 people from 3 countries gathered last weekend near Baltimore, Maryland for the National Home Funeral Alliance Conference. The conference was both inspiring and practical, a wonderful chance to learn from experts and network with other Home Funeral Guides and progressive Funeral Directors. Friendships were strengthened and new friends were made as we continue to support one another in this movement!
TSC played a vital role as the ‘boots on the ground’ team to support many of the logistics for the conference. We created a community altar, a Before I Die chalkboard wall so participants could record their wishes, stuffed the official NHFA swag bags with promotional materials, coordinated registration, recruited vendors, and opened and closed each day with centering exercises as well as evening storytelling around the bonfire. In addition, we facilitated a session on Starting a Threshold Group!
The expert panels included 3 religious leaders sharing Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim perspectives on after death care; advocacy advice from the Institute for Justice, Director of the Funeral Consumer’s Alliance Josh Slocum, and a legal historian of funeral care; a panel on building bridges to hospices and hospitals; and a panel focusing on working with authorities including the Director of the MD Mortuary Board and the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Skills sessions included Body Care, Creating Memorial Ceremonies, Pet Home Funerals, Self Care, Home Funeral Storytelling , and Starting a Threshold Support Group.
In addition, 3 films were screened: “In the Parlor” by Home Funeral Guide Heidi Boucher, “Zen and the Art of Dying” a documentary about the Australian deathwalker Zenith Virago, and “The Art of Natural Death Care” by Katelyn La Grega. Heidi and Zenith were present at the conference and offered a question and answer session together.
Join the now over 1,400 NHFA members in this movement. Membership is free! www.homefuneralalliance.org