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home funeral workshops

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By My Own Heart and Hand

'basics in home funerals' workshops


By My Own Heart and Hand
workshops are offered
'in person' on the Pacific West Coast (based in Vancouver Island, BC, Canada),
or by Skype (anywhere)

contact us for dates of further workshops or if you wish to organize one for your area

Disclaimer: Please note that the 1 1/2 days workshops are NOT full Death Midwifery
or Home Funeral Guide training courses (which are much more extensive), and only cover the basics of a home funeral.

The By My Own Heart and Hand workshops are primarily intended for families who are considering a home funeral in the future; and want to be clear on the timeline (what to do when), required paperwork (in that province/territory), and the physical deathcare (washing, dressing, moving and cooling the body).   They can also be used as a practicum for those who have done the full DWENA-based DM or HFG training, but need 'hands on' training/practice in the physical deathcare and clarity about their own province/territory's timeline and paperwork.

The workshop requires a minimum of 7 participants, with a maximum of 12-14 — in order to create the kind of intimate environment that most home funerals would actually have.    They are also usually hosted in a private home, so that it is easier for the participants to envision themselves doing a home funeral with their own loved ones, in their own home.

The workshop starts with an evening, watching a 'home funerals' related film and discussing it.   This allows for the participants to centred into the subject, starting raising their personal feelings about home funerals (including their questions and concerns), and build an initial degree of intimacy and safety with the other participants.  

The full-day session the next day starts with further ideas, questions and concerns that have arisen over the night-morning.    The rest of the morning focuses on the general timeline, and the required paperwork.   The afternoon session focuses on the physical deathcare — with all participants having a chance to practice.    Then there is a short time at the end to talk about initial ritualization of the home funeral process, and further training or organizing: some training groups choose to remain connected by online social media and/or continue to share resources/etc.  

Workshop groups often stay connected supporting each other with ideas and local resources, and even sometimes organizing pan-death events.

Preparing to carry the body with a sheet
A simple trick for washing the hair

Despite being paralized on right side, participant can help with washing
Getting all of the crevices

Safely rolling the body to expose the back
Washing the legs

Getting pants (or skirt) on
Shirt goes upside-down and topside down to start

Brushing teeth
Placing Techni-ice

Closing mouth and eyes
Shrouding the body (with a simple bedsheet)

Moving casket through doorways and stairs
Navigating casket down stairwell


Please contact Pashta for further information including potential dates of planned By My Own Heart and Hand workshops,
or to request a workshop in your area, or to schedule a Skype version of the workshop.
Phone: 250-383-4065

The title of the workshop came from the following poem

Take her not from me.
Let it be this hand
Who wipes the folds of her flesh —
A final encore to fading days.
With each tender stroke,
May her seasoned soul unwind its threads
from this mortal coil.
With each grieving caress,
May her enduring love weave more tightly
into the whole of my being.

Take her not from me,
Until the last essence of who she was is truly gone,
And I have captured only what she left for me —
In this hand and heart.

Pashta MaryMoon

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