We offer services at the time of death and for planning.
When someone dies and the desire is for natural death care you can call us even if there is no plan in place. We will work with you to make a plan for where and how to care for the body, the ceremony and rituals you would like during bodycare and the funeral, and designing the disposition ceremony.
The plan we create together will address the who, what, where, why, and how of your natural deathcare wishes.
The planning process is offered on our sliding scale hourly rate of $100-$250 an hour. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Clients who wish to be buried at Vermont Forest Cemetery have the option to receive a tour of the cemetery as part of the process.
Michelle is a working funeral director. She may need to reschedule or modify your meeting to a phone call to attend a death, funeral, or burial. If that happens you will be offered an immediate reschedule at a time that works best for you.
List of services
Our “Ending Well” planning paradigm (Life Matters. Plan on Ending Well): One on one, family, or small group meetings to help you Plan and Prepare to experience your own good death. Using a values-based interview approach we use your values for living well to inform your plan for dying. This includes writing an Advanced Directive or reviewing an existing Advance Directive to add an effective natural deathcare plan.
In two or three 1.5 hour meetings we identify your values, discuss your wishes and identify your community to support you, and write your plan. We can also facilitate a conversation about your wishes with your loved ones and offer education for home based and natural death care for your community.
If you have already completed an advance directive without knowing who your support team is or how you will finance it, you do not yet have an effective end of life plan. Our comprehensive offering includes opportunities to work with an insurance specialist, financial planner, and estate attorney to make sure you can finance your plans.
Funeral Care can occur in your home or alternate setting, or in a funeral home. We can do this for you, with you, or teach you how to do it yourself. Funeral care can be in preparation for natural burial, conventional burial, or for cremation. Water cremation and natural organic reduction are not currently available in Vermont. We do not offer embalming services. The options are available in any sort of deathcare scenario, including death in a hospital or nursing home, when there has been trauma to the body, or after an autopsy or organ and/or tissue donation.
Bathing: in natural deathcare, bodies are prepared by bathing with soap and water. Any shaving, cosmetic, and hair styling needs can be addressed as normal. We can do this for you, with you, or teach you how to do it yourself. Optional rituals include anointing or otherwise honoring each part of the body.
Dressing: bodies can be dressed in everyday clothing if desired, with a strong preference for natural fibers.
Shrouding and/Casketing: bodies are shrouded and/or placed in a casket. All burial containers should be made of natural, biodegradable materials and with as little excess material as possible.
Cooling: bodies are preserved with ice or in a refrigerated mortuary cooler
Funeral and/or Graveside Services: Personal ceremonies designed to honor the life lived and meet the needs of mourners
Transportation: from place of death to place of death care and/or disposition
Paperwork: completing the death certificate and burial transit permit, notifying social security, writing and placing obituaries
Consulting services are not provided in person. These services are for people doing things themselves, who would like advice, support, or assistance with remorse coordination for natural deathcare bodycare, funeral service and disposition. Includes assistance with paperwork.
We offer small group workshops that explore the history, value and future of natural deathcare, how-to deathcare workshops for family groups and communities, educational programming about natural burial and home funerals as well as advance care planning. Contact us to learn more.