You'll understand your legal rights to reclaim family and community-led deathcare in your province.
You'll grasp legal-financial boundaries when helping someone other than family or friends as a home funeral guide. (Only a licensed funeral director or embalmer can receive renumeration for providing body care in Canada. If this boundary is crossed we risk what funeral industry lobbyists have accomplished in 2 provinces and 10 states: the outlawing of the public's legal right to transport a deceased/act in lieu of a commercial funeral director).
You'll understand logistical procedures for obtaining, completing and filing required documentation including a transport permit and burial/cremation permit in each province.
You'll understand how to successfully interact with institutional administrators, registrars, funeral directors and medical examiners to maintain control (whenever possible) for a highly rewarding home funeral experience.
PRACTICAL EDUCATION & TRAINING
You'll receive mock training in moving and lifting a deceased (as funeral directors & transfer services do) including use of a body board for navigating steps, hallways and doors inside and outside a home.
You'll receive training in respectful undraping/draping/cleansing a mock deceased. Also 'trade' techniques for dressing, casketing, cosmetic application, and securing a casket in a vehicle in accordance with provincial regulations.
You'll obtain important knowledge re transmittable diseases; universal health precautions including safe disposal of bio-hazardous waste.
You'll be encouraged to forge positive relationships with local funeral directors, transfer service folks, vital statistics registrars, and medical examiners or coroners.
You'll have the opportunity to think through, clarify and make a plan for your own end-of-life rituals and rites.
As laypersons you'll realize the importance of maintaining safety and diginity in body handling and taking universal health precautions.
You'll gain experience in sensitive handling and gentle cleansing a live model's (bathing suit covered) body.
You'll be guided in the ancient Jewish purification ritual 'tahara' used as a teaching template one that has provided great comfort to family and friends, dignity and honour to a deceased for three thousand years.
MIND & EMOTIONS:
You'll practice 'self-care' exercises for centering and remaining present. Eg: Breath work, stretching, mindfulness exercise, etc.
Learn through Don's well of experience ways to face and to overcome fears of being present to, touching, cleansing, and caring for a deceased at home or elsewhere.
Discuss and practice the custom of reading sacred texts to a mock deceased. (optional)
Practice devotional singing while 'preparing' a model.
Discuss the possibility of ongoing connections to late loved ones/ancestors. (optional).
Take part in discussions and demonstrations re respecting 'sacred boundaries’ when labouring in the presence of a newly deceased. These teachings arise from ancient Jewish funeral customs. (optional).
Don speaks from his pioneering work as former Canadian Outreach Director for the North American Green Burial Council on topics such as:
How to reduce one's carbon footprint in burial or cremation.
The three categories of green burial fashioned by the Green Burial Council.
How to create a private family, or public, green burial cemetery.
The Home Funeral Practicum does not provide professional death care training. It does not prepare you for a paying job. It is an educational workshop for those wanting to experience the sovereignty, empowerment and healing that comes from reclaiming family and community-led deathcare by oneself, with a community, and/or with a funeral director or transfer service personnel. If you are and end-of-life doula, the post death care skills you'll begin to hone are not to be performed for a family. You are there to educate and guide them in their own sacred work caring for a loved one. If a deceased's physical/hygienic situation moves beyond your legal and or practical management limits it is imperative you call a funeral director for immediate assistance.
The Practicum isfuneral director friendly. It extends appreciation to funeral directors who strive 24/7 to protect/support our public health and wellbeing. It honours exceptional directors who understand their role is to not simply offer their establishment's options yet to ask what a grieving person/family/community needs... and then deliver it. I know without their formal education, training/apprenticeships, licensing requirements and around the clock availability we would not be as secure as we are here in Canada.
Please know I am available for staging hosted 1-3 day Home Funeral Practicums across Canada. I am also open to requests to teach in the United States.
Thank you for visiting this site! I hope we'll meet some day!