Welcome

As you can see from my website, I’m involved in a lot of artistic and crafty endeavors. These things certainly keep me busy and bring me much joy, however, my passion lies in promoting healthy aging and bringing positivity and respect to the dying process. To put it simply, I’m here to help people make peace with the inevitability of death and fully embrace the life they have left. I want to do away with our cultural fear of aging and instead turn the process into a celebration. I believe that getting older means getting better in the most important ways. We improve, evolve and grow wiser. And to put it bluntly, getting older is a natural, inescapable part of life. Denial won’t change any of that. My goal is help people plan for their future so they can enjoy the time they have left without having to worry about every unpleasant detail. And when times do become challenging–which is a guarantee in life–I want to be there to ease people through it. Overall, I’d like to transform that which is seen as an unpleasant process into something beautiful.



Services Offered

Transitional Life Coach

We all either have or will reach that phase in life where we’re forced to start thinking about what’s next? The kids have grown up and moved out. You’ve just retired after working most of your life and you’re not sure what exactly to do with yourself now. Your life before has been one clear benchmark after the next and now nothing seems as cut and dried. Well, I’m here to help you forge ahead into the great unknown. It can be as simple as needing a life coach to help you clarify your goals and reinvent the next chapter of your life. Additionally, things like downsizing, moving closer to family or into assisted living, getting important estate and medical documentation squared away are all essential considerations and best planned for sooner rather than later. Not to mention, envisioning how you’d like to document the legacy you leave behind. It would be my honor to help take some stress off of you in what can sometimes be a very confusing time of transition.

For those who have just lost a loved one in the Tompkins/Cortland region of New York and need assistance figuring out what to do with the items left behind, I can help in your time of transition as well. Deciding what to do with an entire house full of several decades worth of memories is an extremely stressful, heartbreaking and overwhelming experience for most people, especially if you don’t live in the area. Together, we can assess your needs, create an action plan, and coordinate community resources such as waste removal, furniture and clothing donation sites, moving companies, estate sale planners, auction houses, appraisers, real estate agents and professional cleaners. I can even assist you with creating social media listings and hosting yard sales.

My services include but are not limited to:

  • advance care planning
  • legacy projects
  • downsizing assistance
  • goal planning
  • hosting legacy workshops
  • energy & movement work
  • conflict resolution
  • coordinating community resources

End of Life Doula

An End of Life Doula is similar to a birth doula. One compassionately assists those coming into this world and one compassionately assists those leaving this world. An End of Life Doula usually assists with recognizing and filling gaps in a dying person’s care. This includes providing emotional, spiritual, informational, and physical support with the goal being a low stress, comfortable, personalized–even, dare I say, positive–experience for clients and their loved ones. End of Life Doulas work alongside family members, friends and even medical, palliative and hospice workers in hospitals, senior care facilities and private home settings.

My services include but are not limited to:

  • legacy projects
  • planning & holding vigils
  • respite care
  • energy work & therapeutic touch
  • hosting online & at-home celebration of life services
  • advance directives
  • planning memorial services
  • grief support
  • conflict resolution
  • tai chi & qigong
  • care coordination

Companion Animal End of Life Doula

Not one to ever diminish the important role that companion animals have in our lives, I also provide the same doula services for people and families who need extra emotional, spiritual, informational and physical support during an animal’s dying process and the grief period afterwards.

My services include but are not limited to:

  • reviewing end of life care options and the pros and cons of each
  • energy work and accupressure
  • assist with planning memorials or funeral services
  • recommending animal comfort and home safety measures
  • grief support
  • to provide emotional and logistical support during the dying process

Home Funeral Guide

A Home Funeral Guide empowers families to take care of their deceased loved ones at home. Why would someone want to have a home funeral, you ask? They allow families to have closure and time with their loved one, personalized rituals can be performed, family members from out of town have ample time for travel, and they are usually less costly compared to a traditional ceremony. Home Funeral Guides are there to assist you as educators and consultants.

After-death care is regulated differently in each state. To find out what your state’s regulations are, click here. For example, in New York State, a funeral director must be hired to file the death certificate; receive the body from a hospital, institution or other place; personally supervise the funeral services; and personally supervise the internment or cremation. No matter where you live, it is legal in every state to bring or keep a loved one home for a ceremony of the family’s design and choosing. A home funeral guide does not make funeral arrangements or perform hands-on after-death care and cannot charge for those services, however, they can volunteer those services. They can charge for consultation, education and for providing supplies. For more information on home funerals visit The National Home Funeral Alliance.

Celebrant

I am a Universal Life Church Monastery minister that has written and performed a multitude of non-denominational ceremonies. I can assist you in creating a highly personalized celebration of life, memorial service or funeral for yourself or a loved one. Now is a great opportunity to provide you with some important definitions: A celebration of life is usually held after a body has been interred or cremated. They can be held days, weeks, months or even years after a person has died. They have a celebratory tone and are highly personalized. A funeral is a more traditional ceremony with the body present. A funeral usually follows a very structured format. A memorial service is a hybrid of a funeral and a celebration of life. A casket is not present at the memorial service, although sometimes ashes can be. They can be held anytime after death but they are less traditionally arranged than a funeral.



Glossary of Terms

I realize that all of this can be confusing and so many terms overlap so here’s some helpful information courtesy of the National Home Funeral Alliance. My offerings span the entire death care continuum outlined below.

Conceived and designed by Donna Belk. http://www.homefuneralalliance.org

Terms and Definitions for End of Life Service Providers
After careful consideration of the data and research from a wide variety of resources and individuals, the NHFA has chosen to employ the following terms:

  • Death and Dying Guide —One who works with the dying person and family to accompany them throughout the death experience, facilitates family-led after-death home or facility care, and may attend to spiritual and ceremonial needs as requested
  • End-of-Life Doula — One who accompanies a dying person and/or family and friends through a personal, intentional, and conscious dying process to achieve a conscious death
  • Home Funeral Guide — One who empowers families and/or friends to care for their own dead, including educating, consulting, and guiding them through after-death care
  • Celebrant — One who works with family and/or friends to co-create a highly customized ceremony (for funeral, memorial, celebration of life)

Terms and Definitions for Advocates and Educators

  • Home Funeral Advocate, Home Funeral Educator — While not included in the lexicon of end of life care providers who educate families through consulting, coaching, demonstration and myriad other means privately, home funeral advocates/educators do vitally important work by educating publicly through presentations, workshops, local tabling opportunities, and other events aimed at developing a global understanding of the home funeral movement.

(Glossary respectfully taken from The National Home Funeral Alliance. http://www.homefuneralalliance.org/what-we-call-ourselves.html)


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