Shrouding Sisters Blog

Coronavirus Information:

For the past few weeks, my posse of Piedmont death care professionals has worked diligently on getting this document ready for the public eye.  

We hope the day never comes when you actually find yourself having to use it.  But if you do, know that you have it within yourself to do the needful.  And this guide will help you every step of the way.

May we all be given strength while finding ways to endure these unprecedented times.

Download PDF: Care for Those Who Die at Home in Pandemic Times

It is so gratifying when you are interviewed and they actually get it right!  I am so thankful for writers like Jessica Levey who asked great questions and really "got" me from the get-go!

I love the celebrant work I do---whether I'm tying knots or lowering ropes.

Here's the article!


A Pillow of Moss

Betsey had shared her dear letter with family and me almost two years earlier.  In this letter she explained that she was beginning to feel “confused, anxious, fatigued and senile.”  Old age was her terminal illness, and she wanted to die with dignity and grace.  Her way.  The VSED way.

I remember the day in May when the hospice social worker called and told me that she had a patient who wanted to be buried on her own property.  “Can she really do that?  My supervisor gave me your card and said you would be able to help.”  My first thought was, “Hallelujah!  Someone at hospice actually paid attention to one of those talks I gave!!”

Some six months later, I would witness Tina get exactly what she had wished for.  A beautiful home funeral AND a burial in a private grove at the back of her home.  Readers, this was a textbook case.

FINAL Boarding Call!

During October and November, a 3-stage creative journey was sponsored by the Natural Deathcare Collaborative.  The intent was to decorate a symbolic vessel (small coffin or box) to honor a loss, memorialize a loved one, contemplate life and/or serve as a "death hope chest" to store keepsakes, planning documents or related items within.  

Many years ago, Jack had told his wife Joan he wanted a green burial.  He hated the smell of funeral homes where he made frequent flower deliveries.  "I don't want any of that 'stuff' done to me" he told her more than once.  She never forgot it.

On Tuesday evening, October 6th a group of almost 20 people gathered at Fitzgerald & Faulkner in downtown Graham.  In conjunction with Nate, Fitzgerald & Faulkner's award-winning bartender, I hosted a "Coffin Crafts and Cocktails" event.  Here, participants were able to choose from a plain or painted mini-coffin and a vast array of ephemera for decoration.  The price of the ticket included heavy hors d' oeuvres and two cocktails...themed to DEATH!  Nate also provided the backstories for his two libations, "Death in the Afternoon" and

How are home funeral guides to continue their work now?

HFG COVID19 Webinar from Lee Webster on Vimeo.

Well, this is really not a hymn or a dirge. But it feels like I'm lifting up a lamentation of sorts.  (and how about that new word I discovered:  coronach!!)

There is no denying that we are living, and dying, in a tumultuous time.  As a lover of obituaries, they are the first thing I turn to in the morning.  

They read differently now.  And families are having to adjust to the reality of smaller services (or no services at all until a later time).  That feels lamentable to me, though I understand the rationale for the precautionary measures.

Several weeks ago I was asked to go visit a woman under hospice care who was declining rapidly.  She and her husband were trying to sort out funeral arrangements and hospice staff thought providing them with home funeral and/or green burial information would be helpful.  Well, no, I was told.  "I'm not interested in cremation either.  Or anatomical body donation."  So where did that leave them?  There was no money saved and they were currently depending on some sort of raffle out of state to help with expenses.  They had no church family with a fellowship hall where they could hold a small


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