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

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

While this little blog post will certainly never make The New York Times, the obituary of Barbara Beye Lorie did.

Barbara Beye Lorie Obituary

Barbara was just one heck of a human being and her life story one of unique drive and determination.  I came in to be a part of her DEATH story, and I wanted to share that here because there are some pretty powerful LIFE lessons for all of us.

So today I am catching up with my dear friend Jenny, sipping our peppermint tea, and discussing our work as home funeral guides.  She recently took care of a friend who died---a good death actually since the friend had taken the time to plan ahead and not leave family second-guessing what she wanted.  One of those things was to have Jenny choreograph her funeral at home and direct her friends how to take care of her body during her 3-day vigil.  

I am pretty sure that most churches have some sort of planning guide for their congregants to help them organize those important final send-offs.   

So what happens when you randomly ask a bunch of friends and family to help you come up with a novel license tag slogan?  Honestly, I didn't know they had it in them to get so creative (especially ANNIE!!!).  And, um, too many cases their suggestions were totally over the top!!!?!

Here is a sampling of their ideas.  You realize, of course, that license tags only have so much room.  So the trick is to capture the pith in eight spaces.  You can readily see why so many were immediately disqualified!?!

Kudos to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Vital Records, for keeping up with the times and updating our Certificate of Death!  

Beginning March 1, 2018, you must use the new form.  Why?  Because the old form had boxes designated for the father's name and mother's name for the deceased person.  The new form changes those designations to "Father/Parent Name" and "Mother/Parent Name."  This change was intended to reach out to the LGBT community where parents may be same-sex couples.

This past July, when my father shuffled off this mortal coil, my daughter was conflicted about whether she should bring her very young daughter and my only granddaughter (not quite 4 years old) to his funeral.  I never hesitated in encouraging her to bring Blum along.  It's my firm conviction that children understand life and death from very early on, especially after having seen a dead bug!?  And the way this society tries to cover up death, pushing children away from the very natural and beautiful circle of life, just irks me to no end.  Trying to protect chi

Let me begin by saying that this whole post is dedicated to my sister, Denni, who managed somehow to get outside of her fear and disgust with all bodily secretions in order that she might help me with Kate's home funeral.  All her life, Denni has avoided the sights and smells of what comes out of our orifices.  I can still see her fanning the air vigorously while changing one of her children's diapers; gagging over the sight of blood when someone got a scrape; running at MACH speed to avoid someone in the process of vomiting.  Me?  I was captivated by it all, and still am.  These are signs of LIFE!


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