Natural Deathcare: Caring for the Body, Caring for the Earth
Adult Enrichment / Wellness & Life -
Explore natural and sustainable approaches to post-death care, funerals, and body disposition. As we've come to realize the importance of environmental impact in every area of our lives, we also should consider that what we do with our body after death also impacts the earth. Get an overview of the issues and alternatives of after-death care as well as options that can benefit our families, communities, and environment (including those being considered now for legalization in MA). Learn about your legal rights to family-directed and home-based natural death care, practical aspects of body care post-death, green and conservation burial cemeteries, and additional DIY options such as building a casket and planning commemorative rituals. These choices can offer simpler, more humane, and even joyful ways to draw closer within our communities while honoring those who have died. Come away with a deeper understanding of the range of possibilities available and a clearer vision for how to create a funeral that aligns with your values and priorities.
Co-sponsored by the Natural Deathcare Collaborative and Sustainable Arlington, an Envision Arlington Environment Committee, a chapter of the Massachusetts Climate Action Network.
The deaths of her parents in 1984 and 2004 and living above a funeral home for 3 months as a teenager are a foundation for Ruth's work at Mourning Dove Studio in Arlington. Started in Arlington in 2007, Mourning Dove Studio was founded from their own personal experiences – equal parts environmental concern and the need for better ways to grapple with grief. Their coffins, caskets and shrouds are environmentally-sound, sensible, and designed for personally-meaningful commemoration.
Heather Massey, MSW, LMT is a Death Educator and funeral consumer advocate specializing in, and passionate about teaching and reviving the ancient art of natural deathcare, and the many benefits therein for families, communities, and the environment.
Jasmine Tanguay is a funeral celebrant and legacy facilitator with 20 years of experience in environmental nonprofits.In 2016, she founded A Sustainable Legacy to help folks align their final outcomes with their deepest values and greatest gifts. Learn more about her work at www.ASustainableLegacy.org