Licensed Funeral Director
When people find out I'm a licensed funeral director, they usually ask why I chose this work and I'm never quite sure how to answer but to say, “it chose me". After changing my college major several times I transferred to the mortuary science program at Mount Ida College outside of Boston, MA, and finished the Associate of Science degree in 2002. While working in funeral homes as an intern and licensed director I thought there must be a more natural way to care for people after death. Through research and exploration, I discovered green burial and home funerals and knew that this original way of caring for our dead made the most sense. I opened the Natural Funeral Company in 2014 and now I assist and empower families to care for their own, if they wish, or guide them in whatever funeral rituals or services are right for them. I appreciate helping families at a difficult time and alleviating some of the stresses of bereavement and grief by offering practical advice and affordable services.
I live with two dogs, a baby, and my wonderfully supportive partner, Charlie. I used to have more time for gardening, beekeeping, and community volunteer work, and I hope I will again someday! If you ever want to talk about your funeral, I'd love to sit down over a cup of coffee and discuss what is important to you and your family so that your death is a true reflection of how you lived your life.
Celebrant + End of Life Doula
With a Master of Arts in Culture & Spirituality, I bring a holistic perspective to my work as a celebrant, leading weddings, funerals and other services where people mark important moments with ritual and celebration. I help families create ceremonies to honor their loved one who’s passed, and then usually lead the service. I listen carefully to people’s stories and, if they want, I write a eulogy. I also offer relevant readings, as well as ideas for expressing what this individual and their legacy mean to family and friends. We might include music, poems, flowers, or any kind of personal touch that fits. Just as every person is unique, so is every service. I support people as they think through what feels right for them in celebrating their beloved.
I also provide end-of-life doula services, supporting people and their families in facing death as consciously and as peacefully as possible. With 25+ years of counseling and community/family mediation experience, I’m comfortable with intense feelings, as well as with the kinds of issues that can arise for families around a loved one’s passing. I help people reflect on the meaning of their lives, on what’s important to them in their final days, weeks or months, and on how they want to be remembered. I also help them develop rituals, if they’d like, surrounding their passing.
I’m a founding member of Pittsburgh Community Deathcare, and have helped to facilitate Death Cafes. When I’m not involved in death-related events, I’m often at the East End Food Co-op, where I work as the book buyer, striving to offer information and stories that inspire people to live in more conscious connection. I also love mentoring homeschoolers and their parents, and I sometimes lead classes and workshops on topics like Food & Mindfulness, and Mandala-Making.