National Home Funeral Association
Margaret Henderson demonstrates sacred hair washing as part of the 2012 NHFA Conference/Retreat in Chicago
Margaret Henderson demonstrates sacred hair washing as part of the 2012 NHFA Conference in Chicago.
Join us at the 2013 NHFA conference
Home Funeral in Community: Reclaiming the Lost Art

We are excited to invite you to register now for the 2013 NHFA Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, October 18-20 at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel.


We have Nancy Poer as our keynote speaker Friday night, we'll have a field trip to Pine Forest Memorial Gardens, where they do green burials, how to build your home funeral community, and more! 


If you have any questions about the conference, please contact NHFA board member Anne O'Connor at 608-606-4808 or  

Hope to see you there! 

In This Issue
Quick Links
Register for our 2013 conference!

Newly printed NHFA brochures are available at no cost to you by writing with how many you need, your name and snail mail address. Simple! 



Natural Transitions Magazine has announced it will be offering free PDF downloads of the magazine.





Anyone can be a member of the NHFA without electing to pay dues, but we still require funds to operate. Please consider sending an annual donation to help support the work we are all doing to empower families to care for their own. You can send donations online 
, or by check to: NHFA, 11014 19th Ave SE, Ste #8, PMB #155, Everett, WA 98208.

Thank you! 





June 2013

We have a lot of great information to share in this National Home Funeral Alliance Newsletter. Our biggest piece of news is our invitation to you. Please join us for the fourth annual NHFA conference: Home Funeral in Community: Reclaiming the Lost Art, happening October 18-20 in beautiful Raleigh, North Carolina. You can register here. We are thrilled to announce that Nancy Poer, whom we consider one of the grandmothers of the home funeral movement, will be our keynote speaker Friday night and will be with us the whole weekend.

Nancy Poer will be the keynote speaker at the 2013 NHFA conference.

Nancy is but one of the excellent reasons to come to the conference. Charlene Elderkin, NHFA member and one of the founders of the Threshold Care Circle in Viroqua, WI, will be there selling her fantastic book, Where the Tree Falls, the Forest Rises. Look for the Q&A with Charlene in this newsletter. Also joining the conference is:

Dr. Monica Williams-Murphy, author of It's Okay to Die
* Freddie Johnson, the director of the Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery
*Char Barrett, former NHFA president and owner of A Sacred Moment. * our own Jerrigrace Lyons and Olivia Bareham, on care of the body
*Dyanne Matzkevich, manager of the Pine Forest Memorial Gardens, a green cemetery, that we'll be visiting.

There will be plenty of sessions around  the main focus of the conference--building our communities around these ideas. We will focus on calling in communities that we can partner with so that we can reach more people with the profound work of caring for our own loved ones at the time of death.
I encourage you to join us in Raleigh and walk away with the support, the knowledge, and the clear mission held deeply within you so that you, too, can help bring this valuable information to others.
I'm also asking you to pass this newsletter on to your contacts: to hospice workers, to hospital social workers and chaplains, to funeral directors, lawyers, hospital decision makers, nursing home workers and anyone else that you think would be interested.
Remember that your personal invitation will be more meaningful alongside this newsletter.
With all the great things we're planning, and with your help, the 2013
conference is going to be an enormous success. Very much hope to see you there.
Elizabeth Knox
National Home Funeral Alliance

A Q&A with Charlene Elderkin, NHFA member and author of "Where the Tree Falls, the Forest Rises."



Charlene Elderkin is one of the founders of the Threshold Care Circle, out of the tiny town of Viroqua, Wisconsin. Charlene had been hearing death stories for years and wanted to give others some of this experience. She has collected a series of stories about what happens to us after someone we love dies. Charlene gathered the stories into her recently published book, Where the Tree Falls, the Forest Rises. Each story is told in the first person, directly from the experience as the writer lived it and retold the story. We had a chance to talk with Charlene the book and her experiences of listening to death stories.

.read the interview with Charlene here

Use the new NHFA member logo!

For those of you who would like to show your support of the NHFA on your publications and presentations, you can download our Member Logo on our Member Resources page. We also plan to create car decals, which will be available at our Conference in October or at

  NHFA Supporter logo

Are you a teacher or trainer?

If you teach others how to carry out home funerals in seminars or workshops, please consider being listed on our Trainers Page. As the home funeral ethic spreads, more people will be looking for local teachers. Become one, and let us help you get the word out. Send info and photo to

Fill out tracking forms 

Please go to the Member Resources page to find forms to fill out and send in so that we can be tracking the rise in home funerals across the country. Easy instructions are included.

Join our Speakers Bureau

If any member has public speaking experience and would like to be included in our Speakers Bureau to help spread the word about home funerals, please contact either Olivia Bareham or Kristine Bentz for more details. Our webpage will go live July 1. Be on it!



Home funeral resources: get listed


A reminder that two important resources are available to help the public find you. Sign up at Home Funeral Directory. The HFD is expanding its listings, so if you are already on it, consider updating your information. Also listing green funeral providers is the Natural End Map, which requires a pledge to provide natural services.

National Home Funeral Alliance