Death café hosts funeral home ‘practicum’

Shannon Calvert

The woman who held a death café in her house has opened her doors once again to host a ‘home funeral practicum’.

Shannon Calvert’s monthly death cafés are always fully booked and this was no exception, with 20 people attending to revive the century-old tradition. The seminar was conducted by Don Morris, a former funeral director who hosted Canada’s first death café in 2012. He explained the practicalities of hosting a home funeral, such as transporting, dressing the body and all health precautions.

Other topics included cleansing the body, which can be adapted to suit the family’s preferences, paperwork required by government and painting a homemade casket.

Speaking to SAIFInsight, Shannon explained: “We need to reclaim death-care as part of changing our orientation to death.

“Home funerals are a piece of our history that we have mostly lost, but has recently resurfaced as a social movement of people who see the benefits of family and community led deathcare.

“These benefits are environmental, financial and emotional, as when we care for our loved one after death it has a profound effect on how we grieve.”

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