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Glossary of Terms

For those looking for a definition of what an end-of-life doula is and examples of what services they provide to their clients, Francesca Arnoldy from the University of Vermont, has provided an informative video on the topic.

Terms and Definitions for End-of-Life Service Providers
There is an overabundance of confusing terms in the death care industry but luckily some standards have been set to help the general public better navigate who does what. After careful consideration of the data and research from a wide variety of resources and individuals, the National Home Funeral Alliance (NHFA) has chosen to employ the following terms and they are the ones that I have adopted for my business:

  • Death and Dying Guide —One who works with the dying person and family to accompany them throughout the death experience, facilitates family-led after-death home or facility care, and may attend to spiritual and ceremonial needs as requested
  • End-of-Life Doula — One who accompanies a dying person and/or family and friends through a personal, intentional, and conscious dying process to achieve a conscious death
  • Home Funeral Guide — One who empowers families and/or friends to care for their own dead, including educating, consulting, and guiding them through after-death care
  • Celebrant — One who works with family and/or friends to co-create a highly customized ceremony (for funeral, memorial, celebration of life)

Terms and Definitions for Advocates and Educators

  • Home Funeral Advocate, Home Funeral Educator — While not included in the lexicon of end of life care providers who educate families through consulting, coaching, demonstration and myriad other means privately, home funeral advocates/educators do vitally important work by educating publicly through presentations, workshops, local tabling opportunities, and other events aimed at developing a global understanding of the home funeral movement.

(Glossary respectfully taken from The National Home Funeral Alliance.

Conceived and designed by Donna Belk.