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Beyond Hospice LogoAn 88-hour Certificate Course
for End-of-Life Guides and
Home Funeral Guides

Not so long ago people were born and died in their own homes, with family and friends providing care for them. These were community events with friends and neighbors gathering and supporting the families.

For the last 100 years the care of our dead has gradually been turned over to businesses. But the recent decade has seen a resurgence in families providing end-of-life care to loved ones through home hospice care. As a natural extension of hospice more and more families are choosing to care for their loved one – before and after death – in their homes.

The work of end-of-life guides (sometimes called death midwives or death doulas) and home funeral guides does not duplicate the work of professionals such as nurses or funeral directors. We work alongside them and our skills are not medically oriented, they are more heart-oriented. We use the ancient, and time-proven techniques of an open and compassionate heart, our hands, and our voices. This work can be done in any setting, whether in a hospital, nursing facility or a home.

When a loved one’s death is dignified, peaceful and meaningful it can be a sacred experience for those left behind. Often an event such as this heals family rifts and enables people to reconnect with each other in ways that are life-changing for everyone involved. When families are able to participate in the ending of a loved one’s life it can be very empowering.

Beyond Hospice’s program is intended to focus and sharpen our natural skills and to give confidence and credibility to the practitioners. This encourages participants to work with people before and after death. Upon completion of the training program, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion. And, you may use the most fitting term to describe yourself – home funeral guide, death midwife, end-of-life guide, death doula – as there are no national boards or regulations which govern this practice. Please see these articles by the National Home Funeral Alliance about terminology,  and certification.

In the training you will

  • learn tools and techniques for companioning or midwifing the dying
  • learn tools for creating a sacred space for transition, before and after death
  • create your own guidebook to use for yourself, with patients or for vigils

Who will benefit from this training?

  • friends and family caring for someone who is dying
  • those who want to accompany a loved one through their dying process
  • professionals working in hospices, hospitals, nursing homes who are seeking to expand their skills and effectiveness in assisting with death and dying
  • healers and therapists who want to learn more
  • hospice volunteers or those wishing to become volunteers
  • anyone who wishes to learn more about cultivating presence and personal awareness in death, dying and living well
  • those who want to prepare gracefully for their own journey through dying into death.