In this panel, we’ll address the environmental impact of death and how it relates to the presence and acceptance of death in our culture.
Many people know they need to decide between burial and cremation, but most don’t understand that the choice is more multidimensional. In addition to personal preferences, there are ecological impacts to the choice about what to do with our bodies when we die.
Modern society has outsourced death care to large corporations and lost much of our ritual and choice along the way. We are in the midst of a lot of compassionate choices now; home funeral guides, end-of-life doulas, and green funeral professionals are changing the landscape amidst growing concerns of climate change and the reclamation of ritual and tradition.
In this Karuna Live, we will explore:
Lauren Carroll, Co-Founder of Deathwives
Lauren is a Green Funeral Director and Death Educator. She works as a funeral director in Colorado Springs at the Water Crematory offering services from natural burial to water cremation, home funerals …and coming soon Natural Organic Reduction (NOR). She has served on the board of directors for the National Home Funeral Alliance as well as volunteered with Hospice. Lauren is passionate about welcoming community and family involvement into death space, as she knows firsthand how doing so creates strong containers for the processing of grief, which simply loves without a home.
Erin Merelli, Co-Founder of Deathwives
Erin Merelli is a Death Doula, Educator, and Ceremonialist. As a Death Doula (or End-of-Life Doula), Erin creates custom care plans for dying clients. Her services range from memorial and legacy work to supporting people through physical death. As a Ceremonialist, Erin crafts funeral (and wedding) ceremonies intended to honor and authentically represent those in her care. In all of her work, she creates spaces for grief and for love.
Emily Nelson, Founder of Be a Tree Cremation
Emily Nelson is the Founder and CEO of Be a Tree Cremation in Denver. With climate change and other environmental issues increasing in prominence, she is working to offer greener solutions for families including water cremation. Water cremation, or alkaline hydrolysis, is a wonderful solution for tackling environmental concerns in a society that is moving swiftly towards cremation. Emily is working to advocate for the legalization of water cremation and other green alternatives across the US and help families in Colorado find closure by allowing loved ones to live on through nature. Emily also contributes to Karuna Training’s publicity and outreach.
Melissa Moore, PhD, is a co-founder of Karuna Training and is currently the Executive Director of Karuna Training North America. Melissa’s background is in community-based mental health, research, training care providers, and women’s issues. She has a Ph.D. in Psychological Anthropology from California Institute of Integral Studies and a Masters in Contemplative Psychotherapy from Naropa University in Boulder, CO. Melissa has taught Buddhism and Contemplative Psychology worldwide for over 25 years.