The aim of Wind & Wing is to provide end-of-life doula and home funeral services to people all over the world! I know that sounds a little grandiose but hear me out. I provide end-of-life doula support to anyone regardless of where they live in the world, in the form of one-on-one consultations via Zoom or over the phone, online ceremonies and educational workshops as well as selling handmade products such as urns, burial shrouds, memorial jewelry, home funeral bundles and end-of-life planners. If you live in the Finger Lakes region of New York (Cortland and Tompkins counties preferably), I’m also here to provide you with in-person support.
Additionally, if you need further resources than this website provides, take a peek at Wind & Wing’s Facebook page. If you need up-to-date information on end-of-life planning, home funerals, body disposition, legacy project ideas, green burials, medical aid in dying, elder care, hospice care, etc… most of my posts are hashtagged and searchable so feel free to use that as a resource. I also have a YouTube page with videos (and corresponding blog posts) explaining the most important end-of-life planning documents. So if you don’t know where to begin, that’s a great place to start.
Wind & Wing is dedicated to promoting healthy aging and bringing positivity and respect to the dying process. To put it simply, I’m here to help people make peace with the inevitability of death and fully embrace the life they have left. I want to do away with our cultural fear of aging and instead turn the process into a celebration. I believe that getting older means getting better in the most important ways. We improve, evolve and grow wiser. And to put it bluntly, getting older is a natural, inescapable part of life. Denial won’t change any of that. My goal is help people plan for their future so they can enjoy the time they have left without having to worry about every unpleasant detail. And when times do become challenging–which is a guarantee in life–I want to be there to ease people through it. Overall, I’d like to transform that which is seen as an unpleasant process into something beautiful.
End of Life Doula
An End of Life Doula is similar to a birth doula. One compassionately assists those coming into this world and one compassionately assists those leaving this world. An End of Life Doula usually assists with recognizing and filling gaps in a dying person’s care. This includes providing emotional, spiritual, informational, and physical support with the goal being a low stress, comfortable, personalized–even, dare I say, positive–experience for clients and their loved ones. End of Life Doulas work alongside family members, friends and even medical, palliative and hospice workers in hospitals, senior care facilities and private home settings.
My services include but are not limited to:
- legacy projects
- planning & holding vigils
- respite care
- energy work & therapeutic touch
- hosting online & at-home celebration of life services
- advance directives
- planning memorial services
- grief support
- conflict resolution
- tai chi & qigong
- care coordination
- cleaning out and organizing spaces
Companion Animal End of Life Doula
Not one to ever diminish the important role that companion animals have in our lives, I also provide the same doula services for people and families who need extra emotional, spiritual, informational and physical support during an animal’s dying process and the grief period afterwards.
My services include but are not limited to:
- reviewing end of life care options and the pros and cons of each
- energy work and acupressure
- assist with planning memorials or funeral services
- recommending animal comfort and home safety measures
- grief support
- to provide emotional and logistical support during the dying process
Home Funeral Guide
A Home Funeral Guide empowers families to take care of their deceased loved ones at home. Why would someone want to have a home funeral, you ask? They allow families to have closure and time with their loved one, personalized rituals can be performed, family members from out of town have ample time for travel, and they are usually less costly compared to a traditional ceremony. Home Funeral Guides are there to assist you as educators and consultants.
After-death care is regulated differently in each state. To find out what your state’s regulations are, click here. For example, in New York State, a funeral director must be hired to file the death certificate; receive the body from a hospital, institution or other place; personally supervise the funeral services; and personally supervise the internment or cremation. No matter where you live, it is legal in every state to bring or keep a loved one home for a ceremony of the family’s design and choosing. A home funeral guide does not make funeral arrangements or perform hands-on after-death care and cannot charge for those services, however, they can volunteer those services. They can charge for consultation, education and for providing supplies. For more information on home funerals visit The National Home Funeral Alliance.
I am a Universal Life Church Monastery minister that has written and performed a multitude of non-denominational ceremonies. I can assist you in creating a highly personalized celebration of life, memorial service or funeral for yourself or a loved one. Now is a great opportunity to provide you with some important definitions: A celebration of life is usually held after a body has been interred or cremated. They can be held days, weeks, months or even years after a person has died. They have a celebratory tone and are highly personalized. A funeral is a more traditional ceremony with the body present. A funeral usually follows a very structured format. A memorial service is a hybrid of a funeral and a celebration of life. A casket is not present at the memorial service, although sometimes ashes can be. They can be held anytime after death but they are less traditionally arranged than a funeral.
Glossary of Terms
I realize that all of this can be confusing and so many terms overlap so here’s some helpful information courtesy of the National Home Funeral Alliance. My offerings span the entire death care continuum outlined below.
Terms and Definitions for End of Life Service Providers
After careful consideration of the data and research from a wide variety of resources and individuals, the NHFA has chosen to employ the following terms:
- 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. http://www.homefuneralalliance.org/what-we-call-ourselves.html)