Support & GuidanceGrief & Loss Counselling
Support Through Loss
Although grief is a natural and normal response to loss, it can be helpful to share your experience and receive validation, reassurance and even helpful guidance in coping from a skilled counsellor.
As a Registered Social Service Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers, I bring not only practical education and knowledge but also, more importantly, experience in navigating the oftentimes unrelenting upheaval that accompanies bereavement.
If you have experienced a loss and are feeling unsure, overwhelmed, stuck or frustrated, do connect with me and perhaps, I can help you find your way.
The Value and Purpose
Family-led death care is when a family member of the deceased takes over all (or some) of the after death care including transport, documentation (death registration) and body care, without a license and for no charge. In the province of Ontario it is the responsibility of the family to care for their own deceased loved ones. While most families engage the services of a licensed funeral director, some families choose to take over all or partial care of their loved one. If this is something that resonates with you, I am happy to help.
A misconception is that family led deathcare or home funerals are chosen because it is a less expensive option to conventional funerals. Although this may have some impact on a family’s decision, it isn’t the biggest reason why people choose family led deathcare. More often than not, it is the psychological and emotional value that comes with caring for one’s own loved one in death just as they cared for them in their life. Slowing down and taking part in this last act of service and love helps immensely with the natural response of grief.
How I Can Support You
I offer guidance and support to families who wish to care for their own loved ones before and after death. I do not have a fee for this offering. Family led deathcare may include some or all the following.
Prior to death:
- Making one’s own casket or urn (ensuring they meet standards)
- Speaking with the hospital or institution in advance of your intention to transport the body (if death not occurring at home)
- Organizing paperwork procedures
- Conversation with cemetery or crematorium personnel ahead of time
- Engaging support at home (palliative team, death doula, community support)
- Bedside vigil
- Immediate care of the body after death (washing and dressing, for example)
- Completing the necessary paperwork
- Home wake and/ or funeral (for a few hours or days)
- Participating in appropriate rituals (decorating the casket, singing, memory sharing)
- Transportation of the body to crematorium or cemetery
All of these processes— which give primacy to the role of those familiar with the deceased in their care and remembrance ~make up family led deathcare.
I offer emotional, practical, educational support to families who wish to do some or all the tasks normally performed by a licensed funeral director. You may wish to do just a few things while leaving items like the transportation of the body and paperwork to the funeral home. I can assist you in determining what might be most beneficial and practical for your family.