People Enabling Funeral Reform and Green Burial
by Brian Hayden
October 15, 2021

The Green Burial Masterclass is a 12-week professional development training course for anyone interested in managing a natural burial cemetery.

Lee Webster and Holly Blue Hawkins are the lead instructors. This duo is as qualified as anybody to teach to teach the course: Lee is the Director of New Hampshire Funeral Resources, Education & Advocacy.  She is emeritus President of National Home Funeral Alliance, and emeritus board member for Green Burial Council. Holly Blue is a member of the Gamliel Institude faculty and Rosha Chevra Kadisha school and runs a green burial site. She is a past board member of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of California.

Above is a short excerpt from Lee’s Week 1 presentation. In this section she’s discussing funeral reform generally, including the systems and people involved. All of these things are connected and changes will inevitably impact everyone involved.

Video transcript: Lee Webster talks about personnel changes and how they impact funeral reform.

To aid in making this shift [funeral reform], various practitioners are becoming more visible. Hom funeral guides have been assisting families with legal and practical support for almost 30 years. And end of life doulas began offering non-medical assistance during the dying period. Green cemetery operators, as we’ll learn more about in the coming sessions, are much more hands-on with families than their conventional counterparts taking on a helping role beyond the digging and.

And those mortuary students we discussed are now comprised of approximately 67% women significantly changing the aesthetics of funeral service. If we listen to psychology studies, this translates into potentially more compassionate cooperative services, regardless of whether and how you participate or anticipate these personal changes will affect the average funeral experience.

There’s no doubt that they will change the current funeral system itself significantly one way or another as time goes on.