A home funeral allows a familial community to experience peace and intimacy at the time of a loved one’s transition. It gives people a chance to embrace the presence of death, rather than fear and avoid it. Care for a newly deceased person at home gives family members and friends the opportunity to carry out after-death rituals or ceremonies, or to join in a creative process such as decorating a cremation or burial casket.

In preparing a home funeral, family or friends respectfully bathe and dress the deceased, do hair and/or makeup, and lay out the body for visitation. Following ancient traditional practices, family members may then choose to gather with others in the presence of the deceased, share stories and memories over the course of several days, or simply come together for an intimate home memorial service.

Friends and family can gain further closure by accompanying the transfer of the deceased to a burial site, where some may wish to help dig the grave or witness the cremation to the final transformative process.