Welcome to Washington Funeral Resources & Education
This site is dedicated to providing Washingtonians with information about their legal rights and available resources when death occurs. Whether you’re anticipating a death through illness or age, or wanting to be prepared with the facts knowing death can come at any time, this resource is designed to enable you and your community to be better equipped to provide meaningful, hands-on care for the dead—what is commonly called a "home funeral".
While some people entrust all of these arrangements to paid professionals, or choose to do only a simple cremation, many of us find ourselves looking for more affordable, meaningful or eco-friendly ways of memorializing and caring for our dead, in our own homes, in our places of worship, and in our communities.
This website is for anyone wishing to explore the continuum of death care options, including home funerals, home burial, green burial, or simply purchasing only the products and services really wanted and needed.
Our goal is to support individuals, families, friends, communities, and professionals to make decisions about death care, final disposition, and funerals based on knowledge, not simply by default.
For many, that will mean learning how to conduct what’s called a home funeral; for others, it will mean searching for a funeral director who will honor their unique ideas; for still others it will mean advocating for change in your local cemetery, hospital, and government laws and policies.
If you are one of those looking for answers, this site is designed to walk you through the practical “How Tos” of whichever aspects of after-death care you want to handle, including how to get what you want from any professionals you hire. You’ll find quick links to get assistance, a glossary of terms, and informative stories of how others have cared for their dead.
Because so many helping professionals are unfamiliar with family- and community-directed care for the dead, we’ve included professional education materials and resources for use in community education.
As our stories illustrate, any one can encounter the barrier of uninformed professionals. Communities of Black, Indigneous, and other People of Color may also encounter barriers in both healthcare and death care systems created by discriminatory practices or implicit racial bias. See our Resources section for more on the impact of systemic racism on death care.
It is our hope that the resources of this website equip you, and other Washingtonians and community advocates, to dismantle the barriers to meaningful and respectful family-and community-led care for the dead.
Learn How To:
Washington Funeral Resources
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