About Our Founder

We are a small group of educators and volunteers dedicated to the reclaiming of traditional funeral and burial practices.

We are pioneers in education for natural, home and family-directed home funerals and green burial.

We are active participants in the National Home Funeral Alliance and abide by its terms and bylaws.

Our Beginnings

 

Jerrigrace LyonsJerrigrace Lyons is a Minister, death midwife, educator, home funeral guide and Reiki Master. She founded the educational non-profit organization, Final Passages in 1995 to inform people about little known funeral options, natural death care rights and practicalities, green burial and the benefits of bringing funerals back into the home and family care.

As a pioneer in the new field of home funeral guidance, Jerrigrace has facilitated hundreds of family-directed home funerals, offering choices that specifically address, social, environmental, spiritual and financial needs. She co-authored a complete guidebook, Creating Home Funerals and has appeared on radio, television and in worldwide publications including The Wall Street Journal (front page), USA Today, the NY and LA Times and The London Telegraph. Jerrigrace is featured in the acclaimed POV/PBS Documentary entitled, “A Family Undertaking” and she has also created and developed a 3-tiered certificate program in the field of conscious dying and home funeral guidance called, “Honoring Life’s Final Passage”. She is a board member emeritus of the National Home Funeral Alliance and currently serves on the Legislative Committee.

Jerrigrace Lyons founded Final Passages as a result of the unexpected death of her friend Carolyn Whiting. Because of Carolyn’s interest in a natural and conscious approach to death care, she left detailed instructions for a home funeral. Jerrigrace was a participant in Carolyn’s home funeral and was profoundly moved by the entire three-day experience. Community participation and ceremony, at home, supported those grieving and allowed more time for closure. The bathing and dressing of her body was performed with dignity and honor by her friends. Barriers of fear and anger were broken down, giving more room for love and celebration through this important passage. This most personal, meaningful, and respectful experience awakened in her a passion to share it with others. She pioneered Final Passages in 1995 to reawaken a choice that our ancestors once held sacred.