Level 3 Description

Honoring Life’s Final Passage, Level 3

Reclaiming the Wisdom Traditions and Art of Death Midwifery and Home Funeral Guidance

Level 1 and 2 are a prerequisite for Level 3 Training.

Our Level 3 training offers a certificate in Death Midwifery and Home Funeral Guidance.

We also invite all previous graduates to join the fun for reunion, peer support, and to rekindle their passion for this exciting work as well as a chance to mentor our newbies.

Spanning 5 days, our training is in a retreat setting in the beautiful Calistoga Mountains.


This course is offered once per year in May.

Because we offer the training once per year, if you are reading this between June and February, there may not be an active registration page for Level 3.


Length of Training:

Level 3 typically begins on Wednesday evening at 6:00pm for dinner on the first day of training, and ends at 3:00 pm on the fourth day. See more specifics near the bottom of this page.

Because we offer the training once per year, if you are reading this between June and February, there may not be an active registration page for Level 3. Check the sidebar for Upcoming Courses, and join our mailing list – also in the sidebar – to be notified when we schedule our trainings.



Our Level 3 course offers more in-depth information surrounding home funerals and the national movement.

Along with further instruction by Final Passages director Jerrigrace Lyons, there will be guest instructors to share their skills and wisdom on subjects such as

  • Home funeral role-play
  • Grief & Family dynamics
  • A variety of ceremonial styles and rituals
  • Death meditation practice
  • Death masks: How and why
  • Dealing with autopsy
  • Current political issues
  • Inspiration and stories from past graduates
  • When NOT to offer a home funeral
  • Shroud wrapping and shroud-only green burials
  • Still birth and fetal home funerals
  • Natural methods of disposition
  • Resources for presenting to your community
  • Exploration and guidance for starting a business or home funeral support group in your area

Participants will be invited to express music, poetry and other related art forms and there will be opportunities for integration in nature at the beautiful Mountain Home Ranch in Calistoga.

Level 3 includes a certificate of completion for our death midwifery and home funeral guidance program.



Sadly, the lovely retreat setting that we used for so many years was lost to the Tubbs Fire in October.

But we have found another beautiful location, River’s Bend, in Philo, CA.

Our retreat setting provides an intensive well-rounded experience in a gorgeous natural setting, including sumptuous, healthy meals that allows us to take a deep dive into our training.

River's Bend Dining Hall

River’s Bend Dining Hall

River's Bend Lodge Room

River’s Bend Lodge Room

River's Bend Farmhouse

River’s Bend Farmhouse

River's Bend image

River’s Bend

River's Bend grounds

Some of River’s Bend grounds



Level 3 is $825, plus lodging. There is an Early Bird discount for registering at least 3 weeks in advance of the training. Your registration covers 3 meals per day.

Level 3 Alumni

Level 3 Alumni get an email with special pricing to repeat Level 3, and can register by contacting Jerrigrace by phone or email.



Lodging is available on site, and we encourage you to stay on-site for the full retreat experience.

The cost of lodging is NOT included in your registration fee. For our 2018 retreat, lodging varies from $25/night for tent camping to $95/night for a private room in the lodge.

We post the prices each year. A member of our staff handles your lodging reservations, and will gladly discuss the options with you.



Jerrigrace LyonsJerrigrace Lyons

Jerrigrace, founder of Final Passages, 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. Jerrigrace has guided hundreds of home funerals since 1995.

Jerrigrace is featured in the acclaimed PBS documentary, A Family Undertaking (available on Netflix as DVD).



In addition to Jerrigrace’s decades of experience, we have guest presenters and instructors at each Level 3 training.

Each year, we post short bios of our guest instructors and presenters on the registration page.



Our typical schedule, subject to change:


  • 3:00 – 6:00 pm Registration
  • 6:00 – 7:00 pm Dinner
  • 7:00 – 9:00 pm Welcome and Orientation

Thursday, Friday, Saturday:

  • 8:00 – 9:00 am Breakfast
  • 9:00 am – 5:00 Training; Lunch included
  • 5:00 – 7:00 pm Dinner
  • 7:00 – 9:00 pm Evening Activities


  • 8:00 – 9:00 am Breakfast
  • 9:00 – 3:00 pm Training and Graduation Ceremony; Lunch included


For local graduates, ask about Internship options. Jerrigrace is usually available by telephone to assist any graduates with a home funeral.


Click here to register for the 2018 Level 3 Training.