Level 1 and 2 Description

Level 1:  Conscious Dying, End-of-Life Doula/Midwifery Care

Level 2:  Death Doula/Midwifery, Green Burial, Home Funeral Guidancel

We usually teach Level 1-2 at least twice each year, in March & July.
Sometimes we also offer Level 1 and 2 in September or October.

Find the next offering on our home page.

Do you have a calling to work with people who are moving through their final transition?

Are you interested in a more holistic approach to living, dying and after-death care?

Would you like a personal and more meaningful funeral approach for yourself or a loved one?

Putting Body in Box

Join us in celebrating a new way to view death in our culture. See death as a sacred rite-of-passage where family or friends can reclaim knowledge and ritual hidden for the past 100 years.

Explore conscious dying and what it is to prepare for your own passing. Discuss the practices, practicalities and preparation we need in our lives to help us die consciously?

Thanks to training in natural childbirth and home hospice care, Americans have begun to reclaim some of life’s most powerful experiences from ancient traditions and collective wisdom. Natural, family-directed home funerals are the newest element in this movement.

The benefits of home or family-run funerals are many, and yet they often remain out of the reach of individuals due to lack of information, misinformation or intimidation. Now you can help play a part in the rebirth of home funerals through this unique educational program.


Learn how to help relatives or friends exercise their legal right to create uniquely designed end-of-life celebrations, funeral arrangements and ceremonies, while properly handling paperwork, transportation and other logistics. Discover the benefits of home funerals and green burial.

Families who have chosen this option say, “We can’t imagine doing it any other way. It just makes sense and seems so natural.” It’s a life-affirming experience and an important missing link in our culture’s cycle of life.

Through storytelling and intimate visual recordings, explore dignified, compassionate and affordable options available to everyone. Learn about green burial options, another important growing movement in the US.

What Level 1 Students Are Saying

I really loved the breakout sessions and the ability to intimately connect with others, even though we were online. I got a lot out of the practices requiring us to examine ourselves and go through the self-inquiry and decision-making processes that we expect future clients & their families to do. Healer heal thyself! 

— Kirra

I thought the training was well-balanced between the practical “clinical” aspects:  terminology, paperwork (AHCD), vital statistics, etc. and the personal and spiritual components like grappling with loss, considering our own death, when someone is afraid of dying, etc.  All of the videos helped synthesize these teachings.  I also appreciated that people were entering at all levels of experience.  Listening to other people’s experiences and stories is so enriching. 

– Lisa B

The training “incorporated our hearts, minds and spirit into the work. The training embodied what it is to sit with ourselves facing death and applying it to sitting with someone who is dying. We were able to understand more the rights we have and what we should do to maximize those rights, the legal and logistical steps of this process. 

— Paolo

Jumping into the group was a big hurdle so I really appreciated the breakout groups. It was so much easier to communicate for me that way. The film on Bryon’s home funeral was uplifting. Felt so good to be exposed to loving options for this ever so “civilized” and antiseptically clean world that we live in now. 

– D Joy

I loved the structure you have created for presenting such an abundant amount of information in a short time… interweaving presentations, activities, small group interactions, slides and videos with skill, knowledge, compassion and humor. It was informative, thought provoking and emotionally impactful. I had several unexpected moments of tears.  

– Ann

How Long is the Training?

DURING COVID-19, we offer the training online via Zoom in 2 separate 3-day weekend events. Online events are typically scheduled for Friday through Sunday: Friday afternoon 3:00-8:00pm Pacific Time, and all day Saturday and Sunday, from 9:30am-5:30pm Pacific Time. Check the upcoming trainings on our home page for details.

When we are able to meet in-person once again, Level 1 and 2 are offered as two back-to-back 2-day workshops. The full weekend runs from Friday at 9:00am through Monday at 5:00pm.

It was an honor to receive your sharing and teaching us about your work, your calling to it, and of yourself. For myself, I think most of all I appreciate your realness and being just plain comfortable with not only this work, but your place in it all. Thank you for that. The sense of ease you and Mark model is perhaps the best lesson of them all. With gratitude to you both — Sheila


Jerrigrace 2018

Jerrigrace Lyons, featured in the acclaimed PBS documentary, A Family Undertaking, available on Netflix as DVD. Jerrigrace has been exploring the natural death arena since 1995.

In a safe and supportive environment, Founder and Director of Final Passages, Jerrigrace will be sharing a wealth of information about a holistic approach to dying and after-death care based on her decades of experience in the natural death care field. She sees dying and after-death care as a holistic, natural extension to a conscious approach to life.

Guest Instructors and Presenters

For each training, we invite guest instructors to teach about their area of expertise, and presenters who have experienced a home funeral to share their perspective.


Constance Miles headshot
Constance Miles, RN, MA (Counseling Psychology), Birth Midwife (37 years), Certified Death Midwife and End of Life Doula, Poetess and Celebrant
Constance birthed her four daughters at home and midwifed her eldest and youngest during the homebirths of her six granddaughters. Transitioning from birth work to end of life work was a natural segue, after midwifing her son by marriage through his final journey and removing her mom from life support. Both events inspired original poems which grew into her self-published collection, Lamentations: Grief and Remembrance.
As a registered nurse, Constance has worked in a multitude of settings. She offers deep listening, a compassionate presence and a quirky sense of humor. She is on the Final Passages Core Council and has guided many home funerals. She is also a member of the SoCoElda (Sonoma County End of Life Doula Alliance).
She cherishes being a Nana, gardener, poet and dancer.

Manena Harper BA, Minister, End-of-Life Doula, Caregiver & Concierge, Celebrant and Home Funeral Guide.
Manena created Heart Centered Memorials following graduation from the Final Passages Certificate program. She then interned with Jerrigrace Lyons for two years. She has a diverse business background including managing a non-profit free clinic in Santa Monica, California that was featured on 60 minutes and 20/20. She was her husband’s end of life caregiver, and directed and facilitated his home funeral.
Manena has been a caregiver for the past 15 years and has been involved in death care and education since 1974. She has facilitated many home funerals, memorial services as well as supporting clients with MAID, (Medical Aid in Dying). She has her own Personal Concierge/Assistant business and is a member of the Final Passages Core Council.

One of our students made this movie of our in-person Level 1 and 2 training.

Level 1 Topics:

  • Planning ahead, learning new & ancient customs and exploring our own wishes
  • Practical information to prepare for death: e.g: Advanced Directives, POLST, stages of dying
  • Conscious dying; focusing on death as a sacred time and natural cycle of life
  • Tools of transformation, assisting others across the threshold such as Threshold choir, music, Reiki, and other forms of bedside care of the dying
  • Feature film on Conscious Dying
  • Guiding others across the threshold

Level 2 Topics:

  • Talking with families concerning a person dying or deceased
  • Forms for families and agencies in your community
  • What to have in your home funeral doula/midwifery kit
  • Care and honoring of a body while keeping a loved one at home
  • Hands-on techniques of moving and carrying a body – Practice possible only in live events.
  • Self-Care for death doulas, midwives and guides
  • Use of essential oils for personal care, anointing and healing properties
  • The funeral industry in our country today and multi-cultural perspectives
  • Films on death in other cultures, green burials and more home-based funerals
  • Legalities and logistics for family-directed home funerals
  • Ecological, economical, social, spiritual benefits of home funerals and green burial
  • Guest speaker on a personal home family funeral
Jerrigrace teaching


  • Friday 3:00-8:00 Pacific
  • Saturday 9:00am-5:30pm Pacific
  • Sunday 9:00am-5:30pm Pacific


16 CEUs per Level – available for Nurses.


You can register online, by mail or by phone.

Find the next offering and current cost on our home page or look in the sidebar for Honoring Life’s Final Passage, Level 1 and 2.


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

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


My friend Neila and I met you at the final class of our Contemplative End of Life Care course in Toronto in September. We are forever grateful for the wisdom and experience you and your husband imparted to our class. I wanted to tell you about an experience I had last week where Neila and I were called upon to attend to the very recent passing of my cousin Maggie. I knew that Maggie was very unwell and had received the diagnosis of stage 4 cancer a few weeks before but she passed within a month of basically just feeling unwell. She stayed at home and was cared for by her husband and three adult daughters.

Maggie lived a very natural life and wouldn’t even take aspirins and was very fit, practiced yoga daily and was very moderate in her habits.  Her sudden passing was shocking. Knowing about the course I had taken, her daughter called immediately after her passing at 10pm. I immediately called Neila and we gathered what we had on hand from your extensive list. Fortunately I had purchased from you Thieves and Frankincense. We drove for 2 hours and arrived to find the exhausted family not sure how to proceed. Maggie was in her bed still and she looked radiant.

Although we hadn’t really been mentally prepared to be pressed into action that night, we were quite pleased with how easily your words came back to us. We guided the family through the steps of washing Maggie while we all said words of thanks for her life. We anointed her with Frankincense. We dressed her in her yoga clothing and applied very basic make-up. The process took us about 4 hours and they were magical hours. At one point her husband fell asleep in the chair in their room as the girls chose and arranged her jewelry and put Maggie’s hair up in her usual top knot.

Your words were guiding us all. It was amazing how all the things we needed seemed to appear, words came to us, emotions were calmed and we all just seemed to know what to do, naturally. We all discussed next steps and again people appeared, calls were made, food was given, people brought musical instruments and other gifts of light and love.   I think the greatest take away for me was that, you’re right it wasn’t perfect, but somehow everything was good and right and unfolded just as it should. So, thank you! Your experience continues to touch and change lives up here in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada.

Mandy St.Germaine

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