Domestic Deathcare: The Effect of Home Funerals on the Grieving Process

Date of Award


Document Type



Counselor Education

First Advisor

Mary Fawcett


In the United States, there is a growing movement towards home and alternative funeral practices. Little is known about how this shift might impact the grief process. In order to understand the contemporary home funeral movement, it is important to examine pivotal moments in the history of funerals in America—like the Civil War, Industrial Revolution and the popularization of the genteel code. Additionally, research on grief and funerals provides general context and insight on the influence of funeral rituals on mourning. Though much of the literature on conventional funerals and family’s responses to loss apply to alternative deathcare, there is also some anecdotal evidence to suggest that the unique qualities of home funerals give families more time and space to heal.

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