Funeral Professionals Peer Support Meeting on Facing the Unfamiliar
WHEELING, IL—Every option every time—is that even possible?
One of the greatest challenges of funeral service is that, as the work evolves, new options are added without retiring anything else. A new service doesn’t replace a tradition: now you must be knowledgeable about both options. It is understandable that requiring this level of expertise from the contemporary funeral professional often leads to them feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
On April 18, 2023, Ashley Johnson facilitates the Funeral Professionals Peer Support Meeting to cover one service option that may be unfamiliar to many: death doulas. What are they, what do they mean for your workload, and how can you partner to provide better service to your families? Ashley will share her insights, answer your questions, and help alleviate some of the concerns around the unknown.
Death doulas may seem like a new or progressive idea, but they are as old as death itself. Mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional support have often been a fundamental part of the transition to death, and this is a common focus of death doulas. So where does a funeral professional fit? As a licensed funeral professional, death doula, and grief counselor, Ashley Johnson knows that these roles may seem different, but together they can provide greater support to their communities than ever before.
“My death care career was inspired by growing up in a low socio-economic neighborhood that lacked advocacy on how to deal with end-of-life practices. My interest in funeral service started as a child. I would read the Sunday obituaries instead of the comics,” Ashley explains. “I was motivated to become an end-of-life doula when my childhood friend was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer at the age of 27. I was doing the task of an end-of-life doula for her without knowing it. Once she transitioned, I saw fit to provide others in need of education, service, and companionship and continue this journey. Everyone deserves ‘good death’ and families need proper closure.”
Join Ashley Johnson for a meeting of funeral professionals’ peer support to explore unfamiliar areas and find common ground. Whether or not you have a particular pressing issue to discuss, the meetings are a valuable place to offer support to your colleagues, too. If you work for a funeral home, cemetery, or crematory serving the public or supporting those who do—connect with us on Tuesday, April 18, 2023 at 8pm ET / 7pm CT / 5pm PT via Zoom link at goCANA.org/peersupport. Students, apprentices, and interns are welcome.
About Funeral Professional Peer Support
Funeral Professional Peer Support Group is committed to providing support, healing, education and knowledge to funeral professionals. They promote wholeness and wellness by uniting funeral sector professionals through a Canada-wide network of regional organizations offering support, information and resources within their community.
Founded in 1913, the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) is an international organization of over 3,500 members, composed of funeral homes, cemeteries, crematories, industry suppliers, and consultants. CANA members believe that cremation is preparation for memorialization.