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Some of us work for a better living. I work for a better post-deathing. As a one-woman funeral service in the rural town of Boring, Oregon, I am eschewing big profits to prophet old-school burial practices that are kinder to humans and the Earth. I feel the green burial movement is crucial to restore this freedom and choice, both during the actual death and in the arrangements made after death, and to enable a more ”natural” death, surrounded by one’s loved ones in one’s own surroundings.

Like a lot of passionate professionals, I met my dream career in childhood. My mother and grandparents died when I was young. I read about different cultures' death rituals in National Geographic magazine, had a mock cemetery on my dresser, and when friends' pets died, I would perform the funeral. My father worried that mortuary school would severely limit my career path and encouraged me to study journalism, a nice, normal field of study.

And so, I majored in communications in college. Did commercials. Taught ballroom dancing for Arthur Murray. I could have gone on this way, dancing La Vida Traditional-Professional, had Opportunity not knocked its bony hand on my door. I was offered the chance to be a live-in night keeper at a funeral home on a big hill, and I slept in a trailer on the spooky edge of the cemetery with a shotgun under my bed. It was the scariest summer of my life.

Fast forward two decades and two books, I own a repurposed goat barn funeral home in rural America. Country life certainly runs on a clock that moves to the rhythms of random farm equipment easing down my road. Spending my last several years working as a small-town funeral director has given me the unique pleasure and privilege to serve families during their greatest time of need. I am always honored to be chosen to facilitate the journey of their loved one’s passing. What else? I'm currently the voice of the autopsy exhibit in the forensic wing at the United States National Museum of Medicine. I have a farm full of rescue goats and sheep. And I love to put my head on my pillow at the end of my day I feel that I did the best I could.

So refill your cup, get cozy in your chair, and take some time to read about my world. I'm glad you're here.