2017 Natural Death Care Symposium

Learning & conversation to honor Earth Day & National Health Care Decisions Day

Choose from events in Portland, Hood River & Goldendale, WA

Learn about Natural Burial, Family-Directed Funerals & Rituals of Remembrance, tour our region’s leading natural and conservation burial grounds, play a thought-provoking Conversation Game:

Hood River, OR & Goldendale, WA Events
Portland Events
  • Wed, April 19, 7-9pm, Conversation Game, River View Cemetery, Portland, REGISTER, share on FACEBOOK
  • Sat, April 22, 9am-1pm Natural Death Care Workshop (followed by optional tours) River View Cemetery, Portland, REGISTER, share on FACEBOOK

Read what participants said about last year’s Natural Death Care Symposium.

About the Events

Natural Death Care Workshop (9am-1pm) Sat April 1 at Hood River Library OR Sat April 22 at River View Cemetery, Portland

  • Natural Burial: Why, How, Where ~ Natural burial (also known as green burial) is a simple, meaningful, and environmentally-friendly method of disposition, which allows individuals to practice their ecological values during and after death. Learn:
    • What natural burial is, how it works, its human and ecological benefits.
    • Why natural burial is an increasingly popular choice in the Pacific Northwest.
    • How natural burial lends itself to crafting relevant and meaningful end of life rituals.
    • What you need to know to plan for a natural burial.
    • The unique urban and rural options provided by two Green Burial Council-certified non-profit cemeteries in the region: historic River View Cemetery in the heart of Portland and White Eagle Memorial Preserve in the Columbia River Gorge.
  • Home Funerals, DIY Memorials & Other Rituals of Remembrance ~ We care for our loved ones in life. How can we be more involved in caring for their bodies after death, and make an ongoing place in our lives for our beloved dead through rituals of mourning, memorialization, and remembrance? Learn:
    • The history of family-directed death care
    • Legal and practical considerations for home care of our deceased loved ones
    • How a funeral home can support family-directed death care
    • Inspirational examples of “Do it Yourself” (DIY) home vigils, memorials, and other rituals of remembrance
    • A case study of one family’s home vigil, natural burial, DIY memorial, and remembrance rituals
  • Connect with others who want their death to reflect the environmental values they’ve practiced in life.
  • Tour beautiful, historic River View Cemetery (optional) following the April 22 workshop.

Conversation Game, Sat April 1 at Hood River Library (3-5pm) OR Wed April 19 at River View Cemetery (7-9pm), Portland

  • Play a surprisingly fun, deeply meaningful, thought-provoking, fear-conquering conversation game about living and dying well.
  • Leave with a booklet of questions to share with family and friends, and a personal Next Steps Guide to inform your decisions about healthcare proxy, advance directive, caregiver support, and memorialization.
  • In partnership with National Health Care Decisions Day.

White Eagle Memorial Preserve Tour, Sunday April 2 in Goldendale, WA (12:30-3pm)

  • Tour the region’s leading conservation burial ground in Goldendale, WA.
  • Participate in a ritual of remembrance.
  • Carpools can be arranged from Hood River (1.5 hr drive) or Portland (2.5 hr drive). Please follow the directions on the website to reach White Eagle, as GPS and phone map apps may take you the wrong way.
Sponsored & Presented by

Presented as a community service by the non-profit burial grounds River View Cemetery & White Eagle Memorial Preserve in partnership with Holly Pruett, Life-Cycle Celebrant and Home Funeral Guide & the Death Talk Project, with support from Passages International and the Hood River Library.

  • David Noble, Executive Director of River View Cemetery ~ David Noble has been serving Oregon families for 44 years as a funeral director, embalmer, cemetery owner, and currently, as Executive Director of River View Cemetery in Portland.  Five years ago, River View began offering the option of burial without embalming, without an outer burial container, or even without a casket, throughout the entire cemetery. Natural burial now constitutes over 25% of River View’s burials.  David is an avid supporter of green burials, as well as home funerals, and has made presentations on the merits of green burial at numerous national and local conventions of funeral directors and cemetery owners/operators.
  • Jodie Buller, Cemetery Manager for White Eagle Memorial Preserve ~ Jodie Buller is the Cemetery Manager at White Eagle Memorial Preserve at Ekone Ranch, a Conservation Burial Ground outside Goldendale, WA. White Eagle works with funeral homes and with families directly, to offer meaningful burials in 20 acres of ponderosa and oak forest wilderness. Jodie walks people through the process of deciding their own end of life plans, and handling the logistics involved in burying loved ones. She is a celebrant and hosts burial receptions at the White Eagle cabin in the Ekone Ranch valley.
  • Holly Pruett, Life-Cycle Celebrant & Home Funeral Guide ~ A Life-Cycle Celebrant and Home Funeral Guide, Holly works with individuals, families, and communities to create unique, personalized ceremonies from cradle to grave. As a community conversation leader, Holly is the founder of the Death Talk Project, has organized PDX Death Café (the largest in the world) since 2013, and was the driving force behind the 500-person conference Death:OK (Let’s Talk About It).