Tawnya is a Home Funeral Guide, Life-Cycle Celebrant & Grief Companion. She offers home funeral education and support, custom ceremonies across the life-cycle with an emphasis in death and dying, and bereavement support.
Home funerals are when the bereaved choose to tend to the decedent themselves and/or hold a home vigil/viewing/wake with the decedent in the privacy of their own home or space. Home funerals are legal in all fifty states. See Dear Departures’ FAQ page for more information.
As a Life-Cycle Celebrant specializing in funerals, memorials, celebrations-of-life, graveside services, ash-scatterings, pregnancy and infant loss ceremonies, memorial dedications, virtual ceremonies, and more, Tawnya is strongly suited to tell authentic stories.
Living funerals are events where, when someone is nearing the end-of-life, they become the guest of honor at their own exit-party! More and more people are coming around the idea that, rather than have everyone sit around and tell stories about how great you were after you’re gone, it’s a much richer experience to be a part of that conversation while you’re still alive!
She strives to convey legacies with candor, tact, and grace.
Living Funerals are also an opportunity for the dying person to share with others what an impact those people have made on their life.
She offers ceremonies for those whose relationship with the dead was complicated, especially when trauma is a part the survivors’ past with the dead. It is critical to acknowledge the gravity of the situation in a way that gives voice to the survivors’ pain, by staying true to the narrative. Humans are fallible, after all.
“Do-over” memorials are for those who either never had a meaningful memorial for a loved one at all, or, if the one they did have was unsatisfactory. Whether your loved one has been gone for a year, or a decade, it’s never too late to create a meaningful tribute. This process can be therapeutic, especially as it relates to our past culture around miscarriages and/or infant deaths that weren’t given the acknowledgment that they deserved.
Tawnya also offers guidance in eulogy writing, as well as in crafting your own obituary! Obituaries don’t have to be simple timelines of events. They can be fun, witty, reverent, and lush! One need not be dying to start writing an obituary. Getting a head start means that when the inevitable happens, (be it tomorrow or years from now,) the things that are important to YOU about your life’s story have been highlighted!
Additionally, she offers pet-honoring ceremonies before, during, or after a pet death.
She’s even crafted send-offs for non-living beloveds, like vehicles lost to accidents, and homes lost to fire.
The sky is the limit in how we acknowledge and honor our grief!
“The event was beautiful! Tawnya over delivered! I got numerous compliments from attendees. I felt her compassion and empathy from beginning to end. She had great attention to detail. All of this taken together will ensure that I recommend her to someone else.” -Janet C., Memorial Client
“Tawnya was very personable. Her expertise made the service extra special. I wouldn’t change a thing.” -Agaitha B. Memorial Client
EDUCATION & AFFILIATIONS
- Life-Cycle Celebrant Certificate, Specializing in Funerals, Celebrant Foundation & Institute
- Bereaved Sibling Support Group Facilitator
- Holding Space for Pregnancy Loss Certificate (plus the advanced course), Institute of Birth Breath & Death
- Sacred Passage Guide Certificate, Conscious Dying Institute
- Board of Directors, National Home Funeral Alliance (NHFA)
- National End-of-Life Doula Alliance (NEDA) Member
- Denver Hospice Volunteer
- Shifting Deathcare: Tool for a New Paradigm, Going With Grace
- Trauma Informed Death Work, Narinder Bazen
- Bachelors of Science in Human Services/Counseling & Mental Health, Metro State College of Denver
Tawnya offers presentations and workshops on topics that include but are not limited to:
- Home Funerals & Community Death Care (law, logistics, ritual, & more)
- Medical Aid in Dying
- Voluntary Stopping of Eating & Drinking
- Eulogy & Obituary Writing
- Eco-Friendly Options in Death
- Grief in the Workplace
- Disenfranchised Grief
- Suicidal Ideation
Have a special request? Tawnya is happy to custom craft and/or co-create presentations and workshops on just about any topic in the death, dying, and grief space. Feel free reach out to share your ideas & requests!