Profound life events and personal experience with loss have shaped Jessica Caldwell’s approach to end-of-life planning and practices. She has a unique professional history, having worked for a large memorial group in a conventional funeral home and cemetery. Her direct experience with the current model of standard industry practices gave her an insight to the real challenges and limitations that individuals and families encounter when faced with the passing of a loved one. “As a home funeral guide and ordained minister, I believe that we as a culture are transitioning into a much needed shift in death care that refocuses from an “industry” and seeing the individual as a “consumer” into a more meaningful experience that recognizes end-of-life as a continuum of one’s life, not a disconnect from it.”
Jessica began researching green burial as a holistic and environmentally sound practice when completing her own will. She believes that living a conscious life includes being well informed and empowered to make end-of-life choices that support the personal values of the individual. Jessica has dedicated herself to the pursuit of bringing home funeral and green burial education to the Pacific Northwest, specifically Thurston County, WA, which she calls home. I appreciate the four seasons, towering mountains, vast waterways and beautiful green landscape in which we are blessed to live and play.”
Jessica values relationship building and volunteerism as a lifelong practice and commitment. She is a hospice volunteer, Yoga & Mindfulness Instructor for the Citizen Science Institute with Marshall Middle School (in Olympia) and recently was appointed as Board Treasurer for the National Home Funeral Alliance. She offers a thoughtful approach to one of the current challenges facing our modern society: a disconnect from meaningful ritual, ceremony and our general relationship to end-of-life planning and practices as a society.
An educator and advocate of a rapidly growing movement in family-directed and sustainable end-of-life care, Jessica understands that the choices people make are highly personal, and influenced by family values, cultural history and their own beliefs. There is no right or wrong way, but there is a larger spectrum of choices in death care, and she hopes to bring these loving and dignified options to individuals and their families in order to take a more active and uniquely individualized approach in the care of a loved one who is terminally ill, nearing end-of-life, or who has recently passed. Jessica wants to share with others how we can explore the end of a life in a more personal and meaningful way that promotes healing and offers an expansive view of life as a continuum.