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"Post-death Care at Home" Video Series

"A picture is worth a thousand words."   Although attitudes are changing, we still live in a 'death taboo' culture.   Most of us are not aware that we have the legal right to care for our own dead at home, without using the services of a funeral home.   Whether or not we know about our rights post-death, the cultural taboo still tends to leave an 'ick ' factor, due to the assumption that caring for a dead body would be significantly different than caring for it the moment before death.    However, even if the 'ick ' factor is not an issue, there is still the question '...but how? '.

Note: We suggest that you watch these videos in full-screen mode.   Click on the box-corners icon at the bottom right of each video — and then press the red "Play" button once you get into full-screen mode.   [If you don't see the box-corners, move your mouse-cursor to the bottom right of the video.]   To return to the website page, press the "Esc" or "Escape" button, which will probably be at the far top left of your keyboard.

Written instructions (PDF) for Post-death Care at Home (including a list of supplies), and General Timeline (what to do when) are also available on this site; and are intended to companion the videos with more in-depth information.   Shroud patterns (with graphic and written instructions) — 2 unsewn, and 4 sewn variations — are also available.

We hope that the following videos, and the accompanying instructional PDFs, will help clarify how to care for a dead body — and most of the supplies needed would be things you already have at home.
   If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.


Part 1 — Moving the Body

This video shows the procedure for six women to move a 6'2" man's (dead) body across a room and through a doorway, carrying him on a large sheet.


Part 2 — Washing the Head, Face, and Mouth

This video shows the procedure for washing the hair and face, as well as cleaning the teeth and mouth.


Part 3 — Washing the Body

This video shows the procedure for washing the whole body (legs, arms and trunk) — as well as rolling the body on its side to be able to wash the back.

Part 4 — Dressing the Body

This video shows the procedure for dressing the body (in this case, with pants and shirt) — as well as how to set the eyes and mouth so that they remain shut.

Part 5 — Final Preparations

Option 1: Moving the body into the casket

This part of the video shows the procedure to move the body into the casket — using the same simple single-sheet technique as in Part 1 (Moving the Body).

Option 2: Shrouding the body

This part of the video shows the procedure to shroud the body in the simplest form of shroud — using a large (queen or king sized) sheet and 4 ties.    

There are 6 shroud patterns available on CINDEA 's 'Post-death Care and Home Funerals' page under the Shroud Patterns section.   The patterns include 2 unsewn ones (including the one demonstrated here) and 4 different sewn ones — with both written and graphic instructions — approved for use in at least some 'green burials'.

Last updated July 2015   © CINDEA  (To use more than a brief extract, please contact us for permission.)