As an organization, we advocate and develop community-based death education as an alternative to for-profit or corporate models. Community care is a part of liberation work. We teach and practice death care in the relationship with others and advocate against isolating care work to a capitalist model. Our curriculum includes history and grieving of present patterns of violence in death care to, because accountability and truth-telling are a part of our educational values.
Our work is done in local networks and interconnected webs because this is a way of creating accountability together, and so much violence must end for death care to truly be safe, autonomous, and good. Death care education is always needed and relevant. All ASP events, grief spaces, and curriculum create time for each person to bring and weave in the experiences they have already had on their path-- all experiences, stories, and paths are welcome.
We collaborate with artists, doulas, and multi-talented volunteers locally and internationally. ASP’s core volunteer team currently lives in the stolen ancestral home of the Duwamish and Coast Salish Peoples which has come to be known as Seattle, WA, with much of the work happening in South Seattle. A Sacred Passing (ASP) serves those throughout the world that participate in educational offerings through online opportunities, social media, and video teleconferences.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we held-in person death-care education classes in Washington and the Pacific Northwest and provided services in homes, recovery centers, senior centers, schools, tent cities, shelters, parks, and coffee shops. We must all do our part to care for all of the earth in the community by honoring and creating sustainable life and death together.
You might already be! A Sacred Passing understands that death companions work in a variety of settings and with a variety of clients.
Each organization has curricula that differ from one another in a wide variety of ways, so compare ours with others to find the best fit for your interests, and please reach out to us if you have more questions.
A Sacred Passing (ASP) is a nonprofit organization based in traditional Coast Salish and Duwamish land in Seattle, Washington. Whether you seek to learn about death care for the first time or to grow your skills, A Sacred Passing’s curriculum might interest you. Descriptions of courses are listed on our website education page.
At this time, all certifying organizations and programs are offering a program-based standard, which is not the same as a professional credential. Though many programs offer certifications to demonstrate completion, no one is legally required to be certified to practice as a death doula (doula, end-of-life doula, death companion) in the United States. Currently, there is no federal regulation of the doula profession and no universally accepted competencies.
Certification is not for everyone and, for some, creates barriers to learning, practicing, or receiving death care. Some state legislation proposes regulations regarding doula certification that aims to increase access to families who could not otherwise afford services, due to the requirements of those working with private insurance. While some institutions may choose internally to require standards in training, pursuing certification is a choice and not a requirement. All death companions should know that they can offer both free and paid care work without certification.
There are a variety of ways to engage in accountability and ethical models of care which we learn and practice in the community and in ASP education. ASP understands that death companions work in a variety of settings and with a variety of clients. It is our belief that certification and/or state oversight doesn’t necessarily reduce harm, but accountability and authenticity in the community can do that. Our board of directors values the importance of naming certification for what it is, a tool to legitimize ancestral work in the eyes of the state. Implementation of state regulations often means reproducing a system of gatekeeping. Research across disciplines demonstrates many certifying powers institutionalize practices of violent language, practices, or patterns.
Always provide attribution for the source of information and reach out to ASP directly for information and permission to share materials that are created by ASP. Both are important and one will not substitute for the other.
If you peek around the website, you'll notice that many of our curricula and programs now have a copywrite © associated with them. The simplest definition of copyright is an ownership right given to authors that allows them to control, protect, and use their artistic works. Please always credit artists and teachers, and reach out if you have questions!
Learn more: https://www.copyright.gov/title17/
We are looking forward to meeting you and learning how we can share resources and time with one another. Our team is a small crew of folks with a variety of hats, so please allow for a slow pace in email and voicemail responses.