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Re-imagine an Intimate, Personal & Affordable EOL Experience for You & Your Loved Ones - Die@Home, Celebrate@Home, & Go Green@Burial (04/17)

To insure EOL peace, comfort & safety ~ HDCR will provide the who, what, when, where, why & how of the Home Death Care process to all.

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Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine the end-of-life experience?

If you live in a small town or a big city, you have the option to focus your EOL experience through the lens of a mortuary, a funeral home, a church or an in-home setting - the choice is yours! Home Death Care, Home Funeral & Green Burial practices allow folks of any age, religious persuasion, or socio-economic standing to die at home, to be cared for, prepared for, & delivered to their final resting place from within their home environment by friends & family ~ exactly as their hearts desire.


Updated - 04/17/2017

Table of Contents (in descending order below)

  • Executive Summary - :60 YouTube Video Presentation
  • The Value Proposition of Home Death Care Resources
  • The Five Basic Truths of Home Death Care
  • UEM's for All 'Opportunity Areas' of This Challenge
  • Mission Statement
  • Details of Projected Business Activities (Updated 04/17)
  • A Baker’s Dozen Social Media Endorsements of HDCR…
  • The OpenIDEO Evaluation Criterium as Applied to HDCR's Mission Statement, Goals and Objectives

HDCR presents a :60-second 'Executive Summary'

A brief video sampler was created to provide an overview of the style, the energy, the purpose behind HDCR. In the investment community it would be known as an 'Elevator Pitch' - a short statement that represents what something is all about - created with an eye towards the time-constraints of an elevator ride.

(The video has been removed from YouTube because all fund-raising and business development activities in support of HDCR were suspended on 03/20/2017. You can read the postmortem summary here: HDCR Postmortem Report)

What is the value proposition of Home Death Care Resources?

For 20+ years the Home Death Care, Home Funeral and Green Burial movements have been slowly and steadily gaining support and influence within the national and international community.

It's now time to provide individuals, families, 'death positive' practitioners and professional business entities with comprehensive advocacy, education and communications support through Home Death Care Resources/HDCR in order to increase the public's awareness of...

The Five Basic Truths of Home Death Care

If they so choose, women, men & children of all ages (in most of the United States) can:

     1.  Die at home in peace & comfort - rather than in a hospital or institutional facility;

     2.  Stay at home for as long as they'd like after their death - rather than being taken immediately away to a mortuary or funeral home;

     3.  Have their bodies be prepared at home for their final disposition by their friends, family, loved ones or funeral home professionals - rather than having an undertaker prepare or embalm them at an off-site facility;

     4.  Have a Home Funeral on their own terms and in the manner they so choose - rather than going to a funeral home, or a church for services - if that is what they desire;

     5.  Select from among a variety of Green Burial options for their final disposition - rather than having to choose from only a limited number of traditional burial options.

UEM's for All 'Opportunity Areas' of This Challenge

In relation to the seven 'Opportunity Areas' to be focused upon in this Challenge - there are 'User Experience Maps' attached which illustrate how HDCR's advocacy, education and communications support programs (related to Home Death Care-based EOL practices) are in complete alignment with each of the OpenIDEO stated goals and objectives.

     #1 - To download the Services & Care UEM.pdf 'click' the Title→→ "Sam & Marie Need 'Services & Care'"

     #2 - To download the Connectedness UEM.pdf 'click' the Title→→  "A Home Death Provides 'Connectedness'"

     #3 - To download the New Values UEM.pdf 'click' the Title→→  "A Home Death Provides Support for 'New Values'"

     #4 - To download the What Surrounds Us UEM.pdf 'click' the Title→→  "'What Surrounds Us' at a Home Death is All Ours"

     #5 - To download the Planning Now UEM.pdf 'click' the Title→→  "'Planning Now' for a Home Death is Helpful Indeed"

     #6 - To download the The Cost of Dying UEM.pdf 'click' the Title→→  "Home Death Care Greatly Reduces 'The Cost of Dying'"

     #7 - To download the After Death UEM.pdf 'click' the Title→→  "'After Death' - At Home is Where You Want To Be"

Mission Statement

Advocacy, communications, training and outreach campaigns will be created (initially in English & Spanish) to support, grow and expand the public's awareness and acceptance of Home Death Care, Home Funeral and Green Burial-focused activities – both here in the US and abroad.

  • Quite simply, it’s time to tell the world that it is OK to provide support and care for your friends and loved ones at home when they die – if that is what they want to have happen and what you, and/or your support network, have the ability to do within your particular state or county jurisdiction.


Details of Projected Business Activities

(These projected business activities and all fund-raising efforts in support of HDCR were suspended on 03/20/2017. You can read the postmortem summary here: HDCR Postmortem Report)

  1.      In order to raise 'HDCR Pilot Project' grants funding and tax-deductible contributions to support the development, testing, refinement, production and distribution of educational and training materials about Home Death Care practices on a local, regional and national basis (initially in English & Spanish) HDCR received Fiscal Sponsorship status as a California/Federal 501 (c)(3) Non-Profit Project under the umbrella of Inquiring Systems, Inc., in Sonoma, California. The official designation read as follows: "Home Death Care Resources is a Fiscally Sponsored Project of Inquiring Systems, Inc., a California Nonprofit 501(c)(3) Corporation Founded in 1978 - EIN 94-2524840".
  2.      HDCR was planning to initially partner with local Hospice organizations in the greater San Francisco Bay Area in order to work with them on the development of the materials summarized below, which they would then have been able to share/distribute to each of their Hospice patients so that they would be better informed about all of the Home Death Care options and related services available to them within their local communities.
  3. Concurrently, HDCR was planning to begin outreach efforts within the local Mortuary and Funeral Home business community in order to assess their direct interest in providing support to individuals and families who might want to receive assistance and support for their Home Death, Home Funeral and/or Green Burial plans and activities, which they would not have been able to do themselves, or have done for themselves, by their friends and loved ones. 
  4.      The 'HDCR Pilot Project' was initially to be funded for a 6 to 12-month period of time with plans expected to be in place at the end of that time for the more widespread distribution of the materials developed during the Pilot Project's duration.
  5.      The primary Advocacy, Support and Training campaigns could have included:

                   A.  The development and distribution of a series of Public Service Announcements and related content (initially in English & Spanish) intended for radio, television and newspaper distribution within select local media markets informing folks that they can directly provide their friends and loved ones with Home Death Care-focused support at the end of their lives - right now/today.

                    B.  A website, blog, and/or database/directory to be set-up via inter-connected URL/domains: and, and, In addition, HDCR was planning to host a Spanish language website and related content at: (which from Spanish translates to  '').  These domains and inter-connected websites would have become the Internet home of the Pilot Project allowing for ease of access (initially in English & Spanish) to folks who wanted to learn more via the web. Plans for additional culturally-appropriate web-based support resources (created in various languages) will be developed based upon feedback and user response data gathered during the initial months of outreach activities and advocacy work.

                    C.  Training/teaching seminars related to Home Death Care-focused practices were planned to be developed (initially in English & Spanish) in conjunction with local/regional Death Doulas, Funeral Celebrants and other Home Death Care professionals and offered through the local Hospice program to their constituents so that folks can gain hands-on experience in Home Death Care-related practices.

                    D.  A local/regional media outreach campaign via news programs, local TV talk shows, etc., was to be coordinated in order to ‘mainstream’ the practice of Home Death Care so that folks would know exactly what they can do for themselves in support of their friends and loved ones at the end of their lives.

  • This project/proposal was all about the creation and dissemination of multi-media resources (initially in English & Spanish) intended to spread the word, raise awareness, and empower individuals and families to re-claim their right to die at home, be cared for at home after death, and to be celebrated and buried in a manner that reflects their deeply-held personal and religious beliefs – all at an affordable cost, both fiscally and emotionally.

A Baker’s Dozen Social Media Endorsements of HDCR…

     "I'm thrilled that you are guiding others to this powerful experience, it is something that our culture will benefit from in so many ways... Everyone who participates is profoundly changed, and, like yourself, can't imagine caring for their dead any other way... This is a movement that has only just begun. Thank you for your passionate support."via the OpenIDEO – Olivia Bareham/Sacred Crossings – 06/27/2016

     "Thanks for your message and it's great to see you are advancing this work... your project looks fantastic! It will be wonderful to see all of these resources gathered in one place..." via e–mail – Sarah Kerr, PhD/Death Midwife & Celebrant – 08/02/2016

     "Thank you for the work you are doing on this. You're doing a wonderful job of communicating the importance of people understanding that this is an option! I took a home death care course and even if I never have the chance to use the knowledge gained from it, the actual process of learning about it was completely transformational. The work you're doing is going to create profound change and I wanted to share my gratitude for that. Thank you!"via the OpenIDEO – Jamie Whittaker/ – 07/31/2016

     “Great! I love the simple messaging. It's amazing how often we have to repeat the basics and start from square one.”via Twitter – Caitlin Doughty/Order of the Good Death – 07/15/2016

     "I'm so glad that you discovered this amazing and powerful approach to caring for our own at death... It has been the most profound path watching so many people transform fear into love, helplessness into creative grief rituals and deep despair into feeling supported and cared for... I give thanks for every person who awakens to this humane and ancient art and wisdom of our ancestors. Blessings to you and all who are willing to explore their own life and inevitable passage."via the OpenIDEO – Jerrigrace Lyons/Final Passages – 06/27/2016

     “Great discussion this morning w/ Paul Ennis of @hdcr_us. He's passionate about how to change our narrative for end–of–life considerations."via Twitter – Peter C. – 08/03/2016

     "...Dying at home is the only way to die! i work in a hospital and we try very hard to get people home on hospice to die with family and friends..."via Facebook – Jan F./Maui, HI – 07/28/2016

     "...What I did like is that he spoke slowly and affirmed that it is permissible to have a home death and after death care in the home. It is a shock to the system to hear that "you" have permission of death and after death options. Most people have no idea that they can do this. Well, yes, you can! Thank you for your service to death care! We all stand together..."via Facebook – Sacred Voyage Home Funerals – 07/17/2016

     "I am involved in helping to change the World for the better. This is a lot of heavy information but SO important. Please Friends, Family, Community let's come together and leave this World a better place than when we arrived. Please share this info and hard work of Paul Ennis and send heartfelt, honest comments to the contact below..."via Facebook – Tee Clare/Death Doula – 07/16/2016

     "...I believe you presented a realistic empowering personal saga which others can learn quite a bit from…. and further investigate to determine if this is an avenue they'd like to pursue for themselves or their loved one..."via Facebook – Debra R. – 05/25/2016

     "I'm driving on a dirt road in Australia and I stopped and watched the whole video. Great production. You can sure feel the love."via Facebook – Elizabeth H. – 07/20/2016

     "Thank you Paul! For the challenge inspiration & for the education... those 152 words... those were eye opening. Much gratitude for sharing your story." via the OpenIDEO – Stacey T. – 05/25/2016

     "Near the end of her life, I managed to pry my mother out of a skilled nursing facility where institutionalized medicine pushes people so habitually and insistently. With invaluable help from a team of home care aides, and help from Hospice, she died in the comfort of her own home. I didn't do nearly as much as you, or have as close a connection to her final days, but the Hospice doctor said I'd accomplished an unusual feat and she commended me for it. I commend you both a thousand fold for taking the journey and for sharing it with us."via Facebook – Nanette C. – 05/25/2016

The OpenIDEO Evaluation Criterium as Applied to HDCR's Mission Statement, Goals and Objectives

     √ Re-imagine dying - Using Home Death Care-focused practices provides men and women of all ages and ethnicities with the ability to totally re-imagine their dying process - exactly as they want it to be - here in 2016 and beyond.

     √ Go beyond tradition - Home-based death practices allow for the preservation of cultural traditions like no other modern-day funerary ceremony. Having a Home Funeral in a 'backyard' allows for families and friends to be together in the most intimate of manners - at the most intimate of times.

     √ Are uplifting and unique - Yes, death and dying are no laughing matter.

At the same time, the joy and celebration, the experience of the full range of real and genuine emotions, the priority of community and the ability to explore all facets of our human-ness at the profoundly challenging End-of-Life-Time - has no greater friend than a Home-based environment (if that is what folks want to have happen and what they, and/or their support network, have the ability to do within their particular state or county jurisdiction).

     √ Consider partnerships - In a Home Death-focused environment, immediate Family members have much more control and influence over the myriad of details and energies running through their hearts and minds.

That's not to say that they don't need help and assistance. In fact, they may need more aid than at any other time in their lives.

In a Home-based setting, the kinds of folks who can provide them the most direct support include: members of their Hospice or Palliative Care team; Death Doulas or Death Mid-wives; Funeral Celebrants; Green Cemetery; and/or related Burial/Final Disposition professionals.

It is HDCR's belief that partnerships are critical to encourage and more than likely to flourish within a Home-based setting.

     √ Are human-centered - There is no greater gift to give to a person who has just lost a friend or loved-one than to say to them:

  • How can I help?
  • What can I do for you?
  • How do you want to handle the situation you're in?
  • Where would you like to go and how would you like to get there?

When you can say those things to them while sitting around their kitchen table, or in their backyard, or on their front porch - their ability to respond from a deeply felt 'human-centered' place is beyond measure.

And, the fact that they are likely to be so much more in control of things within a Home-centered death experience - translates into a much greater level of closure, completion, and resolution on a 'human-centered' level, as well.

It's all about getting direction and input from those most effected - and being able to offer solutions that will provide them with the most comfort, peace and security.

"Home is where the heart is..." speaks for itself in relation to the human-centered nature of Home Death Care-focused choices and opportunities.


What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I founded 'Home Death Care Resources' in Sebastopol, CA & began to build relationships with local stake-holders so that the 'First Stage' advocacy, education, training & communications work could be completed as planned. The relevant social media channels were established (per the above info), & meetings took place with stakeholders over a several month period of time - all to no avail. Projected business activities & all fund-raising efforts in support of HDCR were suspended on 03/20/2017 - PWE

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Once a framework & scope are better defined, then the OpenIDEO community will become an essential conduit for information, referrals, content development, joint outreach efforts/campaigns and grassroots public relations & marketing efforts. A successful local/regional messaging campaign is going to require that a number of messengers take the content, goals & objectives, & 'message them' into their local, regional & state-wide communities. That = OpenIDEO.

Tell us about your work experience:

Marketing/Business Development Consultant Patient Advocate/Navigator End-of-Life Planner/Supporter Journalist & Multi-Media Creator Website:

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual
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Team (12)

Paul's profile
Jerrigrace's profile
Jerrigrace Lyons

Role added on team:

"Jerrigrace Lyons is the Founder/Executive Director of Final Passages: Institute of Conscious Dying, Home Funeral and Green Burial Education - - Their mission is to inform people about their rights to care for their own dead."

Olivia's profile
Olivia Bareham

Role added on team:

"Olivia Bareham has been helping families in Los Angeles for the past 10 years through her company Sacred Crossings - - Their mission is to educate and support individuals toward a conscious, peaceful transition and to empower families to reclaim the healing ritual of a home funeral. "Everyone who participates is profoundly changed and can't imagine caring for their dead any other way." - O. Bareham"

Justin's profile
Justin Magnuson, MA, LMT

Role added on team:

"Justin Magnuson started the "Living Fully Initiative: End-of-Life Conversations Project" in Louisville, KY in the Spring of 2016. His goal is to change how our culture discusses and prepares for death. The Living Fully Initiative is seeking opportunities for collaboration to host conversations, workshops, and retreats. If you have ideas or need end-of-life related services please contact them through their website -"

Leah's profile
Leah White

Role added on team:

"Leah White is the Development Coordinator for Sutter Care at Home in Northern California."

Tee's profile
Tee Clare

Role added on team:

"Tee Clare is a Death Doula, Home Funeral Director, and Non-Denominational Minister - - Tee is a Reiki Master Teacher and Pranic Healer and has a private practice in the San Francisco Bay area. Tee is Certified by the Four Winds Society as a Shamanic based, Dying Consciously facilitator and is a Mesa carrier. Tee is an accomplished artist and has facilitated Bereavement and Expressing Grief through Art and Music Therapy Groups in the Bay Area."

Diane's profile
Diane Ennis

Role added on team:

"I am a photographer and graphic artist living and working in Sonoma County, California. My husband, Paul, and I are the founders of Home Death Care Resources. In the photographic world I specialize in Stock and Nature photography, my favorite subjects include flowers, insects, animals, water and wild remote places far from the beaten path. In the graphic artist universe I am a painter, designer and fearless editor of words and phrases. "

Jamie's profile
Jamie Whittaker

Role added on team:

"Jamie Whittaker has completed her Certificate in Thanatology (the study of death, dying, & bereavement), & has also become co-host/facilitator of Death Café in Calgary with Janine Violini. She has worked with Janine on educating others about death literacy with the hopes that integrating death into our lives will encourage more meaningful living while reacquainting us with death. You can learn more here: about their work related to increased mortality awareness."

Janet's profile
Janet Zagoria

Role added on team:

"Since 1999, Janet Zagoria has designed & developed many Websites for both small businesses and nonprofits. Prior to this, she worked for 16 years with and at publications (newspapers, magazines and books) as designer, photographer and in marketing. She has also taught Web design (HTML) at a junior college. You can review her portfolio at:"

Mercedes Jeanne's profile
Mercedes Jeanne Reynolds

Role added on team:

"Mercedes Reynolds has worked in the field of translation/interpreting for over three decades and is fluent in both Spanish and English in a variety of settings. She has had extensive experience working with the Hispanic community in a variety of locales and capacities. She currently runs her own translation business in Humboldt and Del Norte counties serving a wide variety of government, social, and private agencies in both written and oral modes. Mercedes holds a BA in Spanish, Mills College."

Rabbi Lester's profile
Rabbi Lester Scharnberg

Role added on team:

"Rabbi Scharnberg performs interfaith wedding ceremonies, cantorial rituals, bar & bat mitzvahs, circumcisions, funeral services, rites of passage & other creative ceremonies & celebrations. He is a theologian, religious educator & spiritual counselor for individuals & families. He is available for academic consultations regarding questions of theology & Jewish law. He is firmly committed to an interfaith dialogue & interfaith expressions of unity among all people."

Nicolette's profile
Nicolette Smith

Role added on team:

"My deep interest & involvement in the end of life care, death & grief, grew out of the illnesses & deaths of my brother, mother & father, & the death of our baby daughter Leteisha. I am enriched with a caring & respectful approach to the living & the dying. I want to create a space where information can be shared & where I can support people at the end of life. I am an End of Life Doula & Coach, Community Educator & Facilitator. FB page is here:"

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Attachments (7)


User Experience Map #7 - 'After Death' - At Home is Where You Want To Be - examines why dying at Home is becoming increasingly popular for men & women of all faiths & ethnicities - especially when it comes to their being able to practice & honor their religious traditions much more easily & comfortably within their own Home environment. The ‘After Death’ benefits of Home Death Care-focused practices can be extremely valuable to both the recently departed & those of us left behind & still living.


User Experience Map #6 - Home Death Care Greatly Reduces 'The Cost of Dying' - traces the experiences of Gary & Susan, who are both facing serious health issues on a very limited budget. HDCR delivers them the information they need in order to find the assistance they require, which protects their family's long-term assets & provides for a loving & deeply felt EOL experience for one & all. Clearly, the ‘Cost of Dying’ at home can be so much more affordable than any other means of modern dying.


User Experience Map #1 - Sam & Marie Need 'Services & Care' - follows Sam & Marie as they first learn about Home Death Care options within their local community from a newspaper story published by HDCR. We see them take direct action via the HDCR website in order to learn more about Home Death Care resources they can connect with directly. Then they hire a Death Doula/Funeral Celebrant to help them coordinate Marie's death, after death care & Green Burial as a Home-based EOL experience.


User Experience Map #5 - 'Planning Now' for a Home Death is Helpful Indeed - is the story of Sean & Sai Zhong Wu, a middle-aged couple who want to make plans for their Home Death-focused EOL experience well before they expect to die. Their attendance at an HDCR series of affordable, community-based workshops gives them all the tools & resources necessary to put in place exactly what they want to have happen. Knowing their plans will make it easier on their family - provides them peace of mind.


User Experience Map #4 - 'What Surrounds Us' at a Home Death is All Ours - imagines the story of Joan & Michelle, who have to work together in order to secure Joan the ability to leave her Skilled Nursing Facility & journey home for her final weeks & days of life. After attending an HDCR seminar on 'Home Death Care for Professionals', Michelle (who is Joan's legal guardian) is able to provide all of the support & resources Joan needs to come home & enjoy her EOL experience in peace and comfort.


User Experience Map #3 - 'A Home Death Provides Support for 'New Values' - imagines the story of Fred and his Grandmother, Beula, who have to quickly reach some decisions, make some plans and finalize the arrangements for Beula's peaceful journey home. Using the HDCR Tweetstream and then their website, Fred is able to locate a Hospice program, a Funeral Celebrant, a Green Burial company and various other resources needed to plan his Grandmother's simple, country-style home funeral and burial.


User Experience Map #2 - A Home Death Provides 'Connectedness'- imagines the story of Rafael and his Grand-daughter, Lupita who have a very large family to accommodate and connect with before Rafael's life comes to an end. Using the HDCR website as a hub in her search for information and resources, Lupita locates a Green Burial cemetery, a Funeral Celebrant and various other tools needed to plan her family's Home Death Care-focused final good-bye for Rafael.


Join the conversation:

Photo of OpenIDEO IDEO

Congrats on being a Top Idea, Paul! It's been absolutely inspiring to see how you've developed Die@Home, Celebrate@Home, & Go Green@Burial to re-imagine the end-of-life experience for ourselves and our loved ones. What an amazing journey it has been. In the coming weeks, we'll be making an official announcement to celebrate you and the other Top Ideas of the End of Life Challenge.

In the meantime, we would love for you to share your story in the upcoming End of Life Impact Phase. The Impact Phase is a space where the OpenIDEO community can share updates on how our projects are progressing beyond the challenge. For reference, here's a template for writing an Impact phase story: Well done Paul!

Photo of Paul Ennis

@Joanna @Shane - What exciting news to receive. Thank you for the recognition and ongoing support. I am still on a camping vacation in Del Norte County @ the Smith River. I'll be back in better digital range tomorrow/Friday in the evening and will communicate more as requested then. I can tell you that repeatedly on this trip from long involved dinner conversations with seven old friends to spontaneous encounters with folks on the river - the inter-related topics of death, dying, advanced planning, green burials, home death care, etc., have been the dominant theme running through our entire vacation. And, I could not be happier nor more accepting of the importance of these things to others and the energy that has been birthed within my world and work as a result of my engagement with the OpenIDEO on this challenge. Gotta go get some ice and head back up-river. Thanks again and we'll talk more soon. Best. - Paul

Photo of Paul Ennis

Shane Joanna 

Good Day Shane/Joanna/OpenIDEO,

Great news about my Idea/HDCR becoming a Top Idea. Thanks for the recognition and support.

Quick question: So that I can provide you with the High Res Photo/Image as requested - What are the size specs and max file size you can work with? Inotherwords, @ 300 dpi, what height and width in pixels will work best for your needs?

Once I know what you want I can photoshop together an appropriate High Res (300 dpi) image and e-mail it right back - along with thequotation and our Twitter handle. I'll await your further instructions.


Paul Ennis

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