Meet the Staff
With a passion to companion families at the time of death, Char Barrett has merged her twenty-five years of corporate and non-profit (Make-A-Wish Foundation) background in project and event management, public speaking, training and technology skills with her certifications as a trained Celebrant, a licensed Funeral Director and Home Funeral Guide to create A Sacred Moment.
As a hospice volunteer since the early nineties, Char completed hundreds of hours of grief and bereavement training. In addition, she received training as a Certified Celebrant by Doug Manning through In-sight Institute. There she learned to create memorial and funeral services that honor the significance of a families loved one, while celebrating their lives.
To add to her knowledge and understanding of the funeral profession, Char returned to school full time to earn her degree in Mortuary Science and became a Licensed Funeral Director. During this time Char was introduced to the concept of home funerals as an alternative approach to conventional funerals, which transitioned naturally from the home hospice model of care.
Becoming a trained as a Home Funeral Guide Char received her training from Final Passages, founded by Jerrigrace Lyons, one of the pioneers in the modern home funeral movement. Through her study with Jerrigrace she saw the beauty of providing a more natural transition for families after the death and prior to burial or cremation.
Char blended the concepts of hospice, home funeral vigils, green burials and life celebrations to help companion families at the time of death. In this way A Sacred Moment – Home Funerals, Green Burials & Life Celebrations was born.
Char has guided countless families through home funeral vigils in the Seattle area and beyond the Pacific Northwest via phone consultations. She also provides workshops, hospice in-service and public presentations, and has lectured to local, national and international audiences including the US Navy Casualty Assistance and Funeral Honors Program, National Funeral Directors Association and ICCFA (International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association).
Char has been featured in American Funeral Director Magazine, The New York Times, WSJ – The Wall Street Journal Magazine, and been interviewed by MSNBC.com, NPR and PBS and been quoted in the green burial and home funeral books "Grave Matters" and "Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death". A hospice volunteer since 1993; Char is also a Steering Committee member of the Washington End of Life Consensus Coalition; affiliate organization to the Washington State Medical Association and the first President of the newly formed National Home Funeral Alliance.
Living in Redmond, Washington with her loving husband George & adorable pooch Bindi, Char is grateful to be able to pursue her life’s passion, expressed through the work of A Sacred Moment.
Lindsay Cummings started her internship with A Sacred Moment as part of her master’s program in Integrative Studies in Psychology, Ecopsychology concentration, at Antioch University Seattle. With her master’s program internship complete, she has started a funeral director internship with A Sacred Moment, as well.
Lindsay is studying green burial and the home funeral movement, especially the ways in which these practices enable full expression of natural grieving and healing processes, and facilitate deeper connections to the land, one another, and the human experience – as opposed to the tendencies of the traditional funeral industry paradigm. She is also training as a home funeral guide.
A Montana native, Lindsay earned her BA in Environmental Studies and Geography from the University of Montana in 2007. She has been working with conservation and social service non-profit organizations for ten years, in Montana and Seattle, and is also a part-time staff person for the League of Women Voters of Seattle.
She lives in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, and loves to write, read, hike, travel, and torture her friends with culinary experiments.
Lucinda Herring has been working in the Home Funeral movement since 1997. She trained with JerriGrace Lyons of Final Passages and is now a Home Funeral Consultant and Guide, as well as a Celebrant and Minister, helping families and communities who wish to care for their own loved ones at death. Lucinda holds a Masters in Spiritual Direction/Companioning, with an emphasis on death and dying, and on working with nature and land at the threshold of death. She is committed to Home Funerals and Green Burials as a way to help families reclaim more natural, meaningful and sacred death practices, and as a way of caring for the earth and the environment.
Trained in Anthroposophy and Tibetan Buddhism, Lucinda is able to offer practical and spiritual support and guidance to the Anthroposophical/Waldorf communities, and to the many Buddhist sanghas and practitioners who wish to create sacred vigils of care and spiritual practice after death. For over twenty years, Lucinda helped parents and children cultivate the “art of celebration” in daily life, through seasonal festivals, rituals and family traditions. She is interested in exploring how art and celebration can help us re-imagine death and bring more joy and healing to life’s last threshold.
Lucinda has lived on Whidbey Island for 23 years, in a community committed to shaking up the paradigms of just about everything. She enjoys commuting back and forth to “America, ”as the islanders put it, and is honored to be part of A Sacred Moment’s pioneering team.
Funeral directing is a second career for Jan, but it’s also coming full circle. Her family has independently owned funeral homes for three generations, giving her a deep background in supporting families through a death.
Her first career was as a writer and editor at newspapers, magazines, and commercial websites. She's published fiction and essays in literary reviews and national magazines, and has received writing fellowships from Stanford University and the University of Iowa.
All this was well and good until 1) she got older and 2) met Char Barrett and learned about home funerals. This new, actually traditional way of caring for the dead and empowering families sparked Jan’s interest and motivated her to take Char’s home funeral workshop. She helped out at future workshops, edited materials, photographed events, volunteered at People’s Memorial Association, and trained as a hospice volunteer and Certified Celebrant. Ultimately she became Char’s assistant on numerous home funeral vigils.
“Each is moving, and a privilege to be a part of,” Jan says. “At the same time every home vigil is different, reflecting the personality and life of the family.” Moreover Jan loves helping the wide array of those seeking all the services of A Sacred Moment, from direct cremations to large funerals with burials. “It’s the most meaningful work I’ve ever done, and feels like home.”
Away from A Sacred Moment, Jan continues to write, coach other writers, and swap cooking duties with her husband Bill, a pediatrician who’s working, she says, the other side of life. Her favorite things are her cat Julius, movies, and traveling.