We arrived on different paths, but we all came to A Sacred Moment with open hearts and passion to support families at their time of grief and loss.
Char’s journey as a celebrant and funeral director began with the loss of her father and dear friend Margaret. Inspired by the concept of home funerals, Char became a certified celebrant and subsequently earned a degree in mortuary science. She trained with Final Passages, founded by Jerrigrace Lyons, and learned how to support a family wanting to care for their own loved one after death.
In 2007, Char founded A Sacred Moment. In 2010, A Sacred Moment grew to include like-minded staff members and a comfort dog named Bindi. Char moved on to serve as the first president of the National Home Funeral Alliance, which, like A Sacred Moment, acts as a bridge between the existing funeral industry and the growing grassroots home funeral movement. Char has now guided dozens of families through home funeral vigils both locally and nationally. She has hosted workshops and presentations in the U.S. and abroad, and has appeared in newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and green burial and home funeral books.
Char’s family includes her supportive husband George, their three children, and growing brood of grandchildren. She loves to cook, entertain, garden, and take Bindi with her to Camp Erin, an annual three-day summer bereavement camp for children.
For years, Jan worked as lead editor at magazines and business-to-consumer websites. She received fiction fellowships from Stanford University and the University of Iowa, where she earned her MFA.
After meeting Char by chance in a coffee shop in Seattle, Jan enrolled in one of Char’s home funeral workshops. She began assisting Char on home funerals and trained as a hospice volunteer and certified celebrant. It might be strange to admit, but Jan felt called to deathcare.
In 2010, Jan helped Char open the A Sacred Moment office in south Everett. She is now a licensed funeral director, although she continues to write on the side. She loves eating good food and exploring new places with her husband, Bill. She also loves her family, friends, and fellow creatures, with a soft spot for wolves, cats, elephants, and her goddaughter-dog Bindi.
Bindi is serious about her role at A Sacred Moment. From way down the hall, she can sense if a grieving family is walking through the door and trots out politely to greet them.
Bindi is a trained comfort dog. She’s also called a therapy dog. She and her human Char are a Certified Therapy Team through Project Canine. They’re also a Certified Pet Team through Providence Hospice of Seattle. Bindi’s response to commands would impress Cesar Millan.
She also loves kids, and lets them paint her. Not for a picture, but actual fur painting. Most recently Bindi was orange. This happened at Camp Erin, a summer bereavement camp for children who have lost a parent, relative, or friend. A long-term camp volunteer, Char has teamed up with young Bindi twice. Since Bindi enjoyed it—especially helping Char wake up kids in the morning—she’ll no doubt become a long-term volunteer too.