Before Death Planning Guidance - Transitioning Support - After Death Consultant & Public Speaker
Respect for all cultures, religious or secular beliefs and customs. That is what I believe.
Educating individuals, families and the public about their rights and choices in, during and after death is what I do.
The passing of a beloved (human or pet) should carry the same dignity and respect as it did while they were alive. My role is to support the wishes and assist in carrying them out as requested.
It’s YOUR Life, YOUR Legacy, Your Choices! YOUR STORY!
Shakespeare said, “The final act crowns the play.” To accomplish this, I believe, that how we want to be remembered and how we leave earth is important to think about before we die. Death, as seen in Buddhist and other traditions, especially the last moment of death, is considered to be the most important moment, even more than the time of birth. Thinking about and planning ahead helps us to be more confident and at peace when the time arrives.
More people, especially those who care about a sustainable greener interment are returning to the way burial services occurred in the home environment before the 20th century. That is, without using a mortuary or embalming procedures. Many people still do not know they have the right to be waked in their own home or have the right refuse to be taken to a funeral home. Many still do not know that embalming is not necessary in most cases.
Preplanning for burial gives you an opportunity to choose what YOU want and how you want it, allowing time to convey this plan to your significant others. Options will be discussed and resources provided that you might like to think about while you are still able.
More and more green burial “natural” sites and other green legacy options can also be discussed and explored. These options are not only eco-friendly but also less expensive, burdensome to family, invasive to our bodies and more intimate. Currently in RI, there are two cemeteries that offer green burial options but more will be offering this as the requests become heard.
Home vigils, or wakes, whether with a closed or open viewing, are legal to have in one's own home after death in almost every state without a funeral director present. You may however choose to partially use a licensed funeral director who can assist with various other services such as transportation and filing of paperwork, announcements, etc. Price shopping resource assistance will be provided as part of the consultation to assist in making some of these decisions.
We can also discuss body care and the ways in which a person will be kept cooled during the process of a home vigil and without intrusive embalming.
Whether you choose cremation, burial, or simply want to work on a memorial service without the body present, you don’t need a funeral home to make all of the arrangements for a meaningful memorial. You can decide who you want to assist and how you want your service and space decorated or not with flowers, colors, prayers, poetry, music, and favorite objects such as favorite photos and other artifacts that represent your life-style and personality. If you choose to be a body donor, e.g., to a medical school, you can still have a memorial service and plan ahead for this. I am here to support and assist the process.
Please note: I am not an attorney, medical doctor, hospital chaplain or a licensed funeral director. Consequently, you will need to explore your own legal, medical care and other personal estate disposition options with trusted legal/medical/financial advisors. I can explore with you, inform and guide you to many of the resources that will help you to clarify the questions you may need or want to ask. A free 45 minute consultation by phone or in person is offered.
Ann Porto, PsyD, MS is a retired clinical psychologist and geriatric neuropsychologist. For many years I have practiced as a Buddhist-based (Indo-Tibetan)meditator and offered instruction in various yoga centers and privately. As a volunteer member of the Funeral Consumers Alliance board, I educate through public speaking as part of a team in the RI area schools, libraries, community centers, Cemetery boards and other requested groups on consumer rights and end of life choices.
I am interested in promoting awareness of green burial and home vigils when possible but do not impose on other choices and wishes. I can offer information on eco-friendly burial products and services.
I currently volunteer for Hope Health & Palliative Care offering a monthly meditation group for dementia caregiver support and relaxation. I have in the past volunteered for the American Heart Association, RI Chapter of the Stroke Association and the palliative care subcommittee for the RI Partnership to Prevent Cancer in RI. I have raised awareness and for many years and funded organizations to prevent child sexual trafficking.
I have been ordained as a minister in a sisterhood of a Mary Magdalene lineage. I have knowledge of anointing and memorial prayer services and I am authorized as a lay minister to anoint with essential oils in living and after death care. Over the years, I have attended practicums trainings, lectures, and conferences on hospice non-medical supportive care, palliative care, home vigils and end-of-life care.
Trainings have been held in hospitals (Miriam in Providence), Hope Hospice & Palliative Care Center, with the Funeral Consumers Alliance and the National Home Funeral Alliance and I completed a practicum on home vigils in 2016 with Lee Webster, past president of the National Home Funeral Alliance. I am also in training as a spiritual intuitive.
Service cost varies on an individual basis depending upon time, distance, commitment needs and services requested. A free consultation by phone, Zoom, Skype or in person will provide you with this information. Sliding scales are possible.
How to contact: Please contact me by phone or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401 529-2020 Monday through Saturday during business hours.