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Rebecca Lyons: Advocating for Home Funerals and Family-Centric Death Care

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7th March 2024

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About this episode

You’ve probably heard of the term ‘doula’ before, often used in the context of those who support birthing mothers. But do you understand the role of a death doula?

In this episode, we demystify the often misunderstood role of an end of life doula, a role that Rebecca Lyons embodies with passion and dedication.

Rebecca shares her personal journey that led her into the funeral industry and eventually to her current role as a doula and independent funeral director.

Learn about the broad and diverse responsibilities of a doula, from practical logistics to the deeply emotional 'heart work'.

Hear about Rebecca's experiences and challenges whilst advocating for a more personalised and family-centric approach to death care.

Be inspired by Rebecca's commitment to raising death literacy and promoting open conversations about end-of-life matters.

In this episode, we explore the invaluable role of a doula, delve into the importance of clear communication amongst the care team, and discuss the concept of 'home funerals'. We also touch on Rebecca's work as an independent funeral director and her efforts to reimagine what a funeral can be.

Tune in to hear Rebecca's unique perspective on dying and death, and be prepared to view end-of-life care in a whole new light.

Don't forget to follow and leave a review if this episode resonates with you. Your support helps us continue these meaningful conversations.

Remember; You may not be ready to die, but at least you can be prepared.

Take care,

Catherine x

Show notes

Guest Bio
Podcast Guest - Image
Rebecca Lyons

President of Australia's Natural Death Advocacy Network, Chair of the Australian Home Funeral Alliance

Rebecca Lyons, mother of one, hails from the Blue Mountains in NSW. She started her working career in Sydney before making the move to Tasmania in late 2006.

Over her career she has worked in various industries including finance, real estate and the law but in 2011, she found her path into the funeral industry and stayed there until mid-2017 She worked across many roles offered in the contemporary funeral industry; including pre planning, administration, mortuary, funeral arranging and directing. Retraining as an End of Life Doula and becoming an independent Funeral Director she has worked in home based death care and family led funerals ever since.

Bec has also been actively working to advance the mission of You n’ Taboo which is the education and advocacy service she co-founded with her partner in 2016.

Most recently Bec was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to undertake international research and report on changes and disruptions in the end of life space which saw her travel through 6 countries exploring alternatives to contemporary ceremony and body disposal. 

In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, photography, camping and travel but what makes her most contented is time with her family. The subjects of death and dying, natural burial and the DIY approach to death care are her passion and she loves being out in the community raising awareness and promoting good honest conversations, she is a dedicated advocate for positive change.


Key Talking Points:

  • The Role of an End-of-Life Doula
  • The Importance of Communication in End-of-Life Care
  • Understanding 'Home Funerals'
  • Rebecca's Work as an Independent Funeral Director
  • Raising Death Literacy and Promoting Open Conversations


00:00:00,050 --> 00:00:04,220
Rebecca Lyons: So a doula says, well,
where's the 16 who's going to drive

00:00:04,220 --> 00:00:07,840
you to doctor's appointments and pick
up the kids and organize the meals

00:00:07,840 --> 00:00:09,509
and do the shopping and mow the lawns.

00:00:09,510 --> 00:00:13,120
And, and how are all those 16
people going to communicate?

00:00:13,120 --> 00:00:15,060
And who's going to attend
the doctor's appointments?

00:00:15,350 --> 00:00:17,540
Who's going to relay that information?
                        ... Read More



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