The Art of Death Midwifery

2018 Schedule

Los Angeles, CA


THE ART of DEATH MIDWIFERY is a comprehensive certificate training for professional and non-professional end-of-life caregivers and those seeking to prepare for a conscious, peaceful transition.  

 Death Midwifery combines the roles of death doula, spiritual counsellor, home funeral guide and celebrant. The death midwife offers information, guidance and support to both the death journeyer and their family from terminal diagnosis through final disposition.


The Art of Death Midwifery is a 3- Level, 75-hour certificate program consisting of three weekend workshops, on-line group sessions and reading, written and practical assignments.  Our 2018  Spring/Summer program is offered in Los Angeles. Accommodation is not included. Please see below for the class details

Class size is limited to 15 students to maintain the intimacy of each group and early reservations are recommended. 

If you would like to bring this teaching to your community, please write to:

Cost for the 75-hour training is $1800.  Price is $1500 if paid in full in advance.

Thank you!  We look forward to sharing this sacred journey with you.





“This training far surpassed my expectations – it is deeply spiritual, while honoring all belief systems and the material is masterfully organized and presented.  I feel prepared and peaceful about my own death now and ready to help guide others.  Incredible value!”      – Sherida Kasteler – 







Level One     


A Spiritual Practice


Level 1 Details


A Journey into Dying

What if, rather than recoil from death we could lean into it, receive it, allow it to uphold and inform us? What if our our ability to feel joy actually depends upon this practice?

Enter The Grave is an intensive, interactive workshop that delves into the essence of what it means to die. Students learn tools to liberate them from fear, deeply trust and relax and ease pain and suffering.  When one has entered their own grave and experienced their essential nature, they are able to provide spiritual guidance to loved ones.

Somatic movement, meditations, family constellations, written and group exercises gently guide the process in an intimate, safe and nurturing environment.

Topics explored

Giving Birth – Receiving Death

Connecting to source through somatic movement

Befriending fear

Energy fields and the luminous body

Healing the ancestral wound

Managing the physiological response to fear and pain

The Soul

Buddhist perspectives on death and dying

The life review

The death rehearsal



Click HERE to make your reservation for September 7, 8 & 9 2018


Pay in Full HERE for all three levels of the 75-hour certificate program to receive $300 discount

Space is limited to 15 participants, early rsvp suggested.  Students who missed the February registration, may take Levels II & III in the spring and Level I in the fall.

Workshop takes place in a private home in West Los Angeles.  Please contact Olivia for details and for payment arrangements

February 16, 17 & 18 – Class Full. Registration CLOSED

September 7, 8 & 9


Friday, 3 PM – 9:30 PM.    Saturday 9 AM – 6PM.     Sunday 10AM – 5PM


“This workshop was amazing, beyond, beyond my expectations. I was not expecting to have so much personal healing. I feel I have a completely different understanding of death now”   – MG 

 Level Two


Preparing for a peaceful transition

Prerequisite: Level I – Enter the Grave 

Level 2 Details


Preparing for a Peaceful Transition


Studies show that 75% of people want to die at home, and yet sadly, 75% of us will die in hospital or an institutional setting.  The Conscious Dying workshop outlines the process for creating a good death and ensuring your end-of-life wishes are fulfilled. Advance Directives are completed, signed and witnessed in the class and students create their ‘Death File’.

This workshop also focuses on the role of the death doula – one who sits vigil with the dying. Students learn the tools needed to assist the dying complete a legacy project, heal relationships and say goodbye.

Films, discussion and group exercises support the information shared in an intimate, nurturing environment. Please see below for curriculum details:

Topics explored

Understanding your options for end-of-life care in the US

Completing Advance Directives for health care

What is a Good Death?

Creating the Legacy Project

The physical process of dying

Pain vs. Suffering

Ceasing nutrition & hydration

Religious beliefs and practices at the moment of death

Physician Aid in Dying – before you decide

Spiritual perspectives on the dying process

Organ donation

Healing relationships/ Saying goodbye /letting go

Sitting vigil with the dying

The living funeral

Sacred Singing


Please click on the link above to reserve your place for Level II – Conscious Dying

Prerequisite – Level I ‘Enter the Grave’


Pay in Full HERE for the 3-Level, 75-hour Training to receive $300 discount

Space is limited to 15 participants, early rsvp suggested. Workshop takes place in a private home in West Los Angeles.

Please contact Olivia for details and for payment arrangements

April 13,14 & 15


October 19, 20 & 21

Friday, 3 PM – 9:30 PM.  Saturday 9 AM – 6PM.   Sunday 10AM – 5PM


This workshop is an amazing practice in honesty, self-inquiry,  love and service. The honoring of death as part of life and a portal to the next realm is examined through discussions, films, meditations, practical and legal information and group process. I wish I had known about this when my husband died, I would have done things very differently.”    – Suzanne Stratchen –

Level Three


The 3-day Vigil, Home Funerals & Green Burials

Prerequisites: Level I – ‘Enter the Grave’ , Level 2 –  ‘Conscious Dying’

Level 3 Details


The Vigil, Home Funerals & Green Burials


Sacred Crossings upholds that the dying process doesn’t end with the last breath but extends for a period of up to three days.  During this time, the soul, spirit or what is often referred to as the ‘luminous body’ separates from the physical and transitions to the next phase of it’s journey.

This workshop focuses on the role of the death midwife and home funeral guide at the time of death and for the days following until burial or cremation.

Students learn how to care for the body after death, both in the hospital and home setting, and support a family during the 1 to 3-day vigil.  Instruction includes care after sudden death – rituals in the ICU; bringing baby home after stillbirth and cremation and burial practices.

Films, demonstrations and practical application support the information shared.

For a complete list of curriculum topics, please see below:



Topics explored

Unexpected death – Holding space in the ER

 Legal rights concerning: Coroner /Funeral home / Cemetery / Crematory

Being a healing presence – sitting vigil at the death bed

Stillbirth/ Infant death – bringing baby home

Sealing the Chakras/Final rites

Benefits of a 3-day home vigil

Bathing, dressing and anointing the body

Dry-ice preservation


Laying the body ‘In Honor’

Decorating the cremation casket

The Jewish Taharah ritual

Cultural and Religious after death traditions

Self-care for caregivers – preventing burnout


Space is limited to 15 to maintain the intimacy of the group.

Early reservations recommended

Please click the link below to reserve your place for Level III –  After Death Care

Prerequisite – Levels I & II


Pay in Full HERE  for the 3-Level, 75-hour Training to receive $300 discount

Workshop takes place in a private home in West Los Angeles.

Please contact Olivia for questions about accommodations and payment arrangements

June 8, 9 & 10


December 7, 8 & 9

Friday, 3 PM – 9:30 PM.  Saturday 9 AM – 6PM.   Sunday 10AM – 5PM


This was more than a learning experience, this was a sacred experience…discovering how to channel the frazzled energy of still-fresh grief into something that matters by caring for the body at home. I appreciated the classy, comfortable, relaxed, nurturing, safe, cocoon-like environment that we are offered to take in this information. Olivia is warm and kind and genuine, and her compassion and dedication are palpable. I liked the movie clips; the sharing; the hands-on practice; the professionalism; the thorough syllabus but most especially Olivia’s real life experiences of guiding families  through this sacred passage”   – Laurie C.iardullo



Officiating the Funeral & Memorial Service   

             This optional certificate program is open to those students wishing to train as                    a funeral celebrant. 



Funeral & Memorial Services

The funeral celebrant certificate training is for those interested in a career as a funeral celebrant and for anyone seeking to create a personal and meaningful funeral or memorial service for a loved one. This workshop is not included in The Art of Death Midwifery training. Graduates of this class receive a certificate for 25 hours training as Funeral Celebrant.

Funeral and memorial services are the commemoration of one’s unique contribution to humanity and the opportunity to leave a final gift.  What will yours be?  how will your life be remembered ?  How can you create a fitting tribute for your loved-one? 

Students are encouraged to think outside the box and give full reign to their imagination and creativity during this highly energized workshop where powerful ceremonies are created to honor the dead. 


Topics explored

The importance of a funeral

Alternative funeral and memorial services

The role of the Celebrant

Public Speaking

Writing the eulogy

Channeling the grief

Opening and closing remarks /prayers & poems

Announcements/Obituaries/Video Journals/Programs

Tributes & rituals

Pet Funerals

Cremation and Burial Practices around the world

Green Burials



There is no prerequisite for this class.

Students receive a certificate of completion for a Sacred Crossings Funeral Celebrant

Please Click on the date to make your reservation


July 13, 14 & 15  2018


“The mock funerals each of our groups created were so achingly beautiful, meaningful and embodied. The bond with my “family” in just 2 days to create a funeral celebration was incredible – I really felt like I had endured an unimaginable loss, but was uplifted by ceremony and community.  This is an incredible spiritual practice that I highly recommend for everyone”.   – Suzanne S –


Workshops are held in a beautiful private home in Pacific Palisades, West Los Angeles.

Tuition for each level is $600.  If you would like to pay in advance for the entire program, cost is $1500.



Friday 3 pm – 9:30 pm,     Saturday 9:00 am – 6 pm,      Sunday 10 am – 6 pm

Dinner on Friday evening is provided. Participants provide their own bagged lunch on Saturday and Sunday.  The gardens and pool are available for your pleasure.


Please write to Olivia  for details and a list of local bed & breakfasts:




“I learned so much more in these workshops than 14 years in the traditional funeral industry. That is just what is was…industry.  This is sacred work.” – Josette Astaria Sheets. 

Our cancellation policy is as follows: 

* Students who pay in full for the entire program ($1500) and wish to cancel, will receive a full refund (less $100 fees and administration cost) if Sacred Crossings is notified at least 30 days before the start of the 1st workshop.

* Students who pay in full for one workshop will receive a full refund of $600  (less $100  fees and administration cost)  if Sacred Crossings is notified at least 30 days before the start of the 1st workshop.

* If student is unable to attend a workshop due to unavoidable circumstances and advance notice of at least 14 days is given, then student may defer payment to a future workshop of the same value (less $100 fees and administration cost)

 * If student is unable to attend a workshop due to unavoidable circumstances and advance notice of at least 14 days is given, and student is unable to take a future class offered by Sacred Crossings, a refund of 50% of the workshop fee will be returned to student

* If student is unable to give advance notice, and does not show for 1st day of class, the workshop fee is nonrefundable. 

Please visit our CLASSES page for a complete list of classes offered by Sacred Crossings and don’t forget to join our mailing list to be alerted of events in your area.

For updates, photos and inspirational messages please be sure to ‘like’ the Sacred Crossings facebook page.

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Thank you for your interest in Conscious Dying and Family-directed Funerals. We look forward to sharing this sacred journey with you.