The Art of Death Midwifery

2020 Schedule

Los Angeles


THE ART of DEATH MIDWIFERY is a comprehensive certificate training for death doulas, 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, end-of-life caregiver, 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.

“Can’t say enough about this program!! It will absolutely change your life.” – Maggie Yenoki

The Art of Death Midwifery is a 3- Level, 75-hour certificate program consisting of three intensive weekend workshops and reading, written and practical assignments.  Our program is offered twice yearly in Los Angeles. Accommodation is not included. Please see below for the class details

Class size is limited to 20 students to maintain the intimacy of each group and early reservations are recommended as classes fill quickly. 

“HIGHLY recommend this training. Olivia is a masterful, teacher – deeply spiritual, tender and courageous. She leaves nothing out.  I feel empowered to go out and support others now.  Thank you! ” Evelyn Grier

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

Cost for the 75-hour training is $1800 if paid in full, or $650 per workshop.

Pay Now

Thank you!  Upon registration via the paypal link, a confirmation e-mail will be sent with workshop details including assignments and reading list.

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

“Dying is not something that happens to you, dying is something you do.” – Stephen Jenkinson

There is an art to dying and practices we can learn to help us lean into the experience, receive it whole-heartedly and even perhaps, enjoy it.

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

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

Topics explored

Giving Birth – Receiving Death

Connecting to source through somatic movement

Examining fears

Energy fields and the luminous body

Healing the ancestral wounds

Managing the physiological response to pain

The journey of the soul

Buddhist perspectives on death and dying

The life review

The death rehearsal

“This workshop rocked my world. The exercises were so deep, so profound, I feel changed at a core level. It was not what I expected at all, I see the beauty in death now. Thank you for this life-changing experience!”                    –Ginny B



Pay in Full HERE for all three levels of the 75-hour certificate program to receive $150 discount – $1800


Click on the date to register for the Enter the Grave workshop of your choice for just $650

September 4, 5 & 6  2020

October 2, 3 & 4  2020 –

Space is limited to 20 participants, early rsvp suggested.   Registrants will receive a confirmation e-mail with class details and any assignments

 Please contact for details and for payment arrangements


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

“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 

“Unreal. Deep work. Soulfully awakening.”  Marifel C

“Fear seems to have fallen away and a curious enthusiasm has taken its place.” Beck B

“Death-Changing! Every person on this planet needs this training.”  Jackie D


 Level Two


Preparing for a peaceful transition

There is no pre-requisite for this class 

Level 2 Details


Preparing for a Peaceful Transition


This workshop provides the information and tools necessary for creating a good death and ensuring your end-of-life wishes are fulfilled. Students learn the roles and responsibilities of the death doula – one who offers practical, emotional and spiritual support to the death journeyer and their family throughout the dying process.

Students seeking certification as a death doula are required to create their personal ‘Death File’ and to register with a hospice volunteer program and begin to sit bedside with the dying.

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

Advance Health Care Directive & POLST

Pain vs. Suffering

The physical process of dying

Spiritual perspectives on the dying process

Physician Aid in Dying – before you decide

Creating the Legacy Project

Ceasing nutrition & hydration

Religious beliefs and practices at the moment of death

Organ donation

Healing relationships/ Saying goodbye /letting go

Being a healing presence – sitting vigil at the death bed

The Living Funeral


 Pay in Full HERE for the 3-Level, 75-hour FALL 2020 training to receive $150 discount.


click on the date to register for the individual Conscious Dying workshop . $650

Upon receipt of registration you will receive an e-mail with assignments and workshop details

April 3, 4 & 5  2020 – Registration closed

November 6, 7 & 8  2020

Space is limited to 20 participants, early rsvp suggested.

Please contact Olivia for details and for payment arrangements

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


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


Preparing the body, home funerals and final disposition 

Prerequisite: Level 2 –  ‘Conscious Dying’

Level 3 Details


Preparing the body, Home funerals & Final disposition


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. It is also during these three days that the family and loved-ones begin to integrate the enormity of what has just occurred in their lives and begin their own transformation process.

This workshop focuses on the role of the death midwife to both the death journeyer and their family at the time of death and for the days following until burial or cremation. Rev. Olivia shares her 15 years experience as a home funeral guide with stories, information, demonstrations and powerful images and film clips.

Students learn how to prepare 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; dry-ice preservation and cremation and burial practices.

‘The beauty of the act of caring for the dead is breathtaking – I now understand how sacred this work is, it is truly an honor.’  Bruna Amaral

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

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

Green Burials and alternative cremations


Pay in Full HERE  for the 3-Level, 75-hour FALL 2019 Training to receive $150 discount 

or click on the date below to register for the individual workshop.

Upon receipt of registration, students will receive an e-mail with workshop details.


MAY 15, 16 & 17   (Webinar)


DECEMBER 4, 5 & 6

Space is limited to 20 students to maintain the intimacy of the group.

Early reservations recommended

Workshop takes place in a private home in West Los Angeles – details given to registered participants

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

Please contact Olivia for questions about accommodations and payment arrangements


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



Funeral Celebrant Training   

             This stand-alone certificate program is not included in The Art of Death Midwifery training. This workshop offers instruction in funeral and memorial planning, production and officiant services.



Creating the Life Celebration 

The Celebration of Life ceremony is the commemoration of one’s unique contribution to humanity and the opportunity to leave a legacy.  What will yours be?  how will your life be remembered ?  What are the steps to create a unique, personal and moving service to honor a 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. 

This workshop is open to anyone and is also the master class for The Art of Death Midwifery training. Graduates receive a certificate for 25 hours training as Funeral Celebrant.

“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…both personally, and on a larger scale.”                     – Laurie Ciardullo




Topics explored

History and purpose of funerals

The role of the Celebrant

Designing & producing the service

Virtual services: at bedside,  with families in isolation, at the crematory, graveside

Creating sacred space

Writing the eulogy

Channeling the grief

Opening and closing remarks /prayers & poems

Announcements/Obituaries/Video Journals/Programs

Tributes & rituals

Veterans services

Pet Funerals

Graveside service / Sea Burial service

“This workshop is incredibly intense, challenging, deeply moving and so much fun!! Everyone should have this experience so they can be prepared when a loved one dies.”     – Kym Chartrand –


Now just $450!  Offered online during the pandemic social distancing – same hours, same intensity, just from the comfort of your own home.  Certificate of Completion will be mailed to all participants. 

MAY 29, 30 & 31  2020


There is no prerequisite for this class.

Students receive a certificate of completion for 25 hour Funeral Celebrant Training

The workshop takes place in Pacific Palisades, West Los Angeles, California  the privacy of your own home via ZOOM Conference for 2020.

Details e-mailed to registered participants.

Friday 3 – 10 pm    Saturday 9am – 6pm    Sunday 10am – 6pm

For more information, please write to:




“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 –

“This workshop was a very deep and profound experience for me.  The guest speakers, films and detailed information helped us put together amazing funerals in just two days. They were so real, so intense – just as they would be in real life.  I enjoyed Olivia’s gentle guidance and encouragement in allowing our creativity to flow outside the box. I highly recommend this workshop to anyone who is open and brave enough to explore this incredible topic.”   – Thea Nathan –



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

Tuition for each level is $650.  If you would like to pay in advance for the entire Fall program, cost is $1800.

For content details of each workshop, click on the drop down menus above.


Level I – Enter the Grave – September 4, 5 & 6  OR October 2, 3 & 4

Level II – Conscious Dying –  November 6, 7 & 8

Level III – After The Last Breath –  May 15, 16 & 17  OR  December 4, 5 & 6

Pay Now


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:




“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 ($1700) and wish to cancel, will receive a full refund (less $100 pay pal 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 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 less than 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; does not show for 1st day of class or chooses to leave after the commencement of day one, 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.

Follow us on instagram @ Sacred_Crossings

 Subscribe to the blog:

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

Sacred Crossings

Sacred Crossings