The Spirit Vessel Professionals Perspectives in Deathcare series aims to help bring awareness, acceptance, and normalization to death and the grieving process. Throughout this series, we interview professionals of all types in the deathcare and emotional wellness space including hospice nurses, grief counselors and coaches, death doulas, funeral directors, life insurance agents, celebrants, alternative disposition advocates, and social workers just to name a few.
In this interview, we speak with Katey Houston, a certified celebrant, licensed funeral director, and Services Manager at Return Home.
Katey has been a Certified Celebrant, licensed funeral director and embalmer in Washington state for over a decade, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Washington State Funeral Directors Association. Katey graduated from Lake Washington Institute of Technology and previously practiced funeral service in her home country of England.
Katey is the services manager at Return Home, a funeral home that gently transforms human remains into soil. Katey is passionate about equal and easy access for everyone in every walk of life to quality, approachable death care, and death education.
In this conversation we discuss:
- The process of terramation, Return Home’s proprietary version of natural organic reduction.
- How families creatively use the soil of their loved one, enact personalized ceremonies to honor their loved ones at Return Home, and the logistics of transporting the deceased across state lines to receive the disposition services they wish to have.
- Why Katey believes that green burial options will become more popular in time.
- What happens to a body during embalming, and the societal vs. personal responses to caring for the dead.
- How Katey cares for herself while she holds space for families in her work.
- How the ability to embrace and normalize death helps us to empower younger generations and ultimately help them to die better.
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