Herland Forest is unique in that it is a non-profit cemetery that’s operated by an intentional community. This is more like a family-owned funeral establishment that is open to adopting people who are passionate about the work, and eager to find an opportunity where they can give their best without always having to worry about the money. If you weren’t born into a death care family, this is a chance to join one.
If you’re looking for the usual sort of commercial internship that involves embalming and up-selling caskets, this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for a chance to explore a radical alternative that helps the earth, doesn’t impoverish grieving families, and provides grounded support for you, then this could be the opportunity you’re looking for.
Herland Forest is exploring the intersection between death care and intentional community by the creation of a natural burial permaculture forest, and a natural organic reduction facility serving those who want to be buried on their own land. Our intentional family stewards 120 acres of forest land where we study and demonstrate sustainable systems. We’ve created a place where we can live a life that is close to the land with gardens, orchards, and the animals that enable us to take a greater degree of control of our lives than is possible in an urban setting.
If you’re in death care for the meaning instead of the money…If you’re longing to be part of a non-profit death care practice that has the ability to take care of both the needs of the grieving and the needs of the caretakers, then becoming a Herland Forest intern might be the first step on your journey to go home by another way.
If you want to be part of corporate death care, then this isn’t for you. Herland Forest is not an employer, and we’re not employees. We don’t do embalming; we don’t sell expensive caskets. What we do is help people rejoin the dance of life in a way that is peaceful, in a way that honors the decedent’s values; in a way that isn’t part of the Industrial Funeral Complex.
We believe that there’s no better place to bury grief than in a garden where you’re surrounded by new life. So, if you’re looking for a way of life that creates a balance between honoring the dying and supporting the living, then a cottage in the Herland Forest may be right for you.
If you’ve made it this far down the page, we’d encourage you to connect with us to talk about what all is involved in this sort of internship, and where it could lead. Even if this isn’t the right opportunity for you, it could well be right for someone you know. This isn’t the sort of opportunity that one can offer on Linked-In, so we’re hoping that friends can pass the word to friends that something most unusual is happening there on the edge of the Cascadian wilderness.
We understand that it’s hard to believe in something you’ve never seen before, so if the idea of community based death care strikes a chord with you, let’s have a conversation about the possibilities and the challenges involved in putting death care ahead of dollar care.
If Herland Forest’s vision resonates with you, please drop us a line at herlandforest (at) gmail.com and let’s start a conversation.