Is fighting a battle at the end of life a courageous struggle or a resistance, lack of acceptance and fear of facing the inevitable? We face these issues because we never ever talk about death until l we absolutely have to. Maybe, even if we did make every effort to do so, it would still be incredibly painful and hard. After all, it is difficult to face our own mortality, let alone prepare for such a final event in reality. We can at least begin to try.
We draft wills for our real estate and valuables. What about our most valuable asset, our body-- the only constant space we inhabit throughout our lives.


I am a licensed Funeral Director, a licensed Insurance and a Hospice Volunteer. I have been in the funeral business for more than 10 years and I am a member of NHFREA as of this year. My name is Joan Maione and I am not a funeral home, nor am I aiming to take the place of a funeral home. I am a Funeral Consultant that a family meets with before visiting or selecting a funeral provider or funeral plan. I help families better understand the process and determine the best funeral home to meet their needs and budget. Some of the topics that are discussed are such:

Funeral Consultants are responsible for exactly what most families have been asking for, which to be educated on a number of funeral and/or cemetery options, helping you make decisions when you get stuck, keeping you within your budget, and making sure you know what you are doing – and that you don’t forget anything.
Rather than listen to strange terminology and make expensive decisions on the fly, most people prefer a third-party and independent professional to help guide and support them through this difficult and time-sensitive process.  Rather than being uncomfortable or afraid to ask certain questions, most people prefer having the option and flexibility to say or ask things like: “That seems too expensive” or “We cannot afford that” or “What other options do we have?” or “What do other funeral homes or cemeteries charge in my local area?”


A lot of the cost associated with funerals and cremation is called "emotional overspending” by the funeral industry. Due to the lack of knowledge on behalf of the family, few know what is required, what is available or what it should cost. I've worked in the funeral industry for over 10 years and I am telling you not to go it alone! I can explain exactly what you need and how to get it for the best price, all in the privacy of your own home. Don't wait until it's too late and your loved ones left behind have to do it for you.
When a loved one has passed, why do we feel we need to have a $10,000 casket, multiple services, a ton of flowers that will get "tossed" immediately afterwards, catering for all the "friends" and relatives who show up, and thousands of dollars in the cemetery? This is how we have all been conditioned by marketing and billion dollar funeral companies; this is what "we are told" will bring us closure.
Boy, have we been sold a bill of goods that has nothing to do with the love you lost and the grieving process.
Get the information you need, someday you will need it.
Does it really matter that mom had a $10,000 casket or would the one for $1500 been enough?
When folks don't take the time to learn and empower themselves with information that has been mainly confusing (I'm sure for a reason), and you walk into that funeral home, be prepared to spend more.
You are grieving, you aren't thinking clearly, the funeral industry is counting on this, all the way to the bank!


Funeral costs have been going up at a pace far higher than inflation, while many of us have not experienced a like increase in income.  Per industry experts the average costs (nationwide) for funeral related goods and services are as follows:


A large part of these costs is due to ‘emotional overspending’, according to the funeral industry. We agree, but a primary cause of it is the lack of knowledge on behalf of the family; few know what is required, what is available, or what it should cost. Few even realize each funeral establishment has different prices for goods and services! Couple this with the fact that Americans are largely in denial of death, they fail to discuss what they expect/want in the way of services when they die and many families fail to ask. When the time comes, there is often no one to turn to for information, other than those wanting to sell them goods and services.

This is where a Funeral Consultant can help.
They need someone who can explain (without trying to bias their opinion) each option and put pricing information in one place.
In addition, many families want their Funeral Consultant to join them at the funeral home or cemetery arrangement conference, which can be an option.  Funeral Consultants can also be an excellent resource when it comes to matters related to aftercare planning, such as stopping bills and utilities.


For a set fee, Funeral Consultants will take care of all the tasks, price negotiations, and coordination details, freeing family members from this obligation and helping them arrange the funeral they want within their budget.  With the average Funeral Consultant fee being $500, and the average family savings over $3,500, hiring a Funeral Consultant is a good investment.  Keep in mind that by minimizing or eliminating a lot of the financial and emotional stress associated with families, funeral homes, and funeral planning, most families will tell you that value-added services of a Funeral Consultant can be priceless.


My fees start at $100 for cremation consultation. When we meet, we will discuss the plans you need for yourself or a loved one. I will find the best “fit” for your desires and when I leave, it will be DONE!
I also offer consultation for full funeral arrangements, cemetery, places of worship, obituaries, and everything needed to make sure you or your loved one is remembered and honored according to your (last) wishes.  I will also accompany you to a funeral home, if desired, to make sure you have a voice and that voice is yours.


Upcoming Schedule


Upcoming Schedule


The practice of burying bodies without embalming with toxic chemicals, encasing in metal or rainforest wood caskets, or cement or plastic outer vaults—truly body to earth—is timeless, interrupted only over the past century.  Efforts to return to these ancient, eco-friendly ways are gaining momentum across the country and the few places elsewhere in the world that recently adopted American burial practices.
There are no impediments to green burial in New Hampshire other than local cemetery bylaws. NH mandates that each town provide burial space for its residents, so local cemeteries are opportunities for green space. Meet with your elected cemetery trustees to ask that they relax policies that require outer burial vaults.
One particular environmental and health concern is embalming, an invasive process with no lasting benefits beyond the cosmetic. It poses a major health concern to embalmers who reportedly have a 8-times greater chance of contracting leukemia, are at a 3-times higher risk of contracting ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), and a 13-times higher risk of dying earlier than the standard cohort due to COPD, neurological diseases, and cancer. While speaking with your trustees, you may also be able to discuss the use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, which pose a significant health hazard to cemetery maintenance employees, all of which are used sparingly, if at all, in green burial space.
Burial depth of 3.5-4 feet is recommended for creating the optimum conditions for rapid and efficient decomposition. This is where microbes and insects do their best work. This leaves a smell barrier of 18 to 24 inches above the body; the deepest any animal will dig is 12 inches, so nuisance animals are not a problem. Soil is not removed, but layered on top of green burial graves to settle as the body space is displaced.
Natural burial is being welcomed on conservation lands, providing families pristine, natural environments in which to remember their loved ones while supporting the preservation of intrinsically valuable lands in perpetuity. By reducing the amount of steel, copper, and exotic woods that are housed in concrete in the ground through conventional burial, and doing so on lands dedicated to responsible stewardship, burial moves from a dead end to a win/win.

​To download the following articles prepared for the Green Burial Council by Lee Webster, click below or go to the
Real Answers to Questions Real People Ask About Green Burial
On the Way to the Green Burial Cemetery: A Guide for Families
Going Out Green: Four Ways to Ensure an Eco‐Friendly Burial
Your Green Burial Planning Guide
The Science Behind Green Burial
10 Things You Can Do or Say to Promote Green Burial
Opening, Closing, and Maintaining a Green Burial Cemetery
Start Up Tips for Green Burial Cemetery Operators
To Lie Down in Green Pastures: How the Catholic Church is Leading the way in Green Burial
Basic Tenets of Green Burial Cemeteries
The Case for Green Burials
The Case for Home Funerals
Why Green Burial is a Veteran’s Issue
Why Home Funerals Matter to Our Veterans


Our everyday lives are filled with opportunities to protect the environment. Grocery shelves overflow with organic choices. Trucks pick up recycled waste right at our residence. Hardware and big-box stores offer all-natural lawn and garden products. And the list goes on. With so many ways to live a life committed to sustainability, shouldn’t that pledge be part of our legacy, too?

Natural burial is, for many, a most appropriate burial option and the ultimate legacy.
So, what is natural burial? It is best described as a gentle, biodegradable form of disposition with minimal environmental impact. The goal is complete decomposition of the body and its natural return to the soil. Importantly, it aligns with the teachings of the Catholic Church, affording the faithful the opportunity for burial in a more natural manner.

The Advantages of Natural Burial

Your Step-by-Step Guide to a NH Home Funeral

According to New Hampshire RSA 290, families may care for their own dead entirely without hiring professionals. Many crematories and cemeteries have policies that preclude accepting delivery of the body by the family, so finding a crematory operator or cemetery sexton who will honor your desire to do the bulk of the work is crucial. Gaining clarity around the details, and making connections when planning ahead will serve you well when the time comes to implement your plan.
NHFREA (New Hampshire Funeral Resources, Education & Advocacy) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization comprised of health professionals, teachers, ministers, home funeral and green burial educators, consumer advocates, and others whose mission is to support informed funeral consumer choice through education and advocacy and can provide you with:

If you have any questions, call NHFREA at 603.236.9495 or email at
Please enjoy the film below! We are here for you –Let us help!
In the Parlor: The Final Goodbye


The passing of a loved one can be an extremely difficult, emotional time. Unfortunately, there are usually many decisions to be made and actions to be taken by the surviving spouse and/or children, especially if the loved one was a veteran of U.S. military service. While there are numerous benefits, honors, and services to claim in your veteran’s name, it’s helpful to be prepared and organized to ensure his or her service is properly honored.
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to gather the documents you will need throughout the process and keep them organized and handy. Some of these can actually be collected at any point in life to make things easier on yourself or your dependents.  Just make sure you let someone know where they are in case of an emergency. It can be particularly challenging to find needed documents or information during a sad or difficult time after a loved one’s passing, so by being prepared, you can lessen the stress on yourself or family members.
The list of common documents you will need to access veteran benefits include:

Here are some additional important reminders and helpful tips:

Honoring your veteran will hopefully be a step in the healing process as the gratitude of the nation he or she served becomes a visible symbol during the funeral. With these steps, we hope you are able to spend less time worrying and more time remembering your loved one and the life he or she led.

A Death Cafe is a scheduled non-profit get-together for the purpose of talking about death over food and drink, usually tea and cake. The goal of these nonprofit groups is to educate and help others become more familiar with the end of life. The idea originates with the Swiss sociologist and anthropologist Bernard Crettaz, who organized the first café model in 2004. Jon Underwood a UK web developer was inspired by Crettaz’s work and developed the Death Cafe model in 2011. They have since been held in 66 countries.
I lead open, sincere, honest conversations about death and dying, and host public discussion, creating an environment in which speaking about death is natural and comfortable. No topic too big or small to discuss at a Death Cafe!




Give me a call and let's start regaining the power we have so easily given up!!