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Alternative Funeral in Montpelier, VT

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I can help with values-based advance care planning by teaching patients to become active participants in their own health care by aiding in patient literacy and advocacy, providing non-medical support for those at the end of life. I offer support for women and families who have experienced or are expecting to experience pregnancy loss and help to plan an alternative funeral in Montpelier, VT, including green burial, and serving as a home funeral guide. I also help people plan meaningful personalized rituals for after a loved one has died. I offer services in memoir writing, death awareness education, and community outreach programming.

I have extensive training and over 3 years of experience in fields related to the end of life, including working as a hospice volunteer for Central Vermont Home, Health, and Hospice, and helping facilitate the Montpelier Death Cafe. These experiences have helped me identify where our local services have gaps and I have tailored my training to allow me to meet the specific needs of my community by stepping into and filling those gaps.

I am in the position of both being able to provide care and support as well as helping people connect with, and get the most out of, resources available to them. I want everyone to be aware of and prepared for the choices they can make for themselves as they think about or approach the end of life.

I have knowledge and experience with so many different approaches to advance care planning, caring for the dying, and saying good-bye. While everybody dies, each death is unique. I will take the time to get to know you and your needs to determine what is going to work best for you. For this reason, I prefer to work with you in your home and we can negotiate a contract specific to you.

The more I embrace working with death and the dying, the more I learn what truly matters and the more I understand how I want to live. It is a powerful, uplifting, and transformative experience and it is an honor to be of service to my community in this way. My motto is "Life Matters. Talk About Death."

Training for the Final Stages

Recognizing a need to go deeper to serve people, I've augmented my initial volunteer training with additional training. I use what I've learned to assist individuals and their families through the final stages of life and the first stages of death.

Additionally, I've reached back into my past as a neuroscientist and ethics-consultant for a major hospital to help me understand and bridge the gap in patient-doctor communications and relationships. I have the resources to help identify when people are having trouble understanding or absorbing a diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment option.

Michelle Acciavatti

I can help identify exact areas that need clarification and facilitate conversations with clinicians or care team members. My approach leads to better comprehension of care plans when the patient or his/her family feels the need to adjust them.

Education & Training

• I was awarded a Master of Science in Applied Neuroscience in 2010 from Boston University.
• I received a Clinical Ethics Certificate from The Division of Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School in 2011.
• I have trained as an advance care planning facilitator with Respecting Choices.
• I have trained as a hospice volunteer with Central Vermont Home, Health, and Hospice, and Patty Burgess of Doing Death Differently.
• I have trained as an end-of-life doula with Donna Belk of Beyond Hospice and am a level 3 Certified End-of-Life Doula with Suzanne O'Brien of Doulagivers.

• I have trained in pregnancy loss support with Amy Wright Glenn of The Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath, and Death and Stillbirthday University.
• I am a trained home funeral guide by Jerrigrace Lyons of Final Passages and Lee Webster of New Hampshire Funeral Resources, Education & Advocacy.
• I am mentored by Green Burial Advocates and members of the Green Burial Council.