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Rising Stars: Meet Olivia Bareham

Today we’d like to introduce you to Olivia Bareham.

Hi Olivia, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I began my hands-on healing practice in the 80’s during the AIDS epidemic. Sadly, many of my patients died, but I became aware of the profound opportunity for emotional and spiritual healing that is available at the end-of-life. Laying on the deathbed, open and vulnerable, patients had less resistance and therefore more access to the subtle energies of higher dimensions. I began working with these energies and noticed shifts in consciousness and emotional and spiritual breakthroughs not only with the death journeyer but with all those present to the process.

In 2005 I was privileged to attend my mother’s dying and experienced another level of healing when I was invited to help prepare her body and lay her out in the living room for a vigil with friends and family. Once again, I was struck by the profound opportunity for healing fears and phobias, connecting with the divine and feeling a deep sense of inner peace by caring for the dead body. Death and Dying were loving teachers and healers and I felt drawn to bring this awareness into the collective consciousness. I founded Sacred Crossings and began offering my services as a Home Funeral Guide assisting families in Los Angeles to care for their loved ones at home between death and burial or cremation.

In 2010, when it was clear I was going to need help to serve the growing number of families requesting Home Funerals, I expanded Sacred Crossings to include The Institute for Conscious Dying and began training students in the art of conscious dying and death midwifery. Today, I offer certificate trainings for Death Doulas and Death Midwives both online and inperson.

After guiding hundreds of families through the home funeral process, I partnered with Alex Edwards, a graduate student of the Death Midwifery program and together we created the Sacred Crossings Alternative Funeral Home offering green and natural funeral products and services. Our signature services are home funerals, green burials and full-body deep-sea burials. We are proud to service the entire Los Angeles area.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The most challenging aspect of growing Sacred Crossings has been breaking through the phobia of death and dying and encouraging people to talk about their own inevitable death and to make plans for their final disposition. The COVID pandemic has certainly helped people become more aware of the need to talk about their wishes and as more and more people attend Home Funerals and realize the profound impact this has on their lives they wish the same for themselves and their own loved ones. They are beginning to put these wishes in writing and Sacred Crossings has created an online advance planning booklet to make this easier:

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
As a Death Midwife, I support those on their dying journey from the time they receive the news of their life-limiting illness to their last breath. We enjoy long and deep conversations about the nature of life and death, I listen, I invite them to engage in the process with curiosity and even excitement – after all, this is the final experience of their lives. I offer tools to reduce anxiety, relax the body and calm the mind and I support and empower family members to be actively engaged in caring for the body at home after death.

I am most proud of persisting with Sacred Crossings and not giving up but slowly expanding the educational offerings and funeral home services. Many students take classes in Conscious Dying to simply educate themselves and increase their chances of having a peaceful death without suffering at home, surrounded by loved ones. Other students have gone on to create their own Death Doula business and some have become social media influencers in the death and dying movement and now help to bring awareness of the need for Death Doulas and the importance of Home Funerals.

The Sacred Crossings Institute and Alternative Funeral Home are changing the culture of death and dying, slowly but surely, one body at a time.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
Visiting Grandma in her coffin as she laid out in the dining room of our 18th century (very cold) farmhouse in England. She looked serene and peaceful and delicate and, I thought, absolutely beautiful. I loved being with her in the quiet and felt a deep sense of inner peace, as though everything was okay and that dying is a good thing. I think it was this that stayed with me and is why I lean into death rather than shy away from it.


  • Death Doula Certificate Training $1200
  • Death Midwifery Certificate Training $2400
  • Direct Cremation $1400
  • Home Funeral $2800
  • Full Body Sea Burial $6500

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Olivia Headshots by Anthony Mongiello All other photos Copyright Sacred Crossings

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