triple spiral


Last Wishes

Workshop Registration

Burial vs Cremation




My name is Patricia Sweeney and I am the founder and director of The Spiral of Life:In-Home Wakes and Funerals of Portland, Oregon. My initial interest in home wakes and funerals was purely personal. Having attended a fair share of standard American pre-packaged funerals, it became clear to me that I was not well represented by today’s funeral industry. I became aware of the Home Funeral Option which puts death care back into the direct hands of the family and community without unnatural interference and needless expense. This possibility resonated deeply within me and I knew this is what I wanted. I have rediscovered a simple, elegant, and intimate way to express myself in death that is a true reflection of the life and values I live.

Patty Sweeney
It has been a profound awakening for me to realize that I have the legal permission to touch death, get close to it, care for it, bathe it, dress it, and allow its sorrow and beauty to penetrate my heart. In turn, it nourishes me deeply to realize that my loved ones will be caring for me in my passage from this life.

I have researched, refined and organized a practical presentation of the In-Home Wake and Funeral Option. I am delighted to share this information with anyone curious enough to listen and consider its honesty and beauty.
Background Experiences

The Movement Center (formally Nityananda institute) A Yoga Institute located in Portland, Oregon. Continuing student and member since 1995. Practice under the guidance of founding Abbot Swami Chetanananda and his guest Lama Wangdu Rinpoche of Tibet. Certified Hatha Yoga Teacher since 2002. Initiated into the Tibetan Buddhist transitioning meditation called “Phowa”, a specific meditation practiced to support the transitioning of the dying and deceased. .........

Final Passages: Educational Services on Home and Family Directed Funerals located in Sebastopol, California. Apprenticed under the mentorship guidance of founder and director Jerrigrace Lyons, a practicing Death Midwife since 1995 and recognized leader in the home and family directed funeral movement. Received a Certificate of Completion in “Honoring Life’s Final Passage: Levels 1, 2, & 3 Death Midwife Training Program”

Crossings: Educational Services on Home and Family Directed Funerals located in Takoma Park, Maryland. Studied under the guidance of Beth Knox, a practicing death midwife, home funeral educator and funeral rights educator since 1997 and recognized leader in the home and family directed funeral movement.

The Natural Burial Company: A biodegradable coffin and ash burial urn company located in Oregon. Worked with owner Cynthia Beal as a support person and friend from January 2008- May 2008

Dougy Center: The National Center for Grieving Children, Teens and their Families located in Portland, Oregon. Completion of their Facilitator Training Program. Volunteer Facilitator November 2007- January 2008

Community Hospice Training Program: Located in Portland, Oregon. A hospice training course offered in alliance with Legacy Hospital, Providence Hospital and Kaiser Permanente. Completion of the training in Febrauary 2009. Currently a respite care volunteer through Legacy Home Hospice Program.

The Power of Myth: Enthusiastic student of the works of the late, great mythologist Joseph Campbell and the living, great mythologist Michael Meade. Shedding light and awareness on the power of the stories, myths and rituals by which we operate, and of the ability and necessity within that awareness, to create new stories, stories that reflect our changing needs and help vitalize that which has become sterilized.