Photo | Funeral Celebrant, Naomi Ehrich
Santa Cruz
Santa CruzCA 95060
United States
[email protected]

Just because death is a natural part of the earth's great cycles, doesn't mean that loss isn't completely heartrending. Hi, I’m Naomi, and I’m sick of living in a death-denying, grief-avoidant culture. I have lost people I’ve loved deeply, in all cases with little or no warning. I have performed more funerals than I care to count for individuals who committed suicide. And I am tired of hearing people brag about how they didn’t cry during a big, important, life event, as if they deserve a badge of honor for keeping a stiff upper lip in the face of overwhelming emotion. I have experienced immense beauty, solace and generosity of spirit while mourning loved ones in community, and have marveled at our cultural ineptitude around grief and death. I long to bring beauty and light to the places they’re needed most, and I want to make sure that everyone faced with loss - regardless of belief - has a place they can go to help them mourn and heal. All of this and more has brought me to the work of honoring, celebrating and memorializing the end of life, with all its beauty, raw emotion, humanity and complexity.

“Grief is a thick emotion. It so easily gets stuck. And things can so easily stick to it. But if handled properly, grief is powerful and it is essential. It is like the end of the loop of our human experience that brings us back to our embeddedness…if we tend to it. And for me, tending to it requires that I drop into ceremony.” -The Verdant Collective

Walk fearlessly into the house of mourning.

A personally meaningful and expertly facilitated funeral, memorial, or end of life ceremony is the foundation upon which true grieving and healing happens. A good end of life ceremony honors and celebrates the deceased’s life, but it also provides an all-important container for their family and community to express their grief, and digest the magnitude of their loss. It might seem counterintuitive, but we need to grieve our losses so that we can recover our sense of well-being and connection to life, and return to some semblance of normalcy. There’s no need to be afraid. In The Moth Podcast, House of Mourning, chaplain Kate Braestrup reminds us to “walk fearlessly into the house of mourning, for grief is just love squaring up to its oldest enemy, and after all these mortal, human years, love is up to the challenge.” Whether you’re mourning the end of a life cut tragically short, or celebrating the fullness of a long life well lived, your funerals and memorials need to feel immediate and relevant, and bring the rich tapestry of emotions alive and into the room. 

“We don’t mark death very well in the West. We so often wrestle the most wretched events into neat formulaic moments: a homily, a hymn, a tearful speech, sometimes not even that. A funeral can be a magnificent occasion, properly done.” -Julia Baird

Work with me.

As a Certified Life Cycle Celebrant with specialized training in end of life ceremonies, including funerals, memorials and celebrations of life, it is my commitment to create unique, personal and meaningful end of life ceremonies that reflect the truest expression of your loved one’s life (and death,) honor your need for grieving and healing, and help you adequately mark and metabolize this profound, life-altering passage. My commitment is to take the time to get to know you, ask a lot of thoughtful questions, and create a ceremony (which may include music, readings, rituals, slideshows and eulogies,) that is well-rounded, cohesive, poignant and deeply meaningful to you and your community. I don’t shy away from the tough stuff including traumatic or violent death, such as suicides, accidents, and overdoses, infant or pre-term death, and pet loss. The ceremonies I deliver are doctrine, dogma and deity free, with no religious overlay, unless that is what is authentically true to you. 


“You made it the most beautiful day I wish I never had to have. You were very healing for many who attended. Many people have reached out to me to tell me how truly special the day was, and how wonderful you were.” A.M., Santa Cruz, CA

“Your beautiful ceremony for our son was amazing! It is obvious to me that you have a gift and that you have worked hard to perfect it. Weeks later we are still talking about how powerful and healing your ceremony was.” C.R., Santa Cruz, CA

“You are masterful in your honest and compassionate space holding. I feel deeply impressed by your genius in this area.” B.S., Santa Cruz, CA

“Naomi did an amazing job helping my family to create a beautiful memorial service for my father. She has boundless empathy, and delivered a service that was heartwarming, honest, touching and truly honored the person that he was. Highly recommended.” J.M., Santa Cruz, CA

“I am incredibly thankful that Naomi was with me during my process of grieving and releasing. After my partner passed away, I wasn’t sure who to turn to, as I don’t belong to a religious congregation. Naomi was able to offer a compassionate, authentic approach to memorializing him. She helped me navigate the whole process, and put together a beautiful ceremony to help me say goodbye to my dear one.” L.L., Santa Cruz, CA

"It was the perfect ceremony. Just what I wanted. You were so wonderful. So many people asked if you were an old family friend, you seemed to know him so well. Thank you for listening to and learning from us and creating a ceremony we will always remember and be grateful for." M.T., Felton, CA

Reach out.

If you are looking for someone who will hold an honest and deeply compassionate space, who is committed to helping people reclaim their rites and rituals so that they can mourn and celebrate in ways that feel authentically true to them, please contact me via email at [email protected].