Faces of Death: Sarah Wambold

This is the first in a new series that showcases the death revolutionaries we are fortunate enough to work with at the Order.  To begin, one of my oldest friends and colleagues in eco-death, the wry and revolutionary Sarah Wambold.

Tell us about your work, Sarah.

I am a licensed funeral director and embalmer in Austin, TX who works in green burial. My long-term project is called Conservation Burial, which works with state park agencies to establish green burial grounds adjacent to state parks as a way to protect the surrounding area from encroaching development. I’m pretty anti-establishment when it comes to funeral service; I’ve never been fully satisfied working in just a funeral home, nor have I ever been comfortable with the environmental damage of traditional burial. My current focus is on engaging more landowners to participate in this practice, so I do outreach at conservation workshops and events.

 

 

What are you working on this year? 

Besides conservation burial, I am satisfying my creative tendencies by curating my first art show in Austin in August, called PopUp Mortuary. The idea is to explore the consumerism of the modern funeral industry with other artists and present some of the hidden aspects of the business to the public in an approachable way. I’m really interested in creating spaces for more death conversation. Stay tuned for more info!

 

What does death positivity mean to you?

Many things, but essentially normalizing the topic of death in everyday conversation.

 

What other death-related job that you don’t have, would you want?

Director of Education for a mortuary science program. We need complete education reform in this field and I have some ideas!

 

When you die, what do you want done with your corpse?

Natural burial all the way. Shroud optional.

 

Order members Landis Blair and Sarah Chavez with Sarah Wambold at the Death Salon Film Festival

 

Sarah has written two series for The Order, American Funeral Home Revolution and an interview series, Real American Death Heroes in which Sarah talks to people making compelling commentary on the death space in America.

 

She recently addressed What the Texas Fetal Remains Ruling Means and How You Can Take Action for Death & the Maiden and Sarah’s poignant piece At Rest in the Fields – Celebrating Childhood’s End at Eloise Woods for Texas Observer is a must-read.

 

To read more about Sarah and her work, check out her website or connect with her on Twitter and Instagram.

 

Next Post
Confronting Mortality In Trunyan
Previous Post
Mourning Mosa: My Cat's Funeral in Japan
  • Micah 李 文 Jung

    I hope it continues and grows

  • Lindsey Fitz

    Sarah Wambold does such good work. Keep it up!