About Barefoot Funerals
A Local Business - Locals looking after locals.
Leonie started looking after the dying 28 years ago in San Francisco. She worked with a team of nurses helping dying people record their stories and wishes and liaising with the family. An Art Therapist, Registered Celebrant, Funeral Director and Grief Educator. Leonie has had some of the most beautiful experiences whilst working with dying people and their families. She believe that there can be beautiful dignity in death. We work closely with the family to create meaningful ceremonies. She is passionate about the family being able to choose what makes meaning for them. Leonie finds it is important to be gentle and allowing the time the family needs, particularly when vulnerable
Baaligin/Bellingen shire has been home to Maya for over 20 years, in this time she has worked with various community organisations as a mentor, educator, and carer. She has a deep connection to nature and love being outdoors, Country is her solace, strength and joy.
Throughout life’s journey I often ask “what would love do now?”. Living into this question is deep and challenging and has led to many journeys and learnings.
Being present with people around the passage of death is a deep honour, and it is a great privilege to help people choose to say goodbye in a way which is meaningful to them, and to support them. At such a time I believe it is vital to act in a supportive and sensitive way. The qualities of listening, empathy and compassion are close to my heart. I feel it is important for us to reclaim the processes around death, so that we can bring ourselves and our loved ones home in the deepest sense.
Lissa Carmela is a Death Doula, as well as a Registered Nurse with palliative care experience. Some of the services offered are: Active listening “holding space” for expectations, wishes, fears, challenges and what ever else needs to be heard…be heard, and assistance with the planning in working towards a positive death with meaning. This involves meeting people where they are at within themselves; providing information and practical education around death and dying; and offering emotional and spiritual support with respect for culture, beliefs and ritual.
We create healing moments by reflecting,remembering and honoring a life lived
Cath’s previous working life has been in the social services space including Women’s Crisis services, Aged and Disability Care and Lifeline. Her experiences working alongside people either in crisis or managing often complex needs have taught her the importance of sensitivity, compassionate listening and being a support for others’ goals. Most importantly, though, she has developed a sense of deep respect for the sacredness of human connection in difficult times. She aims to come from a place of acceptance and reverence for all the ways people meet death and dying and acknowledges the privilege in being part of the process.
Cezar: As a child in Romania, I woke up one day to fanfare playing in the streets outside our home. Trumpets, guitars, cheering, crying was heard. I saw a procession of people walking down the street holding a coffin.
I asked my mother what was going on, “A loved one has left the body, this is a funeral procession, it’s time to rejoice”. My calling toward death comes from the heart. To me, one of the greatest callings is to be with others as they themselves or their loved ones leaves this world. As death is one of the most natural part of our lives, it is a grateful pleasure and honour to hold space, compassion and respect for this beautiful human process.
We help create inspirational and affordable funerals. We tailor everything we do to support the family in saying goodbye in an authentic way.
We are located in Bellingen. We provide service to Dorrigo, Bellingen, Urunga, Valla, Nambucca and Coffs Harbour, Woolgoolga, Macksville and of course other areas.
Dear Leonie and Chuck
We would like to thank you both for helping us through the most traumatic and saddest time of our
You supported us in the most bewildering and seemingly impossible time after the unexpected
death of my partner and father of my two daughters.
I can only say that you both listened to what we wanted for the final farewell of our beloved Coup.
I never knew that we could do an alternative and very personal funeral that suited our family and
that we didn’t have to follow the usual sterile formalities of a funeral service at a crematorium.
I am so grateful that you could give him the sendoff that he would of liked... this included keeping us
up to date with the process and legalities, allowing us to bring his body home in the beautiful hand
woven casket to say our goodbyes with family and friends, arranging for my sister and I to go to the
crematorium with a Buddhist practitioner to do a ritual during the actual cremation, conducting the
ceremony at Kalang hall and holding a beautiful space to celebrate Coups life.
We also feel supported in that you check on us regularly to see how we are and offer advice and
counseling to help us through this tough time.
The care and continuing help and support you have shown us will always be remembered and we
thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Deb, Momo and Roan
Leonie Funeral Director and co founder with her late husband Chuck who was also the co-founder and Funeral Director
Our amazing Maya, Funeral Arranger, all round awesome human
Cezar our gentle all round funeral person
Cath, our amazing Funeral Person and all-round fabulous human
We live in a very diverse community with many services that allow for loved ones to be cared for at home. We work with some great local people so you can feel safe and supported no matter your choices. All our staff are local members of our community. We cover Dorrigo, Bellingen, Coffs Harbour, Urunga, Valla, Nambucca, Macksville and often south, north and west of Bellingen
To Chuck and Leonie,
Thank you both so much for helping us navigate the waters of my mother’s final goodbye.
It was not an easy time for us and the journey had been long but when you both entered our home to discuss plans for what we wanted as a final send off for my beautiful mother we felt completely at ease. I knew she would be looked after with love and respect. Not only were you both exceptional with your communication and professionalism but you were also extremely real with your empathy towards myself and my family. I felt quite lost when Mum passed, so to have two people come in and be of service with kindness and knowledge really helped us all.
I will be forever grateful.
The Bluhdorn Family xx
Our philosophy is to allow families to reclaim the rightful control of the dying process and care of the deceased. Dying and death is a natural process. We support traditional funeral services or help the family take care of their loved one at home.
Most families are not even aware they can legally be involved in the care of their loved one. We believe in the gentle honouring that is inherent in the dying process and in learning to embrace it as a natural part of life.
Barefoot Funerals is about choice. We hope that we can use our knowledge, care and professionalism to guide you and your family through a kind and gentle death experience.
Many people ask us about our name - barefoot - to me it is about leaving as light a footprint as we can when we walk our earth, and leave our earth.
We are proud to be a member of NDAN - Natural Death Advocacy Network https://ndan.com.au/
Leonie is also a certified grief educator.