Amy Cunningham is a progressive funeral home owner, licensed director and celebrant in Brooklyn who collaborates with New York City families to help them create the best funerals and farewells possible. She specializes in green burials in cemeteries certified by the Green Burial Council, simple burials within the NYC- Metropolitan area, delayed transfers and home funerals, and witnessed cremation services in Green-Wood Cemetery's gorgeous crematory chapels.
Filled with kind advice on how to make funerals more affordable and sustainable, Amy was profiled by the New York Times in 2014, Tricycle magazine in 2017, and named one of nine top funeral innovators by FuneralOne, a leading voice for change in the funeral industry. In February 2018, Women's Health magazine gave Amy the unique moniker "Death Ritual Disrupter," in a piece about how daily death contemplation and awareness can enrich our lives and keep us healthier.
Fortified by her mortuary training from the American Academy McAllister Institute, and a BA in English Literature from the University of Virginia, Amy was trained as a funeral celebrant by Glenda Stansbury and Doug Manning, certified as a home funeral guide by Jerrigrace Lyons and Olivia Bareham, and exposed to Jewish tahara ritual through the teachings of Rabbi Regina Sandler-Phillips. She then took end-of-life doula training with Henry Fersko-Weiss (twice!) at the NY Open Center where she is now also on the faculty of the Integrative Thanatology death education counselor program.
When not out directing funerals, Amy writes a blog with funeral celebrant Kateyanne Unullisi called "The Inspired Funeral" for consumers, clergy, home funeral guides, celebrants and bereavement therapists working to enrich end-of-life experiences. She has been married to journalist Steven Waldman for twenty-eight years. One son is a Wisconsin campus organizer for NextGen America; the other counsels men and women newly out of jail on NYC mental health services.