Photo for  Tricycle.org  by Bess Adler.

Photo for Tricycle.org by Bess Adler.

Amy Cunningham is a progressive funeral home owner, licensed director and celebrant who collaborates with New York City families to help them create the best funerals and memorial services possible. She specializes in green burials in cemeteries certified by the Green Burial Council, simple burials within the NYC- Metropolitan area, home funerals, cremation services at Green-Wood Cemetery's gorgeous crematory chapels as well as memorial events of all sorts.

Filled with kind advice on how to make funerals more affordable and sustainable, Amy was profiled by the New York Times, March 2014, 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-five years. One son is working to turn 2018 mid-term elections around in southwest Wisconsin; the other just graduated from Emory and works at Psychology Today magazine.

 Amy with NYC Dying with Confidence Sangha inspired by the Phowa practice teachings of Anyen Rinpoche and Allison Choying Zangmo, Tibet House, April 2018

Amy with NYC Dying with Confidence Sangha inspired by the Phowa practice teachings of Anyen Rinpoche and Allison Choying Zangmo, Tibet House, April 2018

 Amy discussing end-of-life anxieties and wishes on  National Geographic's "Explorer" show  with Larry Wilmore, Richard Bacon, and Chuck Klosterman, November 2016.

Amy discussing end-of-life anxieties and wishes on National Geographic's "Explorer" show with Larry Wilmore, Richard Bacon, and Chuck Klosterman, November 2016.

Our Press

Amy gave a speech on funeral home regulation at Wake Forest University's School of Law in 2017 in which she outlined needed changes in funeral training and practice. Read it here on the blog of Wake Forest's Journal of Law & Policy.