NYC Resources311Office of the Mayor

Documentary Film Screening and Discussion – "In the Parlor: The Final Goodbye"

Saturday, September 30, 2017

6:30 p.m.8:30 p.m.

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In the 19th century, death was an integral and accepted part of life for families like the Tredwells, who held funerals for eight family members in their double parlor. When patriarch Seabury Tredwell died at home, in 1865, his wife, Eliza, and their children prepared and dressed the body for viewing and for burial, likely assisted by a “layer out of the dead” or an undertaker. With the rise of industrial society came the professional funeral director, who removed death care from the home.

In the Parlor: The Final Goodbye is both a critical look at America’s uncomfortable relationship with death and an inquiry into the growing revival of home death-care. The film takes viewers on an intimate journey into the lives of three families who have chosen to reclaim an active role in caring for their deceased as a more personal and fulfilling way to say goodbye. The film challenges us to reflect on how we view the experience of death, so often feared, denied, and left unspoken.

Heidi Boucher, filmmaker and home death care guide for over 30 years, wrote, directed, and produced In the Parlor: The Final Goodbye. A discussion will follow the screening (running time: 80 minutes).




Event Organizer

Merchant's House Museum

Contact Number

(212) 777-1089

Contact Email


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