When a loved one dies, 160 decisions are made in the first 48 hours by grieving and unprepared family. Valerie will help take you to a place of preparedness in a thoughtful and supportive environment with like-minded people who want to give their family peace of mind in a time of grief.
The Funeral Whisperer
Valerie Bourdain is a native Nebraskan who began studying art at the age of four when her parents enrolled her in pre-school at Joslyn Art Museum. In 1981 she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drawing from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. For twenty-five years she designed stationery for national home party companies such as The Pampered Chef.
All that changed in 2008 when Valerie’s drawing board was no longer occupied with little chef hat stickers, but the funeral program for her 27-year-old-daughter who was in hospice at home for adrenal cancer. The mother/daughter team worked together to design stationery that was a reflection of Megan’s vibrant life. Megan, passed on Easter Sunday of 2008. The innovative cards and magnets were well-received and heralded as ‘the best of its kind.’ People continued to resonate, “You should do that for a living.” Valerie’s next two funeral program designs were for her mother’s 2012 death from lung cancer, and her father’s 2013 death from leukemia.
Work began to roll in by referral, and to date Valerie is renowned for her high-end and personal funeral programs. Her motto is "A funeral is not a day in a life, but a lifetime in a day," and she strives to capture the true spirit of those that pass in personal and professional programs.
Her work crosses over all cultural, racial, religious and economic lines. She in candid in saying, “I’ve designed for still-born to centenarian and pimp to politician.” Valerie has learned that death is a leveling ground for all humanity. The vast majority come to her desk unprepared for the staggering number of decisions that need to be made within 48 hours after the death of a loved one.
Her “Funeral Readiness Seminar and Kit” were developed from considerable research and her life experience in meeting with countless families. She has printed thousands of keepsake programs over a ten year period. It is her hope that her teaching will generate honest dialogue about the inevitable, and transport families from the stress of unprepared to the peace of prepared.
Contact Valerie for your next workshop or speaking event.