Who we are

Karen van Vuuren Founder/Executive Director


In 2003, Natural Transitions organization was founded by three women, Faith Davis, Shanti Green, and Karen van Vuuren.  All had a passion for bringing information about end-of-life options to families, and an interest in family-led and green after-death care also known as home funerals.  They brought with them a wealth of experience in elder care and hospice work.

van Vuuren now brings her skills as a journalist and documentary maker (Dying Wish about stopping eating and drinking at end of life, 2008, and Go in Peace! about the caregiver’s role in healing the soul wounds of veterans, 2015,) to NATURAL TRANSITIONS MAGAZINE, the only publication promoting conscious, holistic approaches to end of life. NT Magazine was founded in 2011 by Terra Rafael.


The current NTM editorial team includes:

Karen van Vuuren – Executive Editor. LISTEN TO AN INTERVIEW with Karen van Vuuren by Dr. Karen Wyatt of End of Life University HERE.

Mary Reilly McNellan – Editorial Assistant

Lee Webster – Media reviews/regular contributor

Ann Erwin – Proofreading/Layout

Margaret Pevec – Proofreading/Copyediting

Tina Lewis – Illustration

Wynn Bruce – Photography

Marcie Cole – Advertising

NT functions as a non-profit 501(c) (3) under a board of community members who are committed to our educational role.


Founder, Karen van Vuuren was personally motivated and invested to bring core information about holistic death care options to families. Her younger brother’s solitary death in an intensive care unit at the age of nine has fueled her desire to inform families about options that may be healing and meaningful to them at times of great sadness and loss.  She has witnessed how families who approach death consciously and holistically are able to step into the intimate and often unknown space of caring for their loved-ones after death, positively affecting their grieving process and healing.

Our trained guides and our volunteers are committed to the mission of Natural Transitions, which is to educate and support, promoting cultural change in which death becomes part of the cycle of life. We have backgrounds in elder care, hospice work and the healing arts.