The new company aims to train, educate and serve as the industry leader for an in-demand service and career

ATLANTA, GA, USA, September 6, 2022 / — “WHAT DO YOU do when someone dies?” More than a hundred million people type this question into Google each month.

Families who need help with the tasks, paperwork and administrative logistics in the weeks and months after a loved one dies struggle with where to turn. Atlanta after loss consultant Rachel Donnelly experienced this struggle personally and decided to create a business to help meet this need. “I wanted to create a business that provides project management services for grieving families so that they can stop wondering what they’re supposed to be doing and get back to the things that matter,” says Donnelly.

Donnelly was on her own when she started her company, Black Dress Consultants, but soon found fellow women entrepreneurs aiming to do the same thing. In the years since starting their own businesses, Rachel Donnelly and fellow after loss professionals Mollie Lacher, Esther Pipoly and Jasmine Hathaway have come together to create a community where they ask questions, share things they’ve learned along the way and support each other. One of the biggest challenges? What to call their service. “There really hasn’t been an accepted term or keywords that describe the niche we fill,” says Mollie Lacher. “We kind of fit into a space between what attorneys, financial advisors, and therapists provide.”

In 2021, they co-founded PALS: Professionals of After Loss Services. Some of their goals were to increase public awareness of the service they offer and establish best practices for doing the work at a high level of integrity and professionalism.

Today, PALS is launching the PALS Training Program™ to share what they’ve learned with other professionals who want to offer this service. “We’ve learned that this appeals to both aspiring entrepreneurs and professionals who want to add a line of business,” says Rachel Donnelly. “Funeral directors, death doulas, financial advisors and others who’d like to keep this work in-house and offer an added benefit to clients have been very enthusiastic about it.”

The fall 2022 cohort of the course begins October 1, 2022 and runs for six weeks. It will feature more than fifteen hours of recorded lessons, downloadable resources and templates, interactive elements and live virtual coaching sessions.

“We’ve really poured everything we have into this program,” says Esther Pipoly. “The strength of our combined knowledge and skills makes the PALS Training Program so incredibly valuable. I wish I would have had this when I was starting out!”

The course includes a code of ethics, information on setting pricing, marketing, how to do the work, self-care in deathcare and more. There are tips and tricks the founders have learned along the way in their own businesses, too. “I’m a big believer in learning from others’ mistakes,” says Jasmine Hathaway. “Our primary goal has always been to help as many families in need as possible, and this course is a way to equip as many people as possible with the tools to do that.”

PALS is led by Esther Pipoly, Jasmine Hathaway, Mollie Lacher and Rachel Donnelly.

To learn more about PALS and Rachel Donnelly’s work, visit or

About PALS
Founded in 2021, PALS is a support network for industry professionals who provide services to individuals and families after the loss of a loved one. The PALS Training ProgramTM is now open for applicants. To learn more, visit


Beverly Rhodes
Maximum, Inc.

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