what an end-of-life doula can offer…
“death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.”
― haruki murakami, contemporary Japanese author
The first thing to acknowledge is that we all will die – it’s not if we will die but when. It will be a universal experience for all of us. Recognizing that death is a natural part of the human experience can help us when it becomes a reality in our own life or in the life of someone we love. Having a trained doula walk with you on this journey can be a great comfort and make the transition from life to death a sacred time.
An end-of-life doula or midwife can help with many aspects of the dying process. I provide a supportive, compassionate, intentional, non-judgmental, and nurturing environment that encompasses the dying person’s and their loved ones’ physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.
holistic support – emotional, physical, and spiritual
What are you feeling and thinking? Are you angry, fearful, or concerned for your loved ones? Together, we can explore and process these feelings and thoughts. This can be a time of deep, emotional healing.
What unfinished business do you have? Are there relationships you want to attend to? Forgiveness you wish to seek or offer? Confessions you wish to make?
What might you wish to do with the time you have left? What might be some ways to bring comfort to your body? What might you expect to happen as the time draws near?
What do you think happens after you die? What have you been taught? What do you believe? What does it look like to integrate what you truly believe with where you find yourself at this moment? What does it look like to draw on your faith or spirituality as you enter into this final part of your journey on earth?
What do you want to leave as a legacy? What does it look like to create something that reflects the meaning of your life? This could be written, painted, photographed, quilted, etc.
I help you create meaningful and intentional rituals that can be done prior to, while you are in your last hours, and even after your death. If a ritual is desired, they are unique to each individual.
creating a peaceful environment
What do you wish to be surrounded with as you enter into the last days? Soft fabrics, special music, candles, nature? I will help you create an environment that is peaceful, serene, calm, and uniquely suited to your desires.
Vigil is the act of sitting with you during the last hours. It includes maintaining your desired environment, sitting by your bedside, offering non-medical comforts, helping your loved ones understand the dying process, and being physically, emotionally, and spiritually present to you as you transition.
support for loved ones
education on the dying process
What are the signs one sees in the process of dying? Because we are so disconnected from the natural process of dying, we are unfamiliar with and frightened by what the body goes through as it begins to shut down.
I provide respite for family members sitting vigil, giving them time to refresh and renew.
I offer support to your loved ones as you move through the process of dying (anticipatory grief) and after you have passed.
I will work with you to choose the elements that help you create the experience you want and/or need.
how does what I do differ from hospice?
This is a common question. I often work with patients who have Hospice services. Having both Hospice and an end-of-life doula are complimentary. While Hospice provides the medical support that doulas cannot, their services are regulated by Medicare, which limits the time they can spend with each patient. End-of-life doulas are not bound by these limits, allowing them to spend as much time with the patient as is needed to provide social, emotional and spiritual support.
“death is not extinguishing the light. it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.”
~ rabindranath tagore
email: firstname.lastname@example.org text or phone: 717.487.2443