What is a Death Doula?
A Death Doula is a non-medical person trained to care for someone holistically (physically, emotionally and spiritually) at the end of life. End-of-life doulas empower, educate and encourage people and their families to be involved in making decisions. The word "doula"is Greek for servant or helper. Like a birth doula supports women during the labor process, a death doula supports a person during the dying process. This support is specific to that person's needs, beliefs, and desires. Death is a process that can span over months or even years rather than an event, and doulas can help with supporting and planning for the future, regardless of diagnosis or illness. Having a conversation or making a plan when you are healthy, is encouraged by doulas so that the care received at the end of life is appropriate and aligned with your wishes.
Doulas are also known around the world as: end of life coaches, soul midwives, transition guides, death coaches, doula to the dying, end of life doulas, death midwives, and end of life guides.
What do Death Doulas do?
Death Doulas can
- Help create positive, empowering end of life plans
- Provide spiritual care, psychological and social support
- Suggest ideas for optimal physical comfort
- Help plan home vigils and rituals;
- Help develop legacy plans
- Educate patients and families on the new and progressive options of home funerals and natural burials.
What type of holistic support do Death Doulas provide?
Death Doulas care for the whole person, taking into account patients’ emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical factors. They provide invaluable assistance in three notable areas of holistic support:
We are all born and we all die; it’s what we do in the middle that creates our legacy. What we leave behind is far more than simply wealth and possessions. We can share our story or give wisdom, advice, love, and support even after we have passed. And in doing so, give the future a glimpse of your essence – who you were, how you saw the world, and what gave your life. Death Doulas can help patients with the powerful, uplifting process of developing a legacy plan.
The last phase of our life can stir fear and anxiety as we each face our end-of-life. This is simply because we have not walked this path before. Having someone present with the experience and training in such a time can bring a sense of comfort and familiarity to the otherwise unfamiliar. Death Doulas provide holistic support as they accompany individuals and their families before, during, and after death.
Everyone wants to have a positive passing where they maintain dignity and honour as they exit life. We all have our own values, traditions, and belief systems that will influence our vision and expectation of what that would look like. Creating an environment that represents that vision is important. Moreover, developing a legacy and bringing presence is what an End-of-Life Doula brings to you and your family.
Perhaps you recognize the need for support, by the whelming feeling of anxiety and fear that are taking a toll. These feelings may be front and centre in your lives. You may be burdened with huge exhaustion and all you really want, is to spend your time loving your people.
I get that. I have experienced it. I’m here to companion and guide you through, what seems an unimaginable time. If you are here give yourself credit for reaching out.
Love and Tenderness