I am currently ‘in training’ as an End of Life Doula.
What’s one of those you ask? ….. Well, where do I begin?
I am training under the guidance of Alexandra Wilson who makes it clear that an End of Life Doula can have many roles and functions, but most of all the work is about bringing love and community back to death and grieving. A Doula is an assistant, a companion, someone to listen, to facilitate, to help, to support, to hear or just to sit in silence.
Our wider aim is to open discussion and conversation about death. Death is not a dirty word, or a failure, or a taboo. It is as integral to life as birth. we are all born and we all day. How we do these things is important and our silence over talking about death denies us the right to the kind of death we might desire. An End of Life Doula can help with the planning of end of life as well as what happens after; funerals, burials and so on.
The list below, taken from the Red Tent End of Life website is not exhaustive and its based on their own personal experiences. If you want to know more about End of Life Doula’s or want to become one have a look at the website and get in touch with Alexandra for a chat.
I believe my personal strength is in the provision of practical support, advocacy, listening, creating a loving space, being a ‘friend’ and supporting. I am an honest, open, supportive person and will help in any way I can. If you would like to discuss any of these with me please feel free to get in touch.
- Sit with people who are dying, just listening to them and finding out their needs
- Use song and sound to bring relaxation and catharsis
- Use silence to deepen a sense of peace and safety to let go
- Be a “friend along side” to people you know and love in your sphere who are dying or bereaved
- Advance planning, advocacy and pre-death funeral planning
- Attend to families experiencing baby loss
- Accompany women who are having abortions
- Working with a family to create a healing space in which their loved one will die
- Listening to family stories and gently guiding them towards “letting go”, be a loving witness to their catharsis
- Be the presence of Love (centred, grounded) in a family or community field where someone is dying
- Facilitate Living Wakes – pre-death parties
- Facilitate dying at home and keeping the body at home if this is the wish
- Assist the family to tend to the body after death
- Facilitate a wake
- Support the family in preparation for a funeral
- Join someone on skype or by phone if they are isolated to give them space to talk through their death
- Identify and visit people who are dying alone and isolated in your community
- Be visible on social media (and the real world too) as someone emotionally intelligent and death literate to further the normalising of a good death culturally
- Give talks in your local community about death and dying
- Speak with professionals who accompany the dying; maybe offer talks to their organisation as CPD
- Hold Grief Circles and facilitate shared catharsis
- Hold ceremonies and rituals according to your beliefs and traditions
- Organise death cafes
- Get political; challenge society’s norms and the over-culture around death and dying
- Maintain your own ever ongoing work of deepening into death consciousness and doing your inner work
As an End of Life Doula I am drawn from the heart to do this work. I have experienced much loss during my life and have been privileged to sit with those drawing their final breath, being able to bid them farewell. Having said this my work with grief and dying is part of my profession and as much as I would love to offer my time for free I do have to pay the bills!
I keep my charges as low as possible and do work on a sliding scale offering reduced price bundles and as many concessions as possible. My list of prices can be seen on the therapies page, but please do not be afraid to call me to discuss your needs.