Have you wondered about these terms? Death Doula, End of Life Doula? Death Midwife? End of Life Specialist? If you have-do the words frighten you? Scare you? Make you pause and wonder?
You realize that death is part of life, right? To be born we must die. Death is part of the life cycle.
Does death frighten you? Do you fear death? Are you scared of death? If you are-why?
Life your life full of richness, joy, happiness, with meaning, and share with the ones you care about and love, spend time with them, phone them, write them, text them….let them know how you feel. Do not have regrets. Find a job or profession that you love or are passionate about. Take up hobbies, exercise, eat healthy, develop good relationships, volunteer, give back whether through time, money, ideas….be a part of society.
The link within will explain what a death doula is, how the term came about, what it entails. Remember birth comes first and their are doulas and midwives for this, so why not for death-the end of the life cycle.
If you were dying or a friend was dying would you want them to have someone to talk to? To be with them? To offer comfort? To help organize the things that need to be put in place like wills, funeral arrangements, a celebration of life ceremony before they die? How about someone to assist the caregivers-offer support and guidance? Do not see the terms of death doula, death midwife or End of Life Doula as negative or fearful?
The individuals that fulfill these roles are compassionate, caring, empathic, and special because not everyone can do it. It is just like being a nurse, a doctor, a social worker, a teacher. Special roles that not everyone is up to the task to fulfill.
“End-of-life doulas provide non-medical, holistic support and comfort to the dying person and their family, which may include education and guidance as well as emotional, spiritual or practical care.”
-End of Life Doula Network
Most end of life doulas are non-licensed and non-medical. But there are many who are starting with a foundation as chaplains, nurses, certified nursing assistants, social workers, life coaches, reiki practitioners, psychicians, shamans, and therapists, among other professionals. Or, they may be adding an end of life component to their present practice.
What an end of life doula ‘does’ really depends on what skill set the doula has and what they want to focus upon now.
Our common, basic offering is this: emotional and spiritual companioning, with some practical support as well. You may also find an end of life doula who offers caregiving and practical house/errand/cooking services or cooking and meal prep. You may find an end of life doula who specializes in advance directives and advance care planning, funeral planning, memorial planning, medical assistance, and legal assistance. There are others whose main focus is using ceremony and ritual to help you transition and cope with the loss that is coming, as well as afterwards. There are end of life doulas who are therapists and only focus on end of life issues and companioning others through that time. There are home funeral guides, bedside singers, and end of life doulas whose focus is on helping the family with legacy tributes.
I am hoping that after reading all this you realize the positives of the terms, Death Doula, End of Life Doula, Death Midwife, End of Life Specialist, and see the benefits of individuals who have sought training, are receiving training in this area.
My training is taking place with another individual and company, Patty Burgess of Possibility, Doing Death Differently.
Patty has years of experience and her credentials are below:
-President of Possibility, Doing Death Differently
-Certified End-of-Life Specialist (CEOLS)
-Certified Grief Recovery Specialist
-End-of-Life Educator, Speaker/Trainer
-Former Hospice Community Educator/Patient Liasion
One should choose the program or training of the individual that they resonate with and a program that fits in with your work and life style-in-person, online, weekend workshops, etc.