*All nature photos on this site are taken by me. Photography of nature is an interest of mine, also purple is my all time favourite colour!!*- V. Brewster
End of Life Educator, Eldercare Planning, Advocate, Navigator for Seniors and their Families, and Facilitator of Beyond Death Cafés- ‘Food for Thought’ Discussion Groups:
- Older Adults (seniors) are often misunderstood and under-appreciated. We will all be ‘older’ one day and as such, society needs to realize that change needs to happen now.
- Improvements in healthcare, improvements that allow seniors to ‘age in place’ along with better health care system access than what we currently have worldwide, are needed. The helping professions can be a part of this.
- Discussions related to End-of-Life need to occur between family members and professionals, and in the general population to make the topic less taboo and fearful.
- Professionals need to receive training and continue to update their skills. Death and dying are not an area that everyone is comfortable and at ease in. Professionals need to attend or participate in webinars, staff developments, certification programs, and if they choose, degree programs that focus on death, dying, and end of life issues, along with receiving ongoing support.
I have been fortunate to work with older adults for the past 17 years, to know many of my clients for that length of time, and see the issues and challenges that one faces as one ages. This has led to my interest in aging and end-of-life.
- I completed a certification program: Certified End-of-Life Specialist with: Doing Death Differently to update my skill set and have joined a network of End of Life/Death Doulas to be connected to a network of incredible, life-changing services and individuals. It is a way to connect with other professionals, make referrals, share/exchange best practices and come together in a community of those making an impact in the world in the areas of death, dying, grief, and bereavement.
- I co-authored/co-compiled a book “Journey’s End: Death, Dying, and the End of Life,” with Julie Saeger Nierenberg. Julie and I, along with a variety of other contributors (more than 50) created an anthology where we write about death, dying, and end-of-life issues. We examine real-life circumstances, attempting to define and describe them. We discuss ways to deal proactively with end of life and view it from multiple perspectives: personal, professional, and societal. We believe these perspectives will provide valuable insights which can assist one who is in the process of grief or bereavement themselves or who has a family member, friend, colleague or client who has recently died or is currently dying. (See excerpt dated September 16, 2014– teen suicide), Death Midwifery & Home Funerals, and The Perspective of a Hospice Physician.
I will also have guest contributors from different professions in the helping and healthcare fields post from time to time. The way we learn and the way change occurs is by sharing, collaborating, and networking.
**Julie and I have already begun work on book 2!! The focus will be an anthology about death, dying, and end of life, but this time from cultural, ethnic, and religious perspectives, with an emphasis on burial rituals, traditions, mourning and grief rituals, societal norms+ Are discussions about death and dying taboo or not? Contact me if interested in participating!**
More than 30 years ago, in a speech, John W. James, Founder of The Grief
Recovery Institute said, “Grief is the most off-limits topic for conversation
in the English-speaking Western World.”
– A reason to get discussions flowing……. to be born, we must die. No choice unless you know something I do not! 🙂
“Grief needs time, yes, but it also needs attention and intention.” – Joy Eidse
“Three abstractions: love, time, and death. Love, we all long for it; time, we all want more of it; and death, we fear.”- Collateral Beauty movie
Victoria Brewster, MSW, CEOLS
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I can be reached at:
“As helping professionals, we should be present, be aware, be respectful, be responsive, be compassionate, and be empathic.” – V. Brewster, MSW
“Death is inevitable, but suffering at the end of life does not have to be.”
“The word listen contains the same letters as the word silent.” –Alfred Brendel
“We are born with arms wide open, and we die in much the same way. It is that which we carry, in the time between, that defines us.” – Dr. Jordan Grumet, MD