What is an End-of-Life, or Death, Doula?

An end-of-life doula is someone who makes him or herself available to assist a dying individual and, typically, the family before, during and after a death occurs in order to provide physical, emotional, psychological and even spiritual support.

What About Hospice?

Hospice manages the care and the loved ones do the caring. A hospice nurse will teach the family how to care for their loved one. Hospice, unfortunately, has a very limited time that they can be at the bedside of the dying. Doulas fill that space. Hospice also supplies a multi-disciplined team of support and resources, including medication and equipment. I will guide the family based on my end of life education and experience.

Why Would I Want an End-of-Life Doula?

End-of-Life Doulas are a calming and reassuring presence with knowledge of the death process, and a compassionate resource for families who may be overwhelmed and grieving at the impending death of their loved one. End-of-Life Doulas offer a variety of services to assist in the transition of dying, but are first and foremost a grounding, reliable, knowledgeable and comforting presence during an emotional time. We are trained and practiced to be with intense and difficult emotions.  Our full time presence and companionship at vigil and at death, our advocacy in hospitals or at home, our coaching to customize end-of-life care plans for spiritual, physical, practical and life review needs, and most of all, our consistent relationships with our clients are not a  service offered anywhere else.

When Should I Contact an End-of-Life Doula?

End-of-Life Doulas can be contacted at any time during the end of life process. The sooner the doula can enter into the process, the more time can be spent getting to know the individual and family, creating quality care plans, prioritizing end of life needs, and creating sacred space and meaning for the individual and family.

What Happens After I Hire You?

Our first session after the initial consultation will be centered on drawing up our end-of-life plan. I will arrive with an agenda to guide this process, based upon our initial consultation. We will create a "road map" to guide us through the dying person's journey. The plan will lay the groundwork that will help alleviate stress, logistical as well as emotional, during the transition. My follow-on interactions with you will largely be dictated by what we want in the end-of-life plan. Depending on the individual, we may discuss:

  • Specific areas where closure is desired
  • Pain/symptom management
  • Visitor management
  • Funeral planning
  • Body disposition
  • Assistance with legacy projects

Do I Need to Be Actively Dying to Utilize Your Doula Services?

No. If you are dealing with anxiety associated with death, want to start planning your own passing early or have some other desire to discuss death and dying, I'm happy to speak with you.

What is a Living Funeral Ceremony?

This ceremony is a 2-to-3 hour long observance that focuses a person's attention on their own mortality. While reflecting on their memorial, participants are asked to write their last words and are lead through a death visualization. It is a profound journey which provides an uncommon perspective that can be life-changing.

What is the Difference Between a Living Funeral and an Actual Funeral?

In addition to the fact that the individual being celebrated is still alive, the biggest difference is in intention. The purpose of the living funeral is the create the space for a person to safely consider their mortality and to work whatever they discover about themselves into their lives.

Do I Need to Be Actively Dying to Attend a Living Funeral Ceremony?

No. The ceremony is for anyone who thinks they may benefit from taking a closer look at their mortality.