Choosing an end of life doula can be overwhelming. You have heard of a birth doula, but a death doula? Why do you need a death doula? Why would someone want to do this work?
I have worked in the healthcare industry for most of my life. A love for aging and dying people started even before I had my drivers license as I volunteered in the local nursing home in high school.
After graduation, I attended a hospital-based program for radiologic technologists (x-ray). Over the course of a few decades, I worked in various capacities in hospitals, clinics, private offices, and an imaging center. Nothing touched my heart like the job I had in a large hospice in Colorado. The mission of the work and the passion of the teams touched me deeply.
Returning to Minnesota (home at last!), I realized my heart for hospice was even greater than before. I found a volunteer opportunity with a local hospice. Then I heard Jane.
I heard Death Doula Jane speak at an event one morning. She told of tending to patients at end of life, and being able to bring presence and clarity to the process of dying, as well as support to the family. I finally found the name for what I felt I was supposed to do with my life. Death Doula! I had a deep down response to what I was hearing; something I never felt before. The universe smacked me alongside the head…I had to heed that call.
Meeting a person who is facing death is a place of awe and respect. They have lived their life and they (usually) know it is soon ending. I bring what is often called presence or ‘holding space’; allowing the patient and their families/caregivers the emotional and spiritual room they need to process the events surrounding them at this time. I assist where you need me; and I am there if you don’t even know what you need. I will walk alongside you during this journey, whether it is the first time you lost someone, or the tenth time.
It is my honor to attend to a dying person and their family. It is my honor to witness the last breath of your loved one. It is my honor to walk alongside you.