Ceramic Candle Holder

End of Life Doula Services

People and also Animals 

Some call this a Death Doula,

like a Birth Doula

I heard this described once as a "life event coordinator." While it may sound odd, I have yet to find a better way to describe the encompassing nature of doula work. There is a presence doulas can offer, deep listening, teaching, supporting, coordinating, creating, structuring, honoring, simplifying, conveying, communicating, easing, holding, releasing, encapsulating, and so much more or less... as needed. Companioning.

. . . 

Each person has a role, and the doula's role is to deeply listen, be present so to have the role between roles and unify or hold and create or guide what is needed. Legacy projects, life review work, processing and sharing in the experience, ritual creation, understanding between peoples and care teams, and so on, helps the dying person and even their carers and loved ones have a more enriched presence and

clarity of life as fully as possible in a complex time.

We can hold, support, structure what feels isolating or enormous, by our unique role that has an intimate distance, involvement, and connection. This is something I was not able to provide as a hospice nurse, as a therapist, as an interfaith minister, as a daughter, because these roles did not have the structure or the resources to provide this kind of support while managing the other levels of care needed.

I am so honored to have the skills, heart and hands to offer this to you.

I deeply know what it can mean from several experiential perspectives.

. . . 

Let's talk about it. It's never the same, no matter how many people and their loved ones I work with. It all begins with a consultation to see where everyone is at, and discussing the needs of your unique situation

Succulents

Benefits to Patient and Family

  •  Greater Emotional Support and Interaction

  • Increased Sense of Control

  • Better understanding of signs & symptoms

  • Less anxiety, depression, & suffering

  • Life Review Work - More Important and Surprising than it may sound

  • Deeper sense of purpose in last days

  • Easier time with grief

  • Having the chance to be truly heard 

Newly Diagnosed, No or Low Symptoms or No Diagnosis

Sometimes people just want to plan, without being in crisis, or rushing. It can be soothing to know it's in place and revisit it as time goes on, adjusting if need be. Legacy work, ethical wills, projects, decisions, legal matters, ritual decisions, where they will want to be as things progress, who will be around, what will happen with their possessions and so on. Spiritual and introspective work is also a part of these times. Having a neutral, caring, experienced person can often take the pressure off and facilitate the difficult conversations or begin connecting the dots. 

Beginning to Feel Changes

Perhaps a diagnosis or a loss comes further along in the process and the communications are feeling overwhelming. A lot may seem to be happening all at once, but there is a presence of mind wanting to consider a sift through who, what, where, when, why everything matters the way it does, and we can create a solid plan to be followed as closely as possible by all involved. Together we organize and bring meaningful comfort to identified areas.

Projects, team formations, wishes can be outlined and set into motion. Questions can be clarified well. What has been undone can be looked into, and hopefully addressed with care and plans.  

"You matter because you're you and you're the only one in the world. We will do all we can not only to help you die peacefully but to help you live until you die"

~Cicely Saunders (founder of hospice)

I chose this quote because, even if you are not facing your end of life medically, when grieving, or going through a major life change and loss of any sort, learning what it is to "live until you die," to truly resonate with the depths and potential of that statement, is profound and at the compassionate, activating core of much of our goals together, and the heart of doula work.

Big Changes Already Here

I heard this described once as a life event communicating, easing, holding, releasing, encapsulating, and so much more or less... as needed. Each person has a role, and the doula's role is to deeply listen and be present so to have the role between roles and unify or hold and create what is needed, in legacy 

Planning for Loved One, Already in End Stages, or They have passed

I heard this described once as a life event coordinator. While it may sound odd, I have yet to find a better way to describe the all encompassing nature of doula work. There is a presence doulas can offer, deep listening, coordinating, actions, creating, structuring, honoring, simplifying, conveying, communicating, easing, holding, releasing, encapsulating, and so much more or less... as needed. Each person has a role, and the

Big Changes Already Here

Often when one is in this stage, there are limitations in activity and/or abilities, and some of the planning we do is in combination with those speaking on the behalf of the one who is passing because they may not always be able to clearly state all the parts that might be so important to them and those that love and support them. We can still very much create a vigil and legacy plan, be sure communication is flowing well between all parties, and that a quality of life and comfort that is reflective of their life is forefront.

Planning for Loved One, Already in End Stages, or They have passed

A doula is paying attention to all of the primary caretakers, and noting that everyone is included as they are comfortable, needed, and in a meaningful way is paramount, next to the dying person's experience and safety needs. 

Legacy, simple or involved projects, communication, vigil, aftercare and sharing, processing is very much a part of what happens, no matter when a doula is invited into the process. 

Animal Kingdom

Special Considerations for Animal Companions, Doula Care

The place our animal companions have taken in our lives is unlike any other relationship. 

The love, relationship. bonding, activities, years, and decisions we make on their behalf is so precious and meaningful, yet some aspects of our society and our human relationships don't always seem to understand how intense the end of life process and the grief and sense of loss after they pass can be.

 

Having the compassionate care of a dedicated, trained End of Life Animal Care Doula can assist in the grief and care activities in this very delicate and maybe even isolating time. With the unique relationship comes unique needs, respectfully available to support your, your household, and even your other living animals, adjust to the end of life and death of a precious animal companion. 

Pet Urn

PHASE 1:
SUMMING UP AND PLANNING

  • Exploring the meaning of the dying person’s life

  • Initiating legacy projects

  • Assisting with unfinished business

  • Creating visualizations

  • Deciding on how the space will look and feel

  • Designing rituals

  • Developing a vigil plan