End of life care and comfort
Doula’s help and support and allow you to be present for the last stretch of your loved ones life. With specialized training in end of life care I am present to guide you through the dying process.
We give you permission to be family again and do whatever works for your family as the death of someone you love draws near.
“We are just walking each other home”
End of Life Care involves sensitive and empathetic essential conversations ensuring the uniqueness of the individual is recognized and the sacredness of the ethnic, religious and culture backdrop is respected and honoured at all times.
I am humbled and honoured to be a presence and a resource to explore the intimacy of the death journey with you and to assist in identifying meaningful and sacred ways to embrace final passages. The goal of end-of-life care is the same regardless of the setting – to ensure the best possible quality of life for the dying and their families.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have both parents die so close together in time yet so differently.
In death as in life we don’t write the script and I have come to believe through my experiences both personal and professional we die the way we live.
Together we can discuss in advance your wishes and instructions around a meaningful death, including:
As a Death Doula life review work with the dying and their family brings meaning to the death experience. It is the opportunity for vital life stories and essential conversations to take place. Life review leads to legacy work where the dying and the family come together with a sense of purpose to validate, honour and remember a life lived. Examples of Legacy projects include photos are turned into memory boxes and digital scrapbooks, recipes written or recorded stories and traditions remain for the next generation.
The Bedside Vigil
Sitting vigil bedside can be an elaborate organized plan; it can be simple, spiritual and serene. The plan is a reflection of culture and ritual and its personal. Planning the vigil gives purpose and meaning for those sitting at the deathbed, vigiling ensures final wishes are honoured and respected it provides an opportunity to engage our fears of loss, control and the unknown as death draws near. Many families are met with surprise when they discover hospice care is not 24 hour care. A death Doula in your own home or in a hospice can provide 24 hour care.
The dying process doesn’t follow a script, therefore the crystal ball is broken there are no definite timelines here.
After death wishes and instructions:
During times of high emotions, many of us are no sure what to do next, not because we aren’t smart resourceful people because we have experienced a loss so profound we are off kilter, spinning maybe each family members reaction to the death of a loved one are unique, intense and sacred at this time we aren’t sure how to manage family conflicts we didn’t anticipate. The Death Doula can help, working specifically from the plan set out by the dying person and their family. Building on the conversations with the dying individual while alive instructions and plans can be put into place. My role is not to minimize yours in the after death process its to gently guide you referring back to the plans and instructions put in place. It’s a road map of your loved ones wishes after death.
The grief journey
The grief journey is a road we must all weave down at some point in our lives. The intense emotional and physical responses to death can stay with us a lifetime and certainly shape our own personal views of what is a meaningful death.
Part of Doula work with the family is to spend time processing what has happened, reviewing the vigil and sharing stories from it. This doesn’t happen immediately but often a few weeks after the passing.
After the death of my parents I was determined to spend more time looking into what is a good death and how their deaths shaped and defined me going forward. I often wish I had not been by myself when I found my dad, sadly I was. I was not 2 steps ahead. I was at least three behind that day! My passion for Doula work grew out of this sadness. I want to ensure families get to tell their story, share their sorrow, anger and fear and through these conversations carry with them some of the most sacred moments of a loved ones end of life.
There’s help, you’re not alone, let’s walk together.
Have questions? Reach to us.