End of Life Doula Much like a birth doula/midwife assists with the birth process, an end of life doula works with a dying person and their loved ones to navigate the process of death, offering a sense of sacredness, meaning, comfort and dignity through the transition and after. A doula provides non-medical, holistic support for emotional/physical/spiritual connection and care in multiple ways:
Legacy: A legacy project is a wonderful way for a dying person to tell their life story or share wisdom, advice, love, and ensure their essence remains even after they have passed. It is a deeply personal, meaningful, creative expression of a person's life, loves, family history, or what gave meaning to their existence. End of life doulas can help with the powerful and therapeutic process of developing a legacy project, with and/or for their loved ones. Examples include creating photo albums, letters to loved ones, cookbooks with family recipes, collage or art projects, video or audio recordings, gathering collections of cherished items. Presence: Doulas provide support before, during, and after death. This may include assisting in rituals, celebration of life, sitting with the dying person so that their caregiver can rest or run errands, and being present during the vigil/in the final hours when the person is actively dying and assistance with care of the body after death. Education: Death is often not talked about, resulting in a fear of the unknown. The process can be very scary, stressful, emotionally unsettling and overwhelming. A trained end of life doula is able to bring a sense of experience and familiarity to this otherwise unfamiliar territory by compassionately shedding light on what is being observed/experienced, the characteristics of the stages of death and helpful resources to further inform, empower, and support the dying person and their caregivers. Death Plan: Dignity during the death process and honoring each person's individual values, traditions, comforts and belief systems can be crucial in alleviating some of the pain, fear, depression, confusion and distress for the dying and their loved ones. A doula can help advocate, guide and weave the wishes and needs of the dying person into a cohesive end of life plan, which allows for a smoother, more comfortable and meaningful transition. Comfort: A doula is skilled at providing comfort measures to soothe a dying person both physically and emotionally. Some of these tools may include massage or nurturing touch, holding hands, brushing hair, music, guided meditation, reading aloud, prayer, aromatherapy, listening, and creating a comfortable environment using information from their personalized end of life plan. Grief support: This may includeholding space for processing the death experience afterwards, creating rituals of remembrance, reading list recommendations, engaging in open-hearted conversations and tending to the grieving heart and spirit with gentle bodywork and ceremony.
These services can be provided either as a one-time session or bundled to include multiple sessions covering various end of life or grief aspects, depending on each individual's needs. For more info or a free consultation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org