A Death Doula is a non-medical person trained to care for someone holistically (physically, emotionally and spiritually) at the end of life. It is “a new non-medical profession” that recognizes death as a natural, accepted, and honored part of life.
Death Doulas can:
Help create positive, empowering end of life plans;
Provide spiritual care, psychological and social support;
Suggest ideas for optimal physical comfort;
Help plan home vigils; and
Educate patients and families on the new and progressive options of home wakes and natural burials.
Death Doulas care for the whole person, taking into account patients’ emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical factors. They provide invaluable assistance in three notable areas of holistic support:
Legacy: We are all born and we all die; it’s what we do in the middle that creates our legacy. What we leave behind is far more than simply wealth and possessions. We can share our story or give wisdom, advice, love, and support even after we have passed. And in doing so, give the future a glimpse of your essence – who you were, how you saw the world, and what gave your life. Death Doulas can help patients with the powerful, uplifting process of developing a legacy plan.
Presence: The last phase of our life can stir fear and anxiety as we each face our end-of-life. This is simply because we have not walked this path before. Having someone present with the experience and training in such a time can bring a sense of comfort and familiarity to the otherwise unfamiliar. Death Doulas provide holistic support as they accompany individuals and their families before, during, and after death.
Dignity: Everyone wants to have a positive passing where they maintain dignity and honor as they exit life. We all have our own values, traditions, and belief systems that will influence our vision and expectation of what that would look like. Creating an environment that represents that vision is important. This along with developing a legacy and presence work, is what an End-of-Life Doula brings to you and your family.