End-of-life doulas provide much-needed guidance for those who are in the final transition of this human life as well as their caregivers. They provide holistic non-medical support and tend lovingly to the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of the dying.
Doulas are the torchbearers for positive change in our death-denying culture, advocating for open conversations and curiosity about death and dying.
They provide somewhat the same model of support as birth doulas who support a woman in labor, just at the opposite end of life when people are laboring out.
Doulas recognize that caregivers and family members who are caring for their dying loved ones are often overwhelmed, in need of relief as well as practical guidance to assist them in bringing the best care possible to their beloved so they may die peacefully.
End-of-life doulas (also known as death doulas, death midwives, soul midwives, and death doulas) have actually been caring for the dying for centuries in different cultures around the world but in contemporary society most people are unaware of their existence.
In the United States, the doula movement reemerged in response to the confusion and heartache that many people have experienced when trying to make sense of a fractured medical system that does not prioritize human dignity over profit and often creates needless suffering. The cost has been a wave of trauma that extends through generations.
The doula model of care emphasizes the need for end of life planning well before a critical illness arises and so provide guidance in completing all end of life planning documents. This goes a long way to ensure that nobody is left confused as to the wishes of a dying person once they can no longer speak for themselves.
Doulas encourage a life review for the dying as it helps them to find meaning in their lives, reminding them of the intimacy of life and the relationships they were involved in.
End-of-life doulas also offer support and guidance with after death care. There is a recognition of the human need to tend lovingly to our beloved dead. This tends to offer some type of balm on the heart of the bereaved.
We believe that funerals, memorials, and rituals should express the richness of the human life that has passed along with the deep relational connections that were created while on this earth.
We are certainly bowing down to what is holy in all of us when we care for and accompany each other as we transition out of this human life.
Please join us for the next End-of-Life Doula training.
PO Box 396, Kapaau, HI 96755, US