From blogs, videos, podcasts and interviews, here you'll find resources that answer your questions about being an end-of-life doula.
serve people at the end of life, "Nurturing Touch for the Dying." Listen in to an interview I did with her here: Interview with Elizabeth
I asked Elizabeth to share with me how she got to do what she is doing now. She wrote me this reply. In her own words:
"When I was in the shower tonight I was thinking about my journey to being a death doula. And I realized that it began even before I went into massage school. My 2nd year in college I spent the summer caring for my grandfather who was 92 at the time he didn't need any hands on care as he was able to do all his ADL’s but I did the house work. It was an amazing time that I got to spend and live with him.
I was caring for the elderly and dying before hospice. A year after spending that summer with my grandfather I took a job st a skilled nursing home and was trained as an CNA but realized very quickly that the short cuts and under staffing was not my calling at that level. But what I learned st that facility gave me knowledge that I still use today. I then soon after that started to do some home care for my moms neighbor for her last 2 years of life, who now I know was in End stage MS but she was a fighter till the end.
I was never taught to be fearful of death. And though I was t taught to love death either. I had a cemetery behind my home as a kid and spent many afternoons walking around reading tombstones and wondering who those people where and what there stories where.
How I got started in hospice and what I now know is being an End of Life Doula is I was volunteering at an aids walk back in 2002 and spoke with a volunteer coordinator for a local hospice. I started to volunteer and become aware that this work was what made my heart sing--to help people be comfortable and be able to die.
Being a massage therapist gave me that entrance that not a lot of people have. I was given the gift of being able to develop a relationship with my clients that others didn’t have. It was my calling. I now know that it is such an important piece of the dying process I want to share what I have learned from my 16 year journey into this intimate part of the dying process."
How do you want to support others at the end of life? Whatever it is that you love to give and be in the world, there IS a way to adapt it to serving the dying. Know that.