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What is a death doula or end-of-life doula?

Applying the doula approach to end-of-life care

Death is coming. It’s easier to not think about it at all, but when the dreaded diagnosis or the irreversible decline from age comes it’s hard to avoid.

Still, we can keep busy in a number of ways bypass thinking deeply about death. There are always surgeries, procedures, medications, and other medical interventions that offer hope. Sometimes these help, or at least delay death. But ultimately it is a false hope. Death inevitably comes. When we spend all our time and effort looking for the perfect cure, death seems to hit even harder.

We can also get sidetracked by an agenda or list of tasks. Plan the funeral, finalize the will, keep the lawn mowed, donate stuff, get the medical bills paid, check off items on a whirlwind bucket list. Adding more and more tasks is a good way to avoid thinking about the fact that you and your loved ones are going to die.

But maybe that isn’t you. Perhaps you realize that death is coming, and you want to address it and face it head on, with clear eyes and full hearts. You recognize that death is a natural part of life, and you want to die well. You want to take care of your family, leave behind a meaningful legacy, and have your own or your loved one’s final wishes fulfilled in an honorable way.

Maybe you want all those things, but you just don’t know how to make it happen. Continue reading What is a death doula or end-of-life doula?