"Even for families that are miraculously present when a patient dies, the experience is drastically altered. Before COVID-19, patients sometimes died surrounded by family members, who might have found comfort in physical contact. Now, one or two people grieve alone, separated by gloves and gowns".
"We are only starting to understand the reverberations of our patients’ isolated deaths and the complicated grief we will be processing for years to come".
This worldwide pandemic is changing every aspect of our lives, including death. Hospitals, doctors, family members and friends, are all learning the "new normal" when experiencing, both life and death.
If you or a loved one has an illness or have experienced a death, we can still come together (even if virtual) to support each other through this difficult time. A Necessary Conversation is here to help you navigate this unprecedented experience.
The world wide Covid pandemic has revealed how important it is, for the loved ones, to be in close proximity, when their loved one is dying.
This article interviews 4 "experts" and here's a brief synopsis of what they said:
"Several New York City funeral directors tell me that there is a difference in the disposition of a family when their loved one has died at home without hospice—confirmation of what we’ve long known: proper pain relief, the knowledge that death is imminent, and the company of others can make death peaceful".
"That we can’t gather with our loved ones is huge. We can typically visit a loved one in the hospital, whether they’re dying or are unconscious, and knowing we cannot do that adds another level of complexity. We can’t do our rituals, hug, cry, in person, we have to do that virtually, if we can do them at all".
"The issue is for families thinking about the person dying alone, the idea that not only I’m grieving my father who died in hospital alone, whatever he died of, but that he was there without any support from us. Thinking about what that was like for him adds another level of complexity to grieving".
"The term “grief” has been thrown around a lot. I’m sorry you can’t go to the bar you go to every Friday night but it’s not the same as a family grieving their father who died while they couldn’t be there. Grief has been trivialized and real grief, for someone who died, marginalized. When everyone is grieving something, your specific loss becomes minimized".
Death, dying and grief are normally very complex and emotional events. However, adding a pandemic to these experiences, tend to compound the complexity of feelings.
A Necessary Conversation can help to uncover and untangle the deep feelings we have with these experiences.
A "doula" is a non-medical person that assists and provides support. A doula is not a medical provider.
A doula offers comfort, compassion, guidance and a calming presence.
In fact "doula" means "woman who serves" in Greek.
Have you heard of a Birth Doula?
A Birth Doula is a trained professional that helps to guide the mother to help bring the newborn into the world.
Have you heard of a Death Doula?
Well, the concept is similar to Birth Doula, in that the doula is a profession that compassionately helps to guide and assist another person through all aspects of End of Life.
A Death Doula, or a Full Spectrum Doula (as I call myself) helps those that want to explore, empower and enrich their journey with life and death. others with all aspects in Life, and End of Life.
If you are interested in discovering what your journey may look like, then I look forward to hearing from you.
Justin Smith, History and philosophy professor at University of Paris, writes “Any fashion, sensibility, ideology, set of priorities, worldview or hobby that you acquired prior to March 2020, and that may have by then started to seem to you cumbersome, dull, inauthentic, a drag: you are no longer beholden to it,”
"Disruption and isolation have a way of encouraging us to electively re-evaluate our lives – and that can be generative".
Take this rare opportunity in life, to be still, explore your life and future death, empower the change you want in your life and enrich the relationships you have with loved ones.
Don't wait for a crisis to reevaluate what is important to you and your life. Live Death Aware.