A "doula" is a non-medical person that assists and provides support. A doula is not a medical provider.
Have you ever heard of a Birth Doula? A Birth Doula is a trained professional that helps to guide mother and to help bring the newborn into the world..
Have you heard of a Death Doula? Well, the concept is similar to Birth Doula, but a Death Doula (AKA Death Midwife) is a professional that compassionately helps to assist another human being, transition out of life.
Both kinds of doula offer comfort, compassion, guidance and a calming presence. In fact "doula" means "woman who serves" in Greek.
Below is an article that briefly describes the rising roles of Death Doulas. If you have more questions, or want to know more, please contact me.
As Im sure you are aware, Mrs. Bush recently died. Before Mrs. Bush's death, her family disclosed that she would no longer be seeking medical care, instead, she would be seeking "comfort care".
I am thankful that the Bush family shared with the world, that there are choices one has in their End of Life Journey. One does not have to die in a hospital, or endure a death that includes medical interventions, especially when these interventions not help with the quality of ones life.
Below are just a few highlights from the article.
....."the announcement that she was seeking “comfort care” shone a light — and stirred debate — on what it means to stop trying to fight terminal illness."
"The announcement came amid a national effort to define and document patients’ wishes, and consider alternatives, before they are placed on what has been described as a “conveyor belt” of costly medical interventions aimed at prolonging life."
“By bringing this into the sphere of discussion,” Warraich said, “we can start thinking about comfort and palliation long before they are in the clutches of death.”
I wanted to write about another interesting part to the article I just posted.
This article talks about the need for death to come out of the hiding and to view mortality as normal. Our society often sees death as "losing a battle" and as battle that needs to be "won".
Think about this......death can not be conquered. It will happen to each of us.
You can not buy your way out of it, nor can you think your way out of it. It is a NATURAL part of life.
Often, our loved ones are put through unwarranted medical procedures during illness or when they are dying, all for the sake of "winning" and "beating back death" (for the time being). We think of doctors and the medical procedures they offer, as "heroic". Saving us from the inevitable (again, for the time being).
Death is a natural and inevitable biological transition.
Lets start talking about death, dying and grief, so we can really start focusing of living life now!
Death Cafes simple objective: “to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives.”
I have posted an article before on Death Cafes, but have realized that it is still a foreign concept for most. So, I found another article written about the power of having the conversations and the need to be heard. Death Cafes are NOT grief groups. They are a place where people come together (usually tea and cake are served) to talk about death and to raise awareness.
Lets start building a community to normalize death and dying, and therefore reduce the isolation that often surrounds End of Life. Death is a normal, natural part of every living thing. We no longer need to hide from it.
What a great article. Very inspiring. Saying "Yes" to living. Imagine that. Simple.
Wouldn't it be great if we all had Miss Norma's spirit.....even if we weren't 90 years old and diagnosed with cancer. However, I think it was because of her age and diagnosis that she had the willingness to say "no" to the medical path and "Yes" to life.
I can learn a lot of from Miss Norma - to let go each day, to live life to fullest, all while being aware that I am dying. No, I am not sick, but I am dying. In fact, we are all dying. We are all one day closer to death. This is not grim fact - it is just a fact.
Acknowledging death can lead one to really appreciating life - experiencing it all (good and bad, up and down). It is with this kind of wonderment for our daily lives that can lead one to a more meaningful and spiritual death.