In Three Clarifying Steps
If you are considering becoming a death doula, here are three steps that will determine absolute success. It’s important to do this work before you have done death doula training, though it may help to clarify some fuzzy spots afterwards.
Reasons for becoming a death doula will vary greatly from person to person. Frequently the inspiration comes from a personal experience related to the death of a friend or family member and/or you want to:
The Gods and Demons of the Deathcare Movement
Let’s begin by clarifying that I am not referring to God in heaven and demons in hell. This is about the state of mind that often rules us here on earth. Some refer to a “god complex” which is not quite where I’m going with this — it’s a little more subtle. And, some refer to “wrestling demons” which is sometimes brought up when one is struggling with addictions. That’s not quite where I am going either… Although we certainly can get addicted to our demons and gods.
Accompany me down the…
There are some times
When you meet someone
And you think
But you know
You hold no power
Not the kind that counts
You hold a small amount of magic;
A sip of tea
Imbued with love
But the ear-ringing stillness remains
They’re going someplace you’re not
But you will
And you wonder
Who will brew your tea
And you pray
It’s someone who vibes
With your color scheme
Reclaiming the Reclaim and Letting It Go
Today, I am concerned with the village. Our own small village of our immediate surroundings and the role that we play out as death doulas in relation to our neighbors and the natural environment and life cycles within our community. But, the word community in terms of deathcare is getting a real reaming on the washing board at present.
The grassroots movement to reclaim deathcare in a way that is for the people, by the people has churned into a rich and creamy butter that has caught the eye of those seeking. The…
Trigger warning: This is about those who never cared to visit the dying or ill until they were told they were not allowed to.
I’m going to bring up something a little uncomfortable. It has to do with the headline news about the elderly and sick dying alone. About the healthy being unable to visit and sit with the dying and how heart wrenching that is. But, I gotta say, what are the chances that you would have been bedside for these individuals under different circumstances? How many times did you go visit your elderly loved ones before Covid-19? Did…
The secret is, all of those plans that you made were never the most powerful parts of Advance Directive work anyway.
The most important part of creating an Advance Directive is not to “get your paperwork in order.” Yes, that’s the most common reason shared to encourage you “not be a burden” to your loved ones so they do not have to guess at what your end-of-life preferences might be. Fair enough.
But, this pandemic has just revealed that your EOL preferences might not be even remotely possible.
You knew there was always a chance that a doctor or a…
How long have you been meditating for? A year? Twenty years? Your entire life, like me? I love the slogan, “don’t just do something, sit there.” Yes, well, what we need right now is for you, Meditator, to both do something and sit there.
Do you recall your first instructions on meditating? Be mindful of your posture, adjust your cushion so your legs don’t fall asleep, follow your breath, if thoughts come, recognize that the thought has arisen and send it off gently.
Sit yourself now, make note of how you meditate, what are the steps, what do you do…
Death Doulas. Rise Up. This is your hour. This is the 11th hour and you signed up for this shift. This is your Death Nesting and mine too.
I am not concerned whether or not you did certificate training.
Likely, if you did do it, the hours of allotted time did not grant you enough space or reality to contemplate your own mortality as deeply as you should in order to work with those who are dying.
Likely, a lot of the skills and techniques you learned from a document on a computer screen would become lost in the flood…
When we arrive alive here on earth, we are guaranteed only one thing: we will die. We may not be loved, cared for, or fed, but we will one day die. We may be very well loved, abundantly nourished, supremely cared for, and yet we will die. Why not then, befriend death as it is our very closest mortal companion.
Death Nesting is how you live your life. It is the attention you pay to your breath, your walk, how you experience taste, whether or not you take offense to someone forgetting your name or how you react when being…
When I was a kid, Halloween used to be the one time of year when we would joyfully go knock on our neighbors door. I knew everything about the people in my neighborhood growing up, largely because I knocked on their door once a year and said trick-or treat! When I became a parent I also learned who my neighbors were when my children knocked on their door and said trick-or-treat. I felt like I knew the people in my neighborhood because of Halloween.
Before you even walk up to a door you have to size up the house… Do…