I’m 44 and I have my first brand new car. And, when I say brand new, I mean, when I bought it, it was a model from a year that we were not even in yet. But, it has only been months, and something is wrong with it, already. Typical. I’m used to cars with something wrong. …


Infinity or the number eight? Depends on how you look at it. Photo: ©keppel

I will not approve of your medical assisted death. I will not tell you, you are doing the right thing. I will not say to you that your reasons are justified. I will not tell you this is the right way to hasten death if you are terminally ill or tell you this is the way out of your pain.

I will not disapprove of your medical assisted death. I will not tell you not to seek it. I will not tell you to let your body die a “natural death.” …


To the Young Woman Who Bought My Vintage 1950’s Prom Dress

My yard sale was not exquisite.

There was a table of little girls toys and some toddler clothing that I was not very sentimental over, six random tires from old vehicles, a table of clothes made in the USA from a brand that I respected and once sold in a popular retail store and ended up with a closet full. …


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.

  1. List your reasons for wishing to become a death doula.

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:

  • process something you were unclear or curious about — matters related…


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…


purples and blues of lake with branch over head

There are some times

When you meet someone

And you think

Fuck

Don’t die

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

One day

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…

Anne-Marie Keppel

Author of Death Nesting and Ancient Death Doula Series. Feeding Your Demons Facilitator. Community Deathcare teacher. Mama of three. www.annemariekeppel.com

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