MAiD and Death Doulas: tête-à-tête

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.” I will not tell you to hold out for a miracle or a cure, or more time.

At your request of wishing to know more about MAiD, I will provide you with as much information as I have at that time. The information will consist of laws, of timing, of concoctions or injections. I cannot tell you what it feels like to ingest or receive the medication. I cannot tell you how your family and friends and community will react, think and feel, after your death — no matter what manner of death is chosen. I cannot tell you what it is like to die.

I do not condone, I do not condemn, I do not judge. I do not make the laws, I do not advocate for the laws, I do not protest against the laws.

I am watching. I am listening. I am feeling from one body away from yours trying to anticipate your needs.

I will pen your goodbye letters. I will draw the curtains or open the door. I will rub your temples; I will massage your feet. I will pray with you, help you find “the key” and be awestruck as you say to me, “my mother is here.” I will sit along side you for your last breath and remain still through the time that your breath does not take up again in your lungs and instead… I will focus on my own.

I serve to help you feel loved, safe, and witnessed — in your state of, and exit from — Being. This is a doula assisted death.

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