Guest blog from Julie at Doula Connections
Doulas are more commonly known to help women during the birthing process, but did you know there are doulas who assist people at the end of life too?
Death doulas or end-of-life doulas can be engaged to help people navigate anything associated with end of life.
Death can be an uncomfortable topic for some but end-of-life doulas can provide emotional, spiritual, and physical support and while they can help the family members as well, their main focus is usually on the client, the person who is dying or has concerns about the end of their life.
An end-of-life doula’s main job is to offer a safe space for clients to talk about death and to ease them through this transition. This provides family members with a much-needed break as well, especially if the journey has been taxing so far.
But death, while normal, is a very personal and emotional subject for most. There is often fear and anxiety. Dying has often been approached with a solely medical touch and we forget that a humanistic one should be considered as well. And that’s what doulas do.
When the client has overcome the emotional part, doulas help them plan out their deaths down to the fine details if that’s what they want: where they prefer to die, who they want around them, what rituals are performed, what music is played, etc. They can assist with gathering information about wills, advanced care directives and funeral arrangements. They can take photos, help write letters, create videos, or anything else the client may want to leave behind to loved ones.
When the time comes, doulas help their clients to remain calm, and after, help their loved ones to process what has happened.
Doulas are with their clients until the very end. They do not turn away from the face of suffering. Having that kind of consistent channel for emotional support helps make the transition easier. They actively involve the family members as well (if this is what the client wishes), serving as a bridge between them and the client who may wish to foster one last connection with their loved ones. Doulas also make sure the client’s wishes are fulfilled even if family members disagree, don’t understand, or are the ones who hired them.
If you would like to know more about End of Life Doulas please visit www.doulaconnections.com.au
If you would like to know how to become an End of Life Doula check out our 10966NAT Certificate IV in End of Life Doula Services