End of Life Doula Services
As an End-of-Life Doula, a Reiki Practitioner, and a Bereavement Specialist, I can provide support before, during and after the death, helping to facilitate a more beautiful and less painful journey.
About End of Life Doula Services
The vast majority of people would rather do just about anything, other than to discuss death; (their own, their parents, spouse or children). On any other difficult subject, most people turn to a professional for advice and guidance, someone who has experience in the area of their struggle. When it is the topic of health, you turn to doctors and specialists, when it’s a legal matter, a lawyer. When the doctors run out of options to save your life, you’re faced with that conversation... how do you want to die? It should make sense then to ask for the help of a professional who has experience with assisting people who are dying. That person could be an End-of-Life Doula.
The following is a selection of options I can facilitate for you and your family, but this list is not limited. My services can be tailored to suit any number of circumstances.
The Vigil (Creating a Death Plan)
When a dying person and the family actively plan for the last days, everyone feels less afraid and less anxious. Doulas encourage thinking through all the choices about where a person dies and the types of interactions people want with each other and professional staff. Sitting down with the dying in advance relieves stress for the dying and the family, Simply said what does dying look like to the person and how can we all come together to make that happen. Some of the questions asked when planning are Where does the person want to die, Who would they like around them, Will there be anything done such as music, smells, candles, casket decorating. Why would the dying want these things to happen? What is the importance to the dying? As an End of Life Doula the last days, hours and minutes can be very sacred to the dying and their family. My job is to do my best to help create the space for the dying and the family. Many families are not educated in the death process and how many elements and steps are required.
Doulas assist with basic care by explaining distressing symptoms, providing on-going emotional and spiritual support, and linking the affected to professionals and community teams when necessary. The news of yourself or someone dying can be quite paralyzing and comes with many emotions. There are many community resources available which families may not be aware of. Having a Doula advocate and provide resources makes the care-giving process a little easier by relieving frustration and stress. Support for the dying and families is important during this time. Family roles may change and it can cause confusion and frustration. My aim is to provide guidance on the journey.
The Importance of Legacy
The purpose of legacy work is to assist the dying achieve closure with life and/or relationships. Existential questions often emerge during this time, such as “Who am I?” “What am I?” and “ Will I be remembered and how?”
Some like to write a poem, scrapbook, or create a life scroll, the list goes on. Legacy work provides the dying with a sense of control, when they are faced with feeling out of control. The dying need something positive to focus on. This is a great way for families to come together and have meaningful conversations. In my experience, a lot of stories and laughter are shared.
Legacy work can provide the following outcome:
· Positive effects for the dying and loved ones
· Deep and valuable conversations
· Feeling of closeness, that is much needed at this time
· Helps ease the anticipatory grief
· Helps with relief of physical symptoms
· Provides loved ones with a reduction in stress, anxiety and depression
· Gives the family and the dying a sense of being more connected
Legacy work can be a way to create some peace for the dying and the family. It is all about how the dying want to be remembered.
Planning and Assisting a Home Funeral
A ‘home funeral’ is a non-commercial, family centered response to death that involves the family and the community. It encompasses care and preparation of the body for burial or cremation, planning and carrying out related rituals or ceremonies, and the burial or cremation itself.
It is surprising how many families are choosing a creative an alternative to the traditional funeral. There are many options available, including a home funeral. If the dying wish to have a beautiful space created in the home and have friends and family to say goodbye, I am there to guide and help the family plan the service. And most are not aware that home funerals are legal in Canada.
The family may want to care for the body of the loved one. This can also be a very healing process. Home funerals allow flexibility for visiting, paying respects, and sharing stories. This experience can be very fulfilling and therapeutic.
Grief and Bereavement Support
Grief is never easy and there is no cookie cutter version, I will guide the dying and the families during the difficult time before the death and will continue as requested to support the loved ones left behind. Grief is normal anytime there is a loss. Grief is anything but predictable, it is a journey, Hellen Keller once said, “The only way to the other side is Through”. Everyone grieves in a different fashion, Grief has its own individual finger print. Being experienced and trained in Grief and Bereavement allows me to support the grieving.
Base Package - $550
2 HRS Advance Care Planning
2 HRS Death Planning
3 HRS Legacy Work
3 HRS Care giver support
5 HRS bedside Ritual
Full Package - $2500
2 x 2 HRS visits Advance Care Planning
2 x 3 HRS visits Death Planning
2 x 6 HRS visits Legacy Work
4 x 3 HRS Care giver support-
24 HRS bedside Ritual- at the end of life
2 x 3 HRS Memorial planning guidance.
2 x 1 HRS post Bereavement counseling
Staying with the body until transportation arrives.
Free Phone consultation
Altered packages available according to the family’s needs
Additional HRS can be purchased in blocks of 3HRS @ $90
Taxes not included
Creating a death plan
The practice and importance of self- care for caregivers
Providing emotional and spiritual support to the family and loved ones
Helping the dying to receive closure with life and relationships
Assistance in Memorial or service planing
Assistance in planning and facilitating a home funeral
Grief and bereavement support for the dying and their loved ones
Creating and implementing advance care directives