When should I call an end of life doula?
July 14th, 2020
When you have some awareness that you're going to die and you want to prepare yourself for it, or when there's some triggering event like a diagnosis and you're like, "This thing is going to end, I should probably do something."
July 21st, 2020
It's almost impossible to start too early and it can be really heartbreaking if you start too late. People often are resistant because they think that calling in a death doula somehow hastens the death. They think that it's somehow a failure when, in fact, absolutely the opposite is true.
Part of what I do in my work as a death doula is help create conditions so love can flow in the system. That's what brings healing. If people come and start to share and talk about important issues and start to pay attention and plan for what's coming, none of that is ever wasted. If someone lives a little bit or a lot longer than you expect, well, that work is still well worth it.
As soon as death is in the space, as soon as you receive a complex diagnosis, as soon as someone takes a turn. What happens in families is, sometimes there's an elephant in the middle of the room where, let's say dad is ill and dying. The siblings talk to each other and maybe each sibling talks individually to the mom, but nobody talks to the dad. And nobody talks about it in the whole family. As soon as that starts happening, that's a good time to call a death doula because getting that elephant out from underneath the rug and allowing people to stand together and face this difficult thing as a collective, as a whole, is what allows us the capacity to meet it.