I am a Conscious Dying Coach through the Conscious Dying Institute. They believe that by starting with the end in mind we can gain more fulfillment and peace in our time left here. This process may be helpful for those with a diagnoses but it is also relevant for anyone wishes to become more conscious in their day to day living and let go of worries about anything but this present moment. Over the course of 6 sessions we identify your priorities, what matters most, and how to get there. It can also be a extremely useful tool to have at your disposal in the event of a health crises where it can be difficult to make choices under pressure. Give yourself and your loved ones this precious gift! Now taking appointments for the new year. What are your thoughts on this topic? Please drop a comment below to start this conversation!
Hey, anyone have any thoughts on death and dying? Or any Hospice volunteers here?
Yeah man, just my thought on people and dying. I don’t think it is the fact of death itself scares people. More so it the fact it is the one thing life that we do not have control over is what makes it horrifying to some people.
With today’s day and age we go through life with absolute control. especially with all the technologies. The fact that we do not have control over when or how it will happen.
Interesting topic to talk about for sure.
So true! Technology gives us the illusion of being able to control so much over our lives but in the end we all face the reality that this is a temporary state. That is what is so interesting about the “Best Three Months” scenario offered through Conscious Dying Sessions. We are not able to control the timing or much of what will happen in the end but by confronting the scenario in a conscious way we can determined what we would like to have happen, or not happen and where our limits, desires and values will be in the end. It’s pretty freeing to do.
Certified End of Life Doula, here. Welcome to the growing community of folks doing the sacred work of helping people and their families work towards a “good death.” Glad to meet you here!
I was a hospice volunteer before covid and I’m a grief support person.
That’s awesome! Where did you do your Doula training?
Hello fellow Hospice volunteer! What was the most interesting thing you learned in training?
The trainings I took were so many years ago, I really can’t pinpoint any exact details. Sorry!
I mainly trained in Boulder.
I did it through INELDA. Intense and powerful. I had a very significant experience with a death of someone very close to me and that’s the foundation of why I took the training.
@ClarityNW, What’s the difference between a Death Doula and a Chaplain?
I have experience as a Chaplain and I haven’t heard of any hospitals hiring for death Doula’s before. Birth Doula’s, not death…is this a natural form of dying vs being on medication when one expires?
Good question! There may not be much difference, depending on the chaplain who may provide a lot of similar care as a doula, but they’re not synonymous. A death doula, much like a birth doula, assists the dying person --and, ideally, family members–in to reflect on and make meaning from their lives, (legacy), help with feeling of anxiety/fear, regret (maybe re relationships) and maybe thinking thru how to express these with family members so that everyone is able to process the relationship and the grief. Also, helping the dying person and their family to understand the physical, emotional etc. process of actively dying so they know what to expect and can provide comfort, much like birth doulas do when the labor is getting very intense. It’s a bit late and I’ve had a long day but that’s basically the idea.
I’m also a death doula, and I combine that with care coordination / virtual assistance.
I’m not afraid of death itself, without a clear cut idea of what’s on the other side. But I’m hopeful of a few things like being reunited with loved ones and being in a more peaceful place.
That said, I’ve seen a number of deaths. Some were peaceful and natural. Others- messy and painful. My mother went through a prolonged illness with a sudden, messy death. I wish I knew then what I’ve learned through my doula program. I could have been a better advocate, or just not to have been afraid about monopolizing some of her hospital time.
One thing I feel great about is how I took the burden of keeping track of everything off of her plate. From the moment of her diagnosis I took over (with her permission) as much as I could so that she could focus on living life and doing what she wanted. I coordinated appointments, transportation, kept track of her records, took notes, attended appointments so she had a second set of ears (what she heard during appointments was not always what I heard, and I helped her sort it out), and coordinated the family to support her.
That’s what I do with my business. I lighten the load for the sick and the family, and guide them to whatever conclusion there is. I be the person I wish I had, even if it was just to listen.
And I think the most important thing that I’ve come to appreciate is that living that time left looks differently to everyone. I didn’t understand how my mother lived the way she did, but this wasn’t my life or death. So I stepped back and let her take the lead. That was a new concept for me. I think I just wanted what we all want- more time.
That was a few years ago. Just two months ago I lost my dog of 17 years. She was essentially my baby. I had her companionship for over half my life. My mother’s death helped me appreciate more that every day is a gift. I then spent as much time as I could with her. Before we would travel and she’d sleep at grandma’s. Now we were renting dog friendly airbnbs and planning outings for her. In late Sept she manifested some symptoms and I knew I had very little time. Her last day she was so tired, just hanging with my husband on the couch. I came home and my husband announced “Mommy’s home!” and she ran to the door to greet me with more energy than we’d seen in days. And then her legs gave out and I carried her everywhere. She died that evening, and it still rips me apart because she was my sunlight. But we’re giving ourselves time to grieve.
I have no regrets over her life. She had a full life of love.
My apologies for the length of this post. I could talk about death for hours. There are so many similarities in people’s death that it amazes me. My dog waited for me before she passed. Many humans wait for something as well on their death bed. It was an honor to be my dog’s reason for holding on a little longer.
I do have a thread on this site if you’d like to enquire about my services. I’m so glad that we’re talking about death. It needs to be discussed. Nobody I know yet has been able to get out of life alive.
This is a beautiful post.
I wouldn’t say that I am scared of death or dying but that’s probably because deep down I know that because I am young and healthy that there isn’t much to worry about right now. I have imagined what death would be like and I think it makes sense that it’d feel like nothing and you just simply cease to exist in all forms. Kind of like when you are sleeping but not dreaming. Everything is just nothing. But, what I think scares people the most is the fact that no one knows what it’s like to be truly dead, so we are left to just speculate and you end up thinking about things you can’t confirm. And death is something you can’t really redo, whereas you can get second chances in life. But that’s just my take, I’m interested to know what you all think death may be like.
Thank you so much for this. So much of this resonates with me and my experiences. To witness and hold space for another and be a healing salve when things seem so wrong is a merciful and beautiful gift. How did you begin to build clients for your business if you don’t mind me asking? Been thinking of doing something similar but wondering how to get referrals from clinicians, etc or if it’s easier to enter via public ads. Thanks again for contributing to this post! <3
I’ve been doing this work informally over the years, but I’ve just formalized and started the business aspect. My plan is to redesign my website and social media, as well as sending letters to local physicians to start. There are so many options to try before any paid advertising.
I’m so glad you’re thinking about doing this. If you’d like, we should stay in touch.