“We should be better at dying.” (Kim Ode from “Death doulas provide comfort on final journey: ‘We know how to die'” Star Tribune)
In an older post called “New Names Needed” I wondered why widow/ers don’t have something akin to a midwife. Well, I have found something similar to my idea thanks to a sister I met at the IWWG Summer Conference. It led me to the article cited above and to the INELDA, the International End of Life Doula Association..From what I can see, this organization is more about helping the dying person than the grief stricken living. I could be wrong. I often am. That is why I am going to research this more and share the information here on my blog. Hopefully, those of you who have expertise in this area will help me. I sent the INELDA some questions. I will share what I find next week.
“Currently there is no state or federal regulatory body that certifies end of life doulas.” (INELDA website)
I looked further and found Doulagivers: Certified End of Life Doula Training. They also have a certification program. Again, they work with hospice because the death doulas are non-medical services.
The International Doulagivers Foundation says, “Doulagivers’ main goal is to spread awareness of the need for communities to become involved in supporting caregivers and the volunteer work necessary to ensure that everyone can have a peaceful aging and end of life experience.”
The Lifespan Doula Organization’s website also has a plethora of resources and visuals that make the death doula role clear.
The video below is from Alua Arthur, who founded Going With Grace: Simple, Knowledgeable, and Compassionate End of Life Support and Planning.
I am relieved to discover groups demystifying death. Changing death’s paradigm of fear to one of acceptance and even (gasp!) joy is worth more research.
Regardless of the labels: death doula, death midwife, end of life planner, I am interested in this movement.
It still isn’t what I envisioned in “New Names Needed” but my research has just begun.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one. Khalil Gibran