End of Life Doula Services
End of Life Doula
What is an End of Life Doula?
Doulas are commonly known for the physical, emotional, and informational support they offer before, during, and after the birth process. The role of an end of life (EOL) doula is much the same except it occurs at the end of life: before, during, and after the dying process.
EOL doulas (also known as Death Doulas) work with a dying person, their loved ones, and paid caregivers at any point following a terminal diagnosis, especially in the last months of life, to support a dying person emotionally, spiritually, and physically. The EOL doula may also provide information to help the dying person and others to make choices about, or understand the nature of, the dying process and what comes after.
A Sacred Threshold
A threshold, simply defined, is a means or place of entry. In his book, To Bless the Space Between Us, the late John O'Donohue beautifully described threshold:
A threshold is not a simple boundary; it is a frontier that divides two different territories, rhythms and atmospheres. Indeed, it is a lovely testimony to the fullness and integrity of an experience or a stage of life that it intensifies toward the end into a real frontier that cannot be crossed without the heart being passionately engaged and woken up.
Every one of us crossed a threshold into life when we were born and every one of us will cross a threshold into death. There is joy in birth. It is easy for the heart to be passionately engaged. In death, the sorrow breaks our heart. It can be arduous and painful. And though the heart breaks, it can also be passionately engaged. Stephen Jenkinson reminds us: "Hold your sorrow to a degree of eloquence, whereby everyone around you will be fed."
Death is a sacred threshold.
Let us recognize the sacred threshold of death as profoundly as we recognize it in birth.
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