Deathcare Practitioners can assist an individual and their families in the transition of death. I am able to support individuals toward a conscious dying experience as well as their loved ones in after-death care of the body that empowers families to create a deeply meaningful wake at home that incorporates the families and individual's personal wishes.
Deathcare Guides can offer information, guidance and support to individuals, their families and all involved throughout the dying and death process. This support, both practical and spiritual, includes preparing for a conscious transition; after death care of the body (including the 3-day vigil at home) and officiating the funeral or memorial ceremony. I offer emotional, physical and spiritual support to people who are dying and to their loved ones.
When a person is nearing death, I serve as their non-medical supportive companion through the dying process and assist them in leaving their physical body and this world as gently, gracefully, and with as much dignity as possible. My primary role is to assist those who are dying, assuring that their wishes and needs come first. Secondly, to support the family members and close friends by assisting them as they come together to love and support the one who is dying. Together they create a sacred space for emotional healing and ceremony that serves to celebrate the life of their loved one.
Creating Sacred Space and Ceremony
Sacred space can be created by bringing together photographs, candles, flowers, religious articles, ointments, oils, herbs, special foods, memorabilia, and anything else that is thought to be important to both the dying, their family members, and close friends. These items are usually placed on a special table or shelf that is visible to the person who is dying so that memories flow and bring forth loving conversation. Ceremony during the dying process is an important piece in the celebration of life. It is a way of including those who are dying in the sharing of memorable moments and precious times. Ceremony can be conducted religiously, including church, synagogue, or temple rituals, or secularly in nature. Both may include music, singing, readings, memories, prayers, or other proceedings that are meaningful to the one who is dying.
Caring for the Dead
Most people are in a state of shock after a loved one dies. Making even simple decisions can seem overwhelming. A Deathcare Practitioner becomes a valuable liaison when funeral choices and decisions must be made. Whether a funeral takes place in a religious setting, funeral home, or in a private home, if invited to assist, I can be present supporting your family, helping you through any decision-making challenges. If requested, I will assist with filling out paperwork and clarifying laws regarding home funerals and cremation. I will listen to your needs and be present to facilitate compassionate communication between family members so that everyone’s needs are heard and met in a amicable way.
A deathcare practitioner or death doula is focused on the dying person's feelings and their ease, peace and acceptance of the process they are in and assists them through it.
Deathcare practitioner or death doula support is available in hospital, hospice or at home and in no way interferes with or crosses roles with medical professionals or family members.
A deathcare practitioner or death doula is there as a relaxed presence of calm for the family and the loved one who is in, or who may be, 'laboring' in the dying process. A death midwife may attend to spiritual and ceremonial needs as requested.
As a DeathCare Practitioner & Transitions Guide, I have accredited certificates in End of Life Care, Energy Medicine, Spirituality Health and Healing, Aromatherapy in Palliative Care and several years of in-depth studies of the philosophies and practices of a Death Doula. I am a certified, Level I&II Reiki Faciliator and certified and registered Tuning Fork Therapy Practitioner/Instructor.
Death Midwifery Study References (books, guidebooks, manuals and webinars): Soul Midwives Handbook (The Holistic & Spiritual Care of the Dying) - Felicity Warner, Death and Dying - Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Dying Consciously - The Institute of Energy Medicine, Beyond Hospice (Roles in Death Midwifery) - CINDEA, 30-Day Death Doula Training Primer - Deanna Cochran, Caring for the Dying (The Doula approach to a meaningful death) - Henry Fersko-Weis (founder of the first End-of-Life Doula program in the U.S.), Dying Matters - The Natural Death Care Centre, Easy Death - Adi Da Samraj, Passing Through the Hands - Sandra Belk and Sandy Booth. Dying, A Transition - Monika Renz. My learning is ongoing.
The 12 Principles of Soul Midwifery By Felicity Warner
To work as non-medical holistic companions who guide and support a dying person in order to facilitate a gentle and tranquil death.
To support and recognize the individual needs of the dying person and ensure they feel loved and supported.
To create and hold a sacred and healing space for the dying person (whether in a hospital, a hospice or at home).
To respect and honour a dying person’s religious/spiritual or atheist/agnostic beliefs and practices.
To work as non-denominational, multi-faith practitioners who honour the dying person’s beliefs about life, death or the afterlife.
To listen, provide gentle therapeutic techniques, and ensure compassionate care at all times.
To ‘serve’ our friend; not aim to ‘fix’ or ‘rescue’.
To give healing, using sound, touch, colour, scented oils or other gentle techniques to alleviate pain and anxiety.
To keep a loving vigil.
To work holistically with the spirit and soul of our friends at all levels and stages of transition.
To support families and their loved ones, giving loving care with a human touch
To provide comfort, continuous support and reassurance in helping a dying person to experience the death he or she wants.