I was scrolling through Instagram the other day and I came across this story.
It was in relation to birth but I could see the parallels to our experiences of death and dying and how an End of life Doula can be a valuable support.
“What if we planned for our labour (birth) like we planned for our wedding?”
“I didn’t ask many questions. I assumed when I went into labour I would show up and they would take care of me.
But there is so much more to the whole process. Policies and procedures.
I didn’t know it wouldn’t really be all about me. What if I had planned more?”
This is talking about Birthing but I could see the same questions and thoughts arising in relation to the dying process.
Why don’t we have the same level of planning for the end part of our life?
We plan for other life transitions like marriage, birthing, retirement, holidays, Christmas and birthdays?
Why don’t we ask questions?
Why do we then assume we will be cared for in the manner we would like?
Because we do not know how to talk about death
Like birth, death has been taken out of the home, out of the community and placed in the hands of the medical institutions. We have given the whole experience over to them and they tell us what our end of life experience will be. They have their hospital/hospice policies and procedures to ensure that the system functions.
You become a patient and it isn’t all about you any longer.
Your sense of control and power are diminished.
As patients, you must learn how to navigate the system and that can be stressful, difficult, and frustrating.
They talk a language that we don’t understand.
We are often not included in the conversation about our own treatment. Nobody takes the time to explain what the treatment is.
You are in an emotional state of being and find it difficult to assimilate the information and process it. It is hard to even contemplate what questions to ask or know what alternative options are available.
This all takes effort and energy and you must be an advocate for yourself and manoeuvre your way through.
Because death has been taken out of our everyday realm we are not exposed to it. We don’t know what happens or how long or what to expect. We don’t know what a normal death experience looks like, feels like, smells like.
So, we don’t know how to plan for it.
We don’t know how to deal with it.
We turn up and hope the system will take care of us.
But what if the system doesn’t care for us.
What if the system if overloaded and under-resourced.
What happens to us then? Who is there for us ensuring we are cared for?
Our families and friends are also in an emotional state of being and are as bewildered and unknowing. Who is supporting them?
Sure, our physical symptoms are managed, we are offered every intervention possible to keep us alive for as long as possible but what if this creates more issues.
Did you know that End of Life Doulas are there to be a support, advocate and companion through the process?
They can assist you with your decision making and planning so you do not have to worry about loose ends and burdening others.
They can enable you to be clear about what care you would like and how to ask the right questions. Helping you to be in control of the process and make decisions for yourself.
An End of Life Doula is also there to support your caregivers which allows them the opportunity to debrief and feel supported, nurtured and cared for. They then can be focused on being present for you and your needs.
By engaging an End of Life Doula you are taking back your power and taking responsibility for how you want your dying process to be.
They enable a transformative experience for all involved by providing a safe and sacred holding space that leads to peace of mind and a sense of security.
We all love a good wedding and the happy memories it creates so why shouldn’t we plan and aim for a good death and creating some good memories for our families and friends.
The End of Life Care provides resources, information and guidance which enables you to understand the End of Life process and instils a sense of confidence and control.
Nicolette is an End of Life Doula, who provides a compassionate approach to life and death.
She provides care at every step of the journey, allowing everyone involved the opportunity to feel supported, nurtured and safe.
Her purpose is to provide a heartfelt engagement with life while providing a compassionate, supported and informed approach to death.
Nicolette provides specialist non-medical care to those who are dying and offers emotional and practical support to the caregivers.
She creates a transformative experience for all involved by providing a safe and sacred holding space that leads to peace of mind and a sense of security.
Nicolette is a qualified Social Worker and Art Therapist.
If you would like to start your planning, grab a copy of my free Planning Guide which comes with a bonus video.
It covers all you need to know and will give you clarity and peace of mind.
Alternatively, you can contact Nicolette for a 15 min chat. She will be able to provide the appropriate information that you are seeking and answer your questions to enable you to know what support is available for you.