There are many names for EOLD's. Soul midwife, death coach, transition guide, and so many other names for this intense and relatively unknown calling. End of life doulas are non-medical assistants trained to care holistically for people who are transitioning and their families also. We can aid in housework, we can relieve caregivers, we can lovingly offer suggestions in a time when emotions run high and people don't always know their options.
The herstory of end of life doulas is long but not well known. It has been common throughout the years and across many diverse cultures that women care for the dying and the family during the transitions in life that we all face. Giving birth, passing on to the next world and all the transitions in between have primarily been seen to by women folk. Then Western society began to pathologize and sterilize these natural processes. Taking them out of the home and bringing them into institutions where in many cases they did not belong. As we have learned in the past decades that pregnancy and birth are not illnesses but are organic journeys that, while sometimes needing medical assistance, are not always in need of hospitalization, doctors, nurses, etc. These moments in our lives are natural and more than 80% of the population wish that they could be done in the home as they used to be. Now there is a growing movement to bring the art of dying back to the home when possible and this can be an experience that is greatly enhanced by a doula who can accompany the family and the patient in many of the decisions, needs, desires, legacies and all those concerns that we have at that point in our lives.
Personally, I have faced death many times in my life and have been with people I love as they left this world to enter the spiritual world. It is a beautiful, painful, scary, and holy passage. When I heard that there was such a thing as a death midwife, I was very happy because I had studied to be a birth midwife and it just fit. We live, move, breathe and love in a divine, ever moving circle and it is the most natural thing to me to be with people during these rotations of that circle. God bless you!