a home providing care for the sick, especially the terminally ill.
The key word here is home. To be able to leave this plane of existence from ones own home or at least a home like dwelling is to me a basic human right of all people. Just like birthing a baby, it need not be experienced in a sterile, medical environment. The process that takes place as the body shuts down is natural and beautiful. Dying is not without pain or stress, again just like childbirth but it is a deeply meaningful experience that whole families can share.
Imagine that you are going on a long journey and you will not see your loved ones for a good while. Do you want to be able to spend time with them in your home or would you rather leave them in a cold and harsh bus terminal?
There are so many services now that make this choice not only possible but preferred by many. There is in-home nursing care. all the hospice organizations offer services in home, there is medical equipment available in our homes and there is a plethora of agencies to help with the social aspect of this transition. One of these is the End of Life Doula. My trainer, Suzanne O'Brien says this about how hospice and Doulas can work together, "I see End of Life Doulas working along side Hospice to make the best possible experience for patients and loved ones. It takes each and every one of us to make this much needed positive change in end of life care."
One of the many things that a Doula can do for the family and the dying is set a mood or an ambiance. When someone is passing through the second phase of transition their sensitivity is often heightened and they are very touched by whatever is going on around them. This is an excellent time for creating sacred space. You can use music, candles , scents and sounds of nature. This serves a dual purpose in that it helps the grieving family relax for a little while.
If you or a family member are going through these stages of transition, please know that it can be created to be an intensely close time for everyone. Old hurts can be healed, connections of the heart, and peace from the past too. If you are feeling overwhelmed during this time, look into an End of Life Doula. We can do many things including the practical tasks that we face. Give us a call. We hear you!