What is a Doula?
Doulas also serve as guides and companions at transitional times in our lives…death. Our souls also know intuitively how to pass from the earthly plane, and how to take that last breath, but we humans have a hard time with it. Culturally, we hide death away in nursing homes and hospitals and funeral homes so we don’t have to think about it or talk about it or see it. We treat death as though it were taboo and yet death is as honorable a time in a person’s life as birth. Death is a part of life. It will happen to each one of us. What I know to be true is that there is as much beauty in our dying as there is in our being born. Difficult? Yes, of course. Painful? Yes, of course. Beautiful? Yes, of course. But birth is also difficult and painful and beautiful.
Is a Doula a replacement for medical care?
No. Doulas are a wonderful complement to hospice care and grief counseling! Hospice does a great job with medical care and symptom management, something Doulas do not provide.
Doulas fill the gap between what hospice does and what the caregivers can do. Doulas provide one-on-one emotional and spiritual support for the dying and their loved ones/caregivers. Doulas companion the dying, honoring the sacred space at the end of life. They offer the opportunity to do life review work, help with the creation of legacy projects for those who want to leave something of meaning and memory for their family and friends, and work with the dying person to create a vigil plan for the final days and hours of life. A person can have both hospice care and a doula.
What does it mean to "hold space" for someone?
To hold space means:
to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they are on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control. ~Heather Plett
the process of witnessing and validating someone else's emotional state while simultaneously being present to your own. When you hold space you are creating a container for the other person's emotions to come up, be seen without the interference of your own, and be released. ~Connor Beaton