As an experienced and qualified end of life doula and funeral celebrant it is my privilege to work with those facing their own or another’s death. Dying is a human experience, as unique as each of us and so in order to provide authentic continuity of care from diagnosis to death and beyond, I give my full attention to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of those before me.
An educator for 32 years, performing the role of doula for my mother and then doula and celebrant for my father brought me firmly into this world, awakening in me the possibility of helping others to find a healthier and more peaceful experience at the end of life. My own experience of my second daughter being stillborn at full term has also been instrumental in my journey on this path, providing many years of learning about myself, grief and healing. For the last four years I have been working in this space, supporting more than 200 families as funeral celebrant and/or doula.
Some of the roles I have provided for clients are scribing life stories, collaboratively planning life celebrations, enabling home vigil after death, collecting and then dispersing letters and memories to surviving loved ones, officiating funeral and memorial services, sourcing readings and poems as well as prayers respectful of individual belief systems, visiting clients in hospice, sourcing music and reading material to share and coordinating those who are a part of support networks.
My recent pilgrimage, walking 800 kilometres in Spain on the Camino de Santiago has deepened my understanding of and empathy for those facing or having experienced loss and I now bring this to my work. I welcome conversations around illness and death, skilfully and sensitively facilitating these conversations, ensuring others feel comfortable in a space that we, in our society, often shy away from or fear. I calmly and lovingly interact in this space with those approaching death, empowering those with whom I work to have as positive and healing experience possible.