EOL Doulas Share Some Thoughts
End of Life Doulas build trusting, supportive relationships with much emphasis on what is most important to them and advocating for their end of life wishes. In the wise words of Dame Cicely Saunders “You matter because you are you, and you matter to the last moment of your life. We will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but also live until you die.” -Dame Cicely Saunders Nurse, Doctor, Social Worker, and Writer Founder of the modern-day Hospice Movement
I’ve always had a curious mind, and a compassionate heart. I love to use both my brain right and left hemispheres, in synergy! But what I love most is helping people come “Home”. “Home” to understanding that they matter, home to finding their inner freedom after a health scare. I specialize in women’s health and empowerment. I am a second-half-of-your-life partner,/doula with a focus on transformative experiences at menopause and end-of-life.
As a doula, I am engaged with individuals and families in my community living with serious and terminal illness. This means collaborating with local hospice and palliative care providers to ensure that each individual has all the support they need. Not only do I walk alongside these patients, but I also companion nurses, social workers, chaplains and physicians as they face growing caseloads and their own grief around the loss of patients.
Merilynne Rush, MSHP, RN, BSN
What is an EOL doula? An end-of-life doula is a community-based companion to those who are dying and/or their caregiver(s) and family, providing resources, guidance, advocacy and non-medical support during the last developmental stage of life and immediately afterward. Based on their life experience and education they are able to help reduce the overwhelm, and increase the quality, of this time of life, both for those who are able to prepare for death and those who have experienced a sudden or accidental death.
While sitting in the room of a dying hospice patient, I was sad at the angst she was showing at the end of her life. A twenty-year volunteer for a local hospice and still I did not have the tools to help. I wanted to learn more to help ease the fear of our end of life. I became a Death Doula, and now I am now doing what I am supposed to be doing.
I am a doula because my life experiences have taught me to befriend death as a mystical and sacred transition of the Soul. Being a calm, compassionate, loving presence for the individual dying as well as the surrounding circle of people in grief about the impending loss is an honor. Doulas bring unique gifts, skills, and offerings to ease and comfort the journey.
Dana VanderMey, RN
I took the INELDA EOLC Doula training 14months ago. I am a Retired RN and worked for a local Hospice for 17 years. In my retirement I became a Doula as I feel called to continue to accompany people who are making their transition. I recently provided respite for a friend and her family during the week of her death. I am now making a legacy memory scroll for her family. I have provided support for 2 clients thru the NHPCO Doula Grief Support Program. Being a EOLC Doula seems to be a natural part of my DNA.