Death Doula and End-of-Life Planning
I was a hospice volunteer with Houston Hospice from 2011-2013 and returned to volunteer work with Memorial Hermann hospice in 2022. Imagine my thrill when when I discovered the speciality of being a death doula! It seems so natural to me to have someone help you through death just as you have someone help you through birth. I recently completed a 3-month course for end-of-life training and planning by an amazing and fabulous death doula named Alua Arthur with Going With Grace.
Being a death doula is a multi-faceted calling, from sitting with the dying to helping them and their families prepare for end-of-life decisions and document planning. I can help with any and all stages in the life of a dying person. This includes simply visiting and sitting with the client; giving breaks to family members; sitting vigil when the time of dying comes; and handling the body after death. I can also help with end-of-life details such as Living Wills and comprehensive planning documents that include financial details, usernames and passwords, utilities, life insurance--all the pieces of our lives.
The most important thing I learned during my studies was that you do not have to involve a traditional funeral home when a loved one dies. You can die at home, stay at home after death, and receive visitors at home, just like in the old days. I can help with all these wishes. I want to die at home, to be at home, to have visitors at my home and it would be my honor to help someone with the same end-of-life wishes.