Compassionate planning and support for end of life transitions
Rev. Jessica Johansson, MDiv
Serving Jaffrey and the Greater Monadnock Region of New Hampshire
What is an End of Life Doula?
Is it the same thing as a Death Doula?
End-of-life doulas (also known as death doulas, death midwives, or soul midwives) are trained professionals whose priority is ensuring a peaceful and dignified death experience. They do this by providing non-medical, holistic support and comfort to the individual and their loved ones in the dying process.
This support may include education and guidance as well as emotional, spiritual, or practical care, as early as initial diagnosis through the bereavement period.
There are a variety of ways in a which an end-of-life doula will serve these needs:
- Educating the dying person and family about the dying process
- Assisting with advance care and end-of-life planning
- Creating uniquely-tailored vigil plans
- Doing life review and legacy work
- Designing rituals to support and integrate transitions
- Advocating for your needs and collaborating with medical team/hospice, caregivers and loved ones
- Providing practical, spiritual, and emotional support before, during, and just after death
“For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.”
– Kahlil Gibran
Why Work with an End of Life Doula?
The period surrounding death can often be stressful and challenging for any family, and most people are often unprepared to navigate this time of uncertainties. End-of-life doulas assist in easing some of the mental and emotional burden that naturally emerges during this process. We prioritize ensuring that the last days are peaceful and dignified, filled with both grace and meaning. We support the family in preparing for and processing the transition of their loved one. A doula can also be an incredible resource in managing practical and logistical concerns, freeing up precious time and energy to focus on their loved one and each other instead.
Working with an end-of-life doula ensures that you will have compassionate grounded support and guidance throughout the end-of-life process. You don’t have to do this alone.
“How people die remains in the memory of those who live on.”
– Dame Cicely Saunders
A Good Death? Dying Well?
My ultimate goal is to empower my clients to have a “good death.”
Defining what constitutes a “good death” is deeply personal and can vary based on cultural, religious, and individual beliefs. However, there are certain common elements that often contribute to a sense of a good death:
- Comfort & Pain Management
- Emotional & Spiritual Well Being
- Preparation & Advance Care Planning
- Presence of Loved Ones
- Meaning & Legacy
- Closure & Resolution
Ultimately, a good death is one that allows a person to die on their own terms. My personalized end-of-life services can help make that possible.
"Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it."
– Haruki Murakami
- In-Home, In-Facility & Virtual Support
- Advance Care Planning
- End-of-Life Planning
- Life Review & Legacy Work
- Swedish Death Cleaning
- Caregiver Support
- Guided Meditation
- Vigil & Ritual Planning
- Bereavement Support
This 30-minute consultation will be a great way to decide if we are a good fit for this journey together.
Consultations can take place in-person, via phone, or virtually through Zoom, Facetime, or WhatsApp – whichever is best for you.
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Recent Blog Posts
As an end-of-life doula, celebrant, and minister, my work revolves around the profound awareness that every day is a gift. “This is the only time I get to live today. I choose to enjoy it,” encapsulates the essence of my approach towards life.
In the presence of life’s impermanence, I’ve learned some invaluable lessons…