Doulas are the bookends of life – Just as a Birth Doula is there at the beginning, an End of Life Doula is there for the end. Meaning that the last months or weeks or days are compassionate, calm, natural and as normal as can be. (attrib. End of Life Doula UK)
Conversation between a patient and an EOL Doula,
Patient: Please tell me about end-of-life doulas? I’m feeling a mix of emotions, can you bring me some comfort.
Doula: My role is to be your companion providing support during this meaningful time. I’m not a medical professional, but I’ll give you and your loved ones emotional, spiritual, and practical assistance.
P: How exactly can you help me?
D: I’ll be a listening ear and comforting presence. When you’re scared or worried, I’m here to understand and provide solace. I can explain what you might experience and help you make decisions in line with your wishes. I want to be a source of support for you throughout this journey.
P: It will be reassuring to know that you’re there for me, but what about practical things too?
D: Practical assistance is an important part of what I do. I can help create a peaceful environment for you and make sure your surroundings are comforting. Help out with organizing your personal belongings and guide you towards necessary care services. If your loved ones need a break, I can step in and provide support, giving them some respite.
P: Rituals and ceremonies hold great meaning for me. Can you guide me in that?
D: I understand the significance of rituals and ceremonies, so I can help you create meaningful experiences. We can plan ceremonies that honour your life and allow your loved ones to gather, share memories, and find comfort together. We can create a space that reflects your journey and the love surrounding you.
P: What do you feel is your purpose as an end-of-life doula?
D: My aim is to enhance your quality of life. I want to make sure you feel respected, comfortable, and emotionally supported. With medical professionals, hospice teams, and your caregivers, I hope to provide an inclusive style to your end-of-life care. Your well-being, physically and emotionally, is my priority.
P: Your presence and support all sounds very comforting and I think I should have you as my end-of-life doula.
D: The decision is completely up to you. I believe that having an end-of-life doula can bring you and your loved ones comfort and guidance during this reflective journey. While I don’t replace medical or hospice care, I work alongside them to provide an extra layer of understanding and support. I’m here to assist you and help make this transition as peaceful as possible.
Patient: Thank you for being here and explaining all this to me.
Doula: You’re most welcome. It would be a privilege to be part of your journey and provide the support you need. Remember, I’m here for you whenever you need someone to talk to or if you have any more questions.