After conception or birth, receiving death is our final birth rite.
When we consider death not as punishment but rather a natural continuum of being born, we may begin to lean into, rather than recoil from dying. We can learn to allow death to uphold and inform us, just the way the rest of life (the time before active dying) does.
The taboo of death has too long eclipsed the need for our society to openly be with the dying. When we hide death in institutions and professional offices, we miss out on the opportunity to be part of the greatest mystery of life and consequently those dying suffer through this great disconnect until death. It is a great sorrow to die unmet and fearful. We can do much more for one another.
MAKING FRIENDS WITH DEATH
What if we could be witnessed, supported and given tools to begin to liberate our fears around our dying? And helped to deeply trust the inevitability of the process, in the certainty that your dying will occur? When we throw light upon the shadows, the unnamed fears therein can be seen, and once these are faced they lose their paralysing power over us.
This is our work.
The Work of the End-of-Life Doula to the Dying
The Doula bears witness, and companions the dying and their family in their last journeys. We attempt to empower them to be fully present with their dying in order to receive death as another landmark of life. A doula brings comfort and knowledge to the end of life with absolute presence to the process unfolding for all involved. We advocate for the dying person and focus on being of practical, spiritual and emotional support.
We pledge to use our skills to encourage open and deeper communication, to always speak truth and accept what is. And finally, we pledge to never ever turn away.
Most essentially, we demonstrate faith in the person that is dying, that they truly have the ability to face any struggle and courageously see it through.
Sometimes just a phone call is enough to settle a difficult situation
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Preparing for a Peaceful Transition
Ultimately we have a choice. We may go to our death filled with fear and denial, or we may choose to gently address those fears now, while embodied on Earth. It is never too early or too late, while we still breathe.
If we can come to a place of total acceptance of all that our lives have been, and forgive everything in ourselves and others, we come to GRATITUDE for what we have had, and this is the most empowering place in which to transition to our deaths.
DYING IS SACRED WORK
There is something very sacred and meaningful in a life coming to completion. Letting go can be painful and difficult but also uniquely liberating and beautiful.
We emphasise the connection we have enjoyed, so meaningful in life, and is continued into death. We grieve the loss of the physical but we begin to come into the presence of the unending luminous nature of life.
A life coming to its end, needs to be deeply honoured. All life is a precious gift, and life in its dying phase is a sacred completion of what is. Doulas create the certainty of the sacred in the environment of the dying by working to return dying to its deeper truths.
The Doula service
When to enlist a doula to accompany the dying is a very personal choice and our service is deliberately flexible in response. As soon as you receive a terminal diagnosis, consider an initial conversation with a doula to help you navigate your final great work in dying, just as you did in birth.
A doula brings education and guidance, and the companionship of one who has travelled the road with the dying and accompanied them to the threshold of death. We support you to be in consciousness with the changes in your physical body and supply you with tools to enable you to gently surrender to your dying, in order to fully let go when the time comes. Our collective destiny is to be received into the deep arms of the mystery of death. This rightly awaits us, and is the most natural end to our birth.
HOME or HOSPITAL VISITS
Your very personal needs are paramount but the following may be a helpful guide:
A ONE TIME CONSULTATION - discussing what to expect, needs of the dying, end of life planning, your changing role as family, ways to completion for the one who dies.
2 OR 4 HOUR RESPITE CARE IN SITTING VIGIL WITH THE DYING - while family attends to other needs; shopping, appointments or family dinners. Whatever is needed.
LONGER OR OVERNIGHT VIGILIING as you require
REGULAR DAILY or WEEKLY VISITS and ON CALL BASIS
and ANYTHING ELSE BY ARRANGEMENT
Included in any of these, may be creating sacred space, facilitating deeper communication, creating a legacy project, listening and advocating, providing information on end of life options, sacred ritual, attending appointments, helping to navigate the path ahead through the creation of meaning, and to protect and heal, and spiritually strengthen the one who dies... for the journey ahead.
No one should die alone
This is the most fundamental practise of Sacred Earth Home Funerals. Human contact is so important for someone who is dying.
It is essential that people have the opportunity to be heard and honoured, with their truth being deeply validated before death in order to let death come peacefully. Holding on to life when it is ending is often the cause of suffering, because at the end our physical, emotional and mental bodies all need to let go together.
We consider authentic, non-judgemental and loving human connection with another human during their dying, the greatest standard of social and personal change in our century. We must meet the dying without judgement in order to see their magnificence as an embodied spiritual being, and we must help them see themselves in the same way.
To this end, it is vitally important that people do not continue to face their deaths unempowered, afraid and disenfranchised.
*** PLEASE DO NOT LET FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS STOP YOU FROM REACHING OUT FOR DOULA COMPANION SERVICES AT END OF LIFE. WE WILL HELP.
There are many of us deeply honoured to serve at this time, to reclaim our tradition of care, and
also as a personal honouring of life. We can all support one another in life and in death.
Do call us. For yourself, or for someone you love.
"We are all just walking each other home" - Ram Dass