“How a Death Doula Can Help Patients and Families” – nextavenue

“As with childbirth, doulas can help in end-of-life transitions.”


by Linda Childers | nextavenue

“Meredith Lawida still remembers the myriad of emotions she and her family experienced four years ago when her father-in-law’s health declined. Consumed by fear, exhaustion and uncertainty, they were unsure how to best support him during his last days, while also navigating their own grieving process.

“‘He had been in and out of hospitals and then one day he was gone,’ Lawida says. ‘And while he received wonderful care, I felt there was a gap between the medical treatment he received and the emotional support our family so desperately needed.’

“As Lawida began to process the loss of her father-in-law, she realized that death, like birth, is a life transition. Yet when she welcomed her son into the world, she and her husband had received support from a birth doula that had not only guided Lawida through a difficult natural childbirth, but also stood by her side physically and emotionally.

“‘I thought, “Why can’t there be something like that for the dying and their families?’” Lawida says.

“It turns out there was.”

Read this article at nextavenue.org in its entirety, click here.

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