End of Life Companion

End of life Companion, End of Life Care, Death Doula, Soul Midwifery

Marisa offers non-medical, holistic companionship to guide and support the dying in order to facilitate a gentle and tranquil death.

On the torDoula is an ancient Greek word that translates as “woman who serves.” Specifically, it’s come to mean someone who serves as a birth attendant, a person trained in childbirth who acts in support of a birthing mother. A doula provides knowledge, comfort, and an extra pair of hands — whether it’s to provide nourishment or massage, or help a mother find a comfortable position. Increasingly, doulas are helping people with leaving the world as well.

End of life doulas sits vigil with dying individuals, providing a continuous and compassionate presence through the final hours. Based on the concept of a birth doula, a death doula or soul midwife honours the sacred nature of the dying process as a natural part of the cycle of life and helps individuals achieve a ‘good death’.

Soul Midwives LogoMarisa has trained with Kris Hughes, William Bloom and with Felicity Warner on a Soul Midwifwery course. ‘A Soul Midwife works with individuals to enable them to regain some control over their situation and to ensure that their independence is maintained and choices and preferences are heard and worked towards being achieved’.

What does a Soul Midwife do?

  • Helps individuals to plan and prepare a death plan
  • Provides comfort and support through the dying process
  • Supports individuality, choice and independence
  • Creates and holds a sacred and healing space for the dying person
  • Keeps a loving vigil
  • Visits the individual at home, in hospital or in a hospice
  • Provides a listening ear to the individual and their family
  • Provides gentle therapeutic techniques and compassionate care
  • Provides practical support such as essential shopping or housework
  • Supports the individual in enjoying their remaining time as much as possible
  • Offers complementary therapies for the individual, to aid relaxation and symptom control
  • Offers complementary therapies to the individual’s loved ones
  • Uses sound, touch, smell and other gentle techniques to help alleviate pain and anxiety
  • Works with sound therapeutically, including using singing bowls, voice and drum
  • Provides hands-on personal care for the individual
  • Is present at hospital appointments if required
  • Provides support for the individual in carrying out preferred spiritual and religious practices prior to and after death
  • Provides respite for family members to enable them to have a rest
  • Provides support in carrying out the individual’s plans prior to and after death
  • Cares for the person after death, in accordance with their wishes
  • Offers to visit the loved ones of the individual after death, to share experiences and to talk about and reflect upon the experience
  • Makes a good cup of tea
  • Supports families and loved ones.

See the next page for general information about Death Doulas.

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