There is a lot of debate in the community about what we should call ourselves. Every time I sit down with folks to talk, I try to determine from their demeanour which phrase works best. My business cards say 'End-of-Life' Doula, the softer of the two titles. But I think that we have to open up the conversation so that 'death' or 'end-of-life' are interchangeable.
I see my main role as a support for those in various stages of dying, as we all are. I am working with a young couple now who have a couple of children. They are folks that I have known for a while, and they actually asked me to talk with them. We briefly talked about whether I wanted to be called one or the other, and I expressed my openness to be referred to by whatever made people more comfortable. But usually, by the end of the first session, the terms become insignificant.
When someone talks with you about the topic of death, how do you feel about the terms used? Does the word 'death' conjure up negative thoughts and imagery? When talking about end-of-life, does it open up the space more for you to hear either of those words?
Tell me more in the comments below! (PS. The view from my balcony a couple of days ago!)