Deciding to become a Death Doula was a big decision for me. I had to decide if I was comfortable with a lot of things; not just talking about death and dying with, well, anybody. I did not know how my family would feel about it. I was not sure if strangers would even want to sit down with me and discuss one of the least comfortable questions that we face as humans: How do I want to die?
Does anyone really want to talk about this?
As it turns out, yes, a lot of people do. It does not matter how close or far death is, most people have been waiting for the chance to talk, but in a safe space with someone who is able to navigate the question with compassion and empathy. Someone who can be frank, yet discerning when judging how far people are willing to look at the topic, as it relates to themselves and the ones they love.
And, even if you are comfortable talking about this with friends, family, or strangers, it is hard to leave the comforts of a biweekly pay period with regular deposits to take a chance that people will want to actually pay you for the time and effort you are willing to put into helping someone "die well".
I know that I have been interested in this subject for a long time. My spiritual path is filled with daily practices that help me work with the subject of my own death, as well as those with whom I am close. Like you, I have dealt with friends, relatives, pets and idols who have died. I have felt confused and helpless, wondering why my best friend decided to take his own life. Relatives that are getting older, or who may have debilitating illnesses that will eventually take away their ability to control their own lives are something that most of us understand, either from direct experience, or because friends have to face that in their own lives.
My goal is to provide the best guidance, succinct information, and a shoulder to rest on while people consider how they want to work with this thing we know will visit us all...eventually.
Please come back frequently to read new posts, or revisit something that helped you. Please do not hesitate to leave a message or a comment. Dialogues on Death will hopefully provide you with information, comfort, or something else that you need.