The following information was graciously provided by Tawnya, an End-of-Life Doula at Dear Departures.
What is an End-of-Life Doula (EOLD)? EOLDs provide non-medical support to the dying and their circle, working alongside hospice (not in lieu of it.) Services may include but are not limited to: caregiving, respite, legacy projects, life review, care planning, vigil planning, sitting vigil, and bereavement support.
What is a Home Funeral Guide (HFG)? Most people don’t know that it is legal in all fifty states to have a viewing/wake in the privacy and comfort of their own home. Home Funeral Guides teach families how to care for their dead, within their comfort level, rather than outsourcing that care to a funeral establishment. The benefits of home funerals include privacy, intimacy, familiarity, cost-savings, and an abundance of time, as well as the ability to be hands-on, which can be therapeutic for the bereaved. Home funerals are, at their core, a reclamation of families’ rights.
What is a Life-Cycle Celebrant? Life-Cycle Celebrants are specially trained to craft and officiate custom ceremonies for events like weddings, baby blessings, and in the case of Dear Departures’ specialty, funerals/memorials/celebrations-of-life. One of our favorite offerings, known as living funerals or “exit parties” are events where the dying person is the still-living guest of honor at their very own send-off! We also offer pet death ceremonies. Great time and care are taken during our process to gather stories that are then woven into a personalized ceremony, to create an event true to who the honoree is, or was, in life!
Services an End-of-Life Doula Can Provide
There are many exceptionally helpful things a Doula can do for you and your family, including:
End-of-life care, planning, and legacy projects as an added layer to hospice.
Support families who choose not to hire the services of a funeral home, by opting for a family-directed home funeral (wake/viewing.)
Craft custom ceremonies for funerals/memorials/celebrations of life whether a family is using a funeral home, or not.
Offer educational events on topics of death and dying, within the community.