My passion for end-of-life care emerged through my work as a speech language pathologist, working in hospitals. Through this, I participated in end-of-life discussions as my patients' swallowing abilities declined. I witnessed a large disconnect between how people were expressing they would want their end-of-life to look and what was occurring in hospitals and care facilities. Most people never had conversations with their loved ones about the care they would or would not like to receive and how they would want to die. Often times, families did not know they had options and were forced to make decisions based in fear. Per a 2021 study published in the Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 90% of people say talking to their family about end of life care is important, yet only 27% have actually had this conversation.
I knew there had to be a better way - that we could restore people's autonomy and dignity at end-of-life, honoring them fully in their final chapter and removing some of this burden from their family and loved ones. Through my research, I discovered the emerging field of death doulaship, where I could serve people holistically at end-of-life and assist their families in carrying forward these final wishes.
I have a strong passion for advance care planning prior to and/or immediately following a terminal diagnosis as this planning can bring calmness to what could otherwise be a chaotic experience. Although we cannot prevent the grief that comes with the death of someone we love, we can remove much of the stress - We can choose peace.
I completed Doulagiver Specialist training through the Doulagivers Institute. I have earned the NEDA EOL Doula Proficiency Badge, and I am currently a member in INELDA (International End-of-Life Doula Association) and NHFA (National Home Funeral Association).