Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Why I Became An End of Life Doula | Once I've Gone

"I decided then, – an exact moment that I can recall with perfect clarity – that I would stop someone from dying alone, like he did. I understand now, that I wanted revenge against death, or redemption for myself and my inability to be there for him. What it amounted to, was for this optimistic, arrogant, ambitious and grieving seventeen year old girl, to change the way we die, to design a new and better ending.

I was naïve. But today, in my role as an end of life doula, I can sometimes come close. If I’m able to make a difference to the end of someone’s life, I feel grateful and thoroughly privileged.

Getting to this position has been to follow long and wandering path, with the obstacles and diversions that life presents slowing me down. But it was a path that led from his death and my decision. That experience, that loss, is the reason I am an end of life doula.

Neil Gaiman wrote: I’ve been making a list of the things they don’t teach you at school. They don’t teach you how to love somebody. They don’t teach you how to be famous. They don’t teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don’t teach you how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer. They don’t teach you how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind. They don’t teach you what to say to someone who’s dying. They don’t teach you anything worth knowing.

There is nothing on Earth – nothing inevitable, anyway – that we are prepared for less than death, and I just don’t understand why that is. Where is our guidance for this? This thing that every single one us will have to face?"

Why I Became An End of Life Doula | Once I've Gone

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