Discovering What Death can teach us about Living Fully
Today we are having a conversation about the end of life and support we can use, with our guest Mindy Relyea. Mindy is the founding director of One Wish World, a humanitarian, and a friend. She feels dedicated to sitting with those who suffer and inviting others to do the same. As a Certified End of Life Doula, Mindy believes we can truly enrich our lives by engaging in nurturing conversations around death and dying. She helps us share the vulnerable, tender parts of our hearts and our lives.
So what is a Death Doula? "An end-of-life doula is a person who provides emotional, social, spiritual, and practical support to those who are planning for or nearing end-of-life. They focus on a continuity of care throughout all stages of end-of-life, which typically begins with diagnosis and proceeds through to death, and then beyond into post-death bereavement support." We are familiar with birth Doula's, trained non-medical professionals, who attend to the birth of a new baby. They offer support to the mother and all who are present to welcome this new life into a family. Very similarly, a Death Doula works on the other end of life. They help prepare family members to say goodbye to their loved ones and to assist the dying with fears, doubts, and all of the concerns that come when we face the end of life. We can easily understand and welcome birth. It's adding life and love to our ever-growing families. Death, on the other hand, requires us to say goodbye to life long love, companionship, and very close members of our tribe. Saying goodbye asks us to go through life without conversations, touch, comfort, and physical presence of those we hold so dear. Talking about death helps us dive deeper into our own fears around it. Having a Doula allows us to process the fear, and learn how to move forward with our own living. It's offering tools to survive when the pain of loved ones dying feels shattering and paralyzing. Her organization also offers support when death is an unexpected visitor. They are able to teach coping skills when our loved ones are taken too soon or unexpectedly.
Mindy's organization Ever Presence is holding a symposium in December called "Conversations on Death + Dying and Living Well." The Zen Hospice Project will be offering a workshop, and you will hear from experts in the field.
We believe that healing is born from the shadows. That fear leads us to courage, and life, as well as death, are where we grow, heal, and leave legacies. We will all hold death in our hands at some point. We are inviting this conversation to the table in hopes of educating and inspiring all of us to take a closer look at death. And to lean on the resources that are available to help us get through.
Sign up for the Symposium
December 7-8, 2019
623 State Street
Salt Lake CIty Utah