I am one of thousands on the front lines caring for our families, friends and neighbors at the scene of death and dying, and I am honored to be here with you.
How could I be grateful for the death and death of my mother? In fact, gratitude lurks under the heavy cloak of grief, even though it can feel incredibly heavy when you're carrying someone to their death. Even as a registered nurse with many years of experience in hospice (RN) care, I was not prepared for my mother's death. As I went through the process of dying with hundreds of others, including my mother, I asked myself questions about my ability to serve as a companion along the way: "But I never died," "I never came that close to being a leader." , "How can I accompany someone to a place I have never been?" However, I am grateful for the many privileges I have experienced as an end-of-life nurse and doula, and know that I would not have seen what I saw or experienced what I did without playing that role.
I feel deep gratitude for this ability to support people in vulnerable moments.
Caring for and serving humanity at the deepest level at the end of life is almost an innate passion of mine: it is at the core of who I am; I cannot leave it like a snake skin, although I have tried several times to get out of it and walk in a new skin outside the realm of death and death. But he couldn't be away for long. An increasing pressure within me would build until I returned to this ministry. Druck, if he had a voice, would say, "It's not fair to be left alone, kept out of reach, when so many people need what I have."
I feel deep gratitude for this ability to support people in vulnerable moments. There is no other place I would rather be at the moment it happens. The trust, the trust, the belief that people place in my hands because I am an end-of-life nurse or doula is the greatest honor I can imagine. I am one of thousands on the front lines caring for our families, friends and neighbors at the scene of death and dying, and I am honored to be here with you.
Most of us hope that our loved ones will generously allow us or even want us to take care of them. But to my great surprise, people can often resist being treated.
I am deeply indebted to all the people who have allowed me to care for them. Not everyone is open to being cared for, and it's a privilege when someone lets you in. Most of us hope that our loved ones will generously allow us or even want us to take care of them. But to my great surprise, people can often resist being treated. And so this allow-follow has a great meaning for me. It means that I have somehow earned the right to be with someone who has limited breath to live, limited energy to share, and limited time to be together. Every moment at the end of life is incredibly precious, and yet people allow me to offer support. Wow.
The intimacy that I can share with people is beyond the limits of what I thought I could have for each other. I am constantly expanding my capacity to support more and each year feels lighter than the year before. My love continues to grow and for that I have to thank each and every one of those who shared his death with me and his loved ones. Seeing someone through to the end of their life helps me share the love with the next person I serve. This love nourishes me and helps me to do this beautiful work.
When I meet people who are dying, sometimes we have a moment together where each of us is confused. Each of us knows, though no one consciously admits or realizes it, that the person whose eyes I am looking at is dying. You know that I know. I know that they know that I know. We may be the only ones who know. There is a deep intimacy in that and in the dying man's decision to share this moment with me. This awareness is a gift.
My small contribution to helping someone feel safe while traveling through unfamiliar territory is priceless.
The author's mother visits her childhood home one year before her death.
I am also moved by the opportunity to walk people through the "humiliations" of death and disease that most people find sickening when they experience them in the moment; I want you to be able to feel my loving presence in those moments when they happen. "I've seen/heard/smelled worse," I tend to say, even when I haven't (but I usually have). My small contribution to helping someone feel safe while traveling through unfamiliar territory is priceless.
My gratitude for the privilege, vulnerability, and intimacy of being with others in death carried through my experience of my mother's death, even though we had a very complicated life together. Despite this, she wanted me by her side at all times after her death. She was diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer and she died at five weeks. With this diagnosis, I thought that I would never get the love that I had wanted from her for so long. She would be too busy dying. But it turned out that he was wrong. It took me years to realize, sometimes that realization comes very slowly, that my motherhe loved meby your side at every moment of death. And that this was actually a form of love. She found confidence and comfort in my presence. Allowing me to take care of her was the greatest gift from her, turning all her hurt feelings to dust the night before she fell into a deep apathy. I didn't expect this to happen.
I didn't introduce myself at the moment. But when I appeared without expecting any of my care and love, I had the opportunity to receive it.
The gift was so powerful that I felt reborn that night. Because I showed up, even though I didn't want to see what I saw, I had the opportunity to receive. I didn't introduce myself at the moment. But when I appeared without expecting any of my care and love, I had the opportunity to receive it.
I am who I am as a person because, in those moving moments, I come out to people, most of whom are strangers, because I am deeply called to do so, and because people allow me to accompany, witness and serve. How can I do it? . Each experience shapes me and refines this work with the end-of-life journeys I choose. But more than that, the precious moments with others are part of the love that drives me to love myself and for that I am deeply grateful.
DeannaCochran RN, one of the leading voices in the end-of-life doula movement, is the founder ofquality of life care, home of Certified CareDoula®, a complete system for training EOL certified doulas. She is creating innovative palliative care doula programs and advocating for palliative care access and unity within the movement. She is chair of the NHPCO EOL Doula Advisory Council and a founding member of the National End of Life Doula Alliance. Your #1 Amazon Best Seller,Caring for the Dying: Practical, Heart-Centered Wisdom for End-of-Life Doulas and Public Health Advocates, is where good books are sold.