In 2022 I undertook study to become an End of Life Doula. What is that you may ask? It essentially is going back to the way death and funerals were done generations ago. Before much of the funeral industry took this responsibility away from families.

In this work I see death as a natural and sacred part of life. Not something to fear. Often indigenous people do death well. I aim to respect peoples differing religious and cultural beliefs. I am always learning.

We need to demystify dying, and all that is associated with it. And see it as a natural, enevitable part of life for everyone.

Death scares many people. But, for those who embrace death, get involved, don’t shut the dead away; they find it a healing, strangely beautiful and precious place. Sure it is always going to be hard. But, giving that final gift of caring for someone alive and dead is something as yet, I have never known anyone to regret.

As we have more and more of an aging population, the funeral industry is going to grow. We need to explore other options, eco friendly disposal, less expensive alternatives, home funerals. We need to go back to how death has been done for centuries and family to take care of their own as much as the are able.

A Doula walks alongside a dying person and supports a family with their death journey. They assist in home care of the body, help with funerals, arrangements, generally assist the family to do it themselves if they want too. We try to empower others to have the best end of life experience they can.

Often when a loved one is dying, there are loads of questions and decisions to make. It is good to be able to not lose control of the proceedings, by having someone alongside you to advocate and know what is allowed to be done under NZ law.