What is a Death Midwife?
Many people are familiar with the concept of a midwife who assists a mother-to-be with the birth of her child or children; a Death Midwife, as I see it, helps birth people into the Spirit World. She or he is a companion, even a guide, who supports the dying and their families by providing non-medical, holistic, compassionate care. Serving as a liaison between the medical and the funerary industries, the Death Midwife ensures that the end-of-life process is infused with dignity and respect for the dying throughout.
The needs of the dying are consciously articulated, written, and executed, and the role of the Death Midwife is to inform families of their full range of choices, based on the laws in their state of residence, regarding home funerals, body disposition, and other concerns. Death Midwifery is about investing families with a sense of control and conscious choice when they are at their most emotionally vulnerable and told that they have no choices on how to care for their dead, thereby wresting control away from a funeral industry–with its huge and politically powerful lobby in the U.S.–that insists on forcing costly and cumbersome products down consumers’ throats, in the name of “tradition,” even when growing numbers of people are discovering that the traditional funeral in America, besides being outrageously expensive, is becoming environmentally unsustainable.
Treating the Human Spirit
The Death Midwife is committed to upholding the dignity of the dying and for serving as a calm presence amidst the tumult of families navigating their options for a loved one nearing the end of her or his life journey. The value of genuine presence cannot be underestimated.
Vigils for the Dying
With the permission of the dying and her or his family, the Death Midwife can sit in silent vigil or perform rituals of release. Each experience is tailored to the unique needs of all affected, especially concerning religious belief or the lack thereof.
Know Your Rights
Laws vary by state on what the options are for body disposition and home funerals. Don't let traditional funeral homes railroad you into thinking that theirs is the only way to prepare a corpse for burial. In fact, in NO U.S. state is embalming required! A Death Midwife will help educate you on what your options are.
Some deaths are either so taboo in our society or else they are made fun of, and when these losses occur those who experience them undergo an added level of stress over having their grief disenfranchised--especially for women who have suffered miscarriages or abortions or people who have lost companion animals.
Supporting Those Who Grieve
I'm not a psychologist or a social worker but I am here to provide an emotionally supporting presence as well as spiritual counseling. No stranger to devastating deaths myself, I can help you devise personal or group rituals to help process trauma, give fuller expression to grief, and even plan and preside over funerals and memorial services.