As an End-of-Life Doula, I offer support and guidance across the entire end-of-life journey. I founded Consulting Betwixt to partner with people who are at a threshold. After a diagnosis or receiving the news of a limited time to live, people enter a new world. Life is no longer as it was, but there is still life to be lived. I work with people who are dying and their loved ones to help them navigate this space “betwixt” with grace, care and thoughtfulness so that when the dying time comes, everyone is held in a weave of support and can be fully present to face, or witness, the most important transition anyone undergoes.
I have deep experience in partnering with people through change and bring skills in active listening, guided visualization, facilitation, legacy project development and other practices to support the dying person and their caregivers. I offer a spectrum of approaches from practical planning to soul work and tailor offerings to fit your needs and interests.
I have nearly completed an apprenticeship with Amantha Murphy, an Irish Seabhean (sha-van) or wise woman who leads women to reconnect with a spirituality rooted in the land, seasons, and divine feminine. Photos from my pilgrimages to Ireland's ancient sacred sites appear throughout this website. The one to the right is of me visiting the Hill of Ward near Athboy, a sacred site dedicated to Tlachtga, an Irish deity associated with guiding souls over the threshold of death.
Though I have found my spiritual home rooted in the Celtic lands of Ireland and Scotland, I have spent my life learning about varied spiritual traditions and practices and I am committed to fully honoring the cultures, religions and backgrounds of dying individuals. I will partner with you to create a process that lovingly reflects your values and traditions.
An end-of-life doula, or death doula, is someone who partners with a dying person and their loved ones to shape the dying process into an experience that is whole-making, loving and honoring of the life lived. I was trained by Henry Fersko-Weiss, founder of the International End-of-Life Doula Association (INELDA), and I find INELDA's three-phase model of care a useful framework for doula service:
Summing Up and Planning. In the early days of service, I may work with the dying person to review their life and create a remembrance project. As that work unfolds, I will help the dying person and loved ones create a vigil plan that expresses their wishes for how they would like to be supported in those final days. These supports can include creating and holding a supportive space for the dying person that could include designing personalized guided meditations to manage pain or fear, for example. I help people face fears, seek resolution and closure, say goodbye and leave a legacy of love, gratitude and forgiveness.
The Vigil. During the last days of life, I will provide presence at the bedside, emotional support, guidance on the dying process, assistance with practical care, and respite for caregivers. During a vigil, I will work in multiple-hour shifts one or more times a day as needed or requested, until the dying person is near the end. Near the end I will remain for longer shifts to provide presence through the death and into the time immediately afterwards to support loved ones through the process.
Reprocessing and Early Grief. In the weeks after the death, I reach out to help loved ones process their experiences and share memories, provide information about the grief process, and facilitate some early work through grieving and navigating the demands of returning to the daily routines of life.
I provide a variety of supports based on your needs and wishes. These can include:
Advance care planning
Sitting vigil during the active dying period
Connecting with other service providers (home funeral, green burial, etc.)
Workshops, Death Cafes and Presentations on death, dying and grief
Conscious dying guidance/education
Guided visualizations and embodying practices
Death meditations and virtual or in-person living funerals
Grief partnering (in-person or virtual options).
Ritual and ceremony