I believe the end-of-life doula profession is here to stay. However, I think it will continue to change and develop, and every EOLD practice will look different. There are too many variables for a one-size-fits-all practice model. Different communities and populations need different services, and different EOLDs have different strengths and skills they want to offer. In addition, the fact that we do not have an agreed upon definition or set of standards makes it difficult to educate the public about EOLDs so that they can be utilized. How do we fix all this? I don’t know, but I have some ideas. What do you think? Take the short survey here and receive the article "Full Moon Funeral" for free!
I recommend that doulas start by offering services that are already known about and in demand. In my experience, I have found that people want these things:
For example, I see a lot of students entering the profession because they are interested in sitting bedside and vigiling during active dying. But how realistic is it that a family will be comfortable inviting a stranger in to such a profound, emotional and private setting? If this is one of the aspects of doula work that draws you, you may need to become known in your community through offering other services.
I’d love to know your thoughts. Please fill out this short survey for anyone interested in EOLD work (aspiring or experienced). How do you feel about what I have said? What services do you (want to) offer? Everyone who submits their responses will receive a complimentary copy of an essay I wrote entitled “Full Moon Funeral,” about the first home funeral I attended in 2009. Thank you so much — I can’t wait to hear from you!
Join us every Wednesdays at 12 pm Eastern/9 am Pacific for discussion from other EOLDs. Register here to receive the link.