What's this all about?
A birth doula is someone who provides 'advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth'. An end of life doula does the same thing but for the dying.
Assisting the dying and their families to gain some sense of control and purpose during life's last chapter is incredibly humbling. Spending time at the bedside and guiding discussions on life meaning, legacy projects, planning for vigils and last moments are what end of life doulas are trained and called to do.
If you or a loved one is facing palliative/hospice care, illness, or aging and it has you or them thinking about mortality and precious time on earth, please give us call.
Meet Our Doulas
As a young person, Jane companioned her grandmother and a good friend through their last years and developed a deep concern for end-of-life care. She has spent many years doing volunteer work with the ill and elderly during a career in Information Technology. Now, in the role of end of life doula, Jane is able to pursue her lifelong passion for palliative and hospice care and working with the elderly. She brings all her life experience to her business, Transition with Tranquility, and believes that this new path in her life has been divinely driven. She thinks Atul Gwande's Being Mortal accurately describes the current paradigm on death and dying as being decided by doctors rather than patients. "Medical professionals concentrate on repair of health, not sustenance for the soul..... For more than half a century now we have treated the trials of sickness, aging and mortality as medical concerns." Jane feels it is long past time to treat dying as a natural process and let the dying decide how their last chapter will read. Jane feels humbled to be supporting the dying as a compassionate and objective end of life doula.
Colleen Duewel, MPH, CMC
Colleen has worked in health care and community health for over 20 years. She began her career in international public health and was also a certified labor doula and labor doula trainer. Supporting the process of bringing people into the world was such a powerful and transformative process Colleen knew she would one day work on the other end of life, though the role of end of life doula was not yet developed.
Working with older adults and those facing life-limiting illness is Colleen’s true passion. She has extensive experience as an Advanced Care Planner, certified geriatric care manager, nursing home ombudsman, certified dementia practitioner and hospice visitor. Colleen’s goal is to empower and support individuals in making their own choices with regard to end of life.
Marey Oakes, LMT
A licensed massage therapist since 1988, Marey has helped hundreds of people achieve physical and emotional well being via informed, compassionate touch. She is certified in numerous bodywork modalities including geriatric and oncological massage. Over the span of four decades, Marey has studied spiritual formation, pastoral counseling and worked for a variety of nonprofits in the Washington DC area. Her desire to work as an end of life doula is an inevitable next step in a non-traditional career path centered on promoting peace in the face of stress and uncertainty.
Because conditions surrounding death and dying in the United States today are so often sterile, lonely and chaotic, Marey sees the role of an end of life doula as a valuable resource and supportive presence for the dying and their families. She believes this exceedingly vulnerable time in a person’s life is also the most transformational. Marey feels life has fully prepared her to serve in this singular role and that it would be her great privilege to do so.