I adapt my services to each client's individual needs, dreams, and the unique alchemy of our connection. Below are descriptions of what a service can include or what it may look like overall. Don't see something that meets your needs? Let's talk. (Adaptability and creativity are part of what I love about my vocation!)

At times, if my life and other clients' situations permit it, I can travel to work with folks outside the DC metro (I love to travel!). If you live far, but are interested in my services, please don't hesitate to contact me. If I can't personally serve you, perhaps I could recommend a colleague in your area.


A beloved client and me. She has since passed. Photo courtesy of photographer Logan Mock-Bunting and Joseph's House.

A beloved client and me. She has since passed. Photo courtesy of photographer Logan Mock-Bunting and Joseph's House.

DOULA TO THE DYING

sliding scale pricing--I'm committed to providing as much accessibility to my services as I can. Please contact me to discuss pricing options and care needs. Since the needs of every individual and family vary so much, we can work out a specific structure that provides the necessary services and not the unnecessary ones; at a price that works for both of us. Please don't hesitate to contact me, regardless of your financial situation.

What is a doula to the dying? Please see FAQs & Resources.

Doula services may include:

  • accompaniment at home, to appointments, and around town
  • companionship for individuals and loved ones before, during, and after dying
  • holding space during the active dying process; bringing a sense of ease, groundedness and experience to the room
  • listening deeply
  • helping folks to parse out dreams at the end of life; and then pursuing them together!
  • helping with mundane tasks that can allow time for families and communities to maximize quality time together
  • assisting families as they plan funerals, advanced care directives, and rituals
  • offering information about local resources, to support families in making informed decisions around burial, green burial options, caskets, cremation, service-providers, etc.
  • showing up with an open mind and the flexibility to meet the needs at hand
  • on-call support for dying individuals and their families--response within a mutually pre-determined time such as 24 hours, or 2 hours when nearing active dying
  • around-the-clock presence at the time of active dying
  • advocating within medical, social, religious, legal spheres
  • attentively getting to know folks' community, to be able to discern humbly how to respond in different situations
  • projects like life reviews, art, story recording, and other ways folks want to process and preserve a legacy
  • developing a loving relationship in which individuals can feel truly seen
  • holding space for empowerment and decision-making, using mindfulness to keep my own reactivity and "internal agenda" at bay
  • spiritual support such as sharing in prayer or meditation, or participating in rituals together
  • working in collaboration with hospice and families, to monitor care and symptoms
  • skilled physical care such as bathing, changing, lifting, aspects of daily living; teaching families "tricks of the trade"
  • supporting the family so they can bathe and dress their loved one's body after death, with gentle and loving care
  • creating a physical atmosphere of tranquility
  • my services are rooted in a foundation of presence above all else; whatever task is at hand--they are variant and unpredictable--I aim to do it with a kind, compassionate, open presence

 


Remnants of a simple home remembrance ceremony, with red candles forming the shape of a ribbon, in honor of individuals with HIV.

Remnants of a simple home remembrance ceremony, with red candles forming the shape of a ribbon, in honor of individuals with HIV.

Remnants of a simple home ceremony that took place out on the front porch.

Remnants of a simple home ceremony that took place out on the front porch.

HOME FUNERAL GUIDE

sliding scale pricing--I'm committed to providing as much accessibility to my services as I can. Please contact me to discuss pricing options and care needs. Since the needs of every individual and family vary so much, we can work out a specific structure that provides the necessary services and not the unnecessary ones; at a price that works for both of us. Please don't hesitate to contact me, regardless of your financial situation.

What is a home funeral? Please see FAQs & Resources.

Home funeral services may include:

  • education about what a home funeral is and how it's done
  • preparing communities to feel confident in having a home funeral (yes, you can do it!)
  • teaching family and friends how to lovingly and skillfully care for the deceased's body after death, and how to keep it cool and in the home for up to three days
  • empowering individuals and their loved ones to plan rituals and ceremonies that feel right, providing inspiration and ideas
  • working in collaboration with religious leaders or funeral directors if families so choose
  • referrals to home-funeral friendly cemeteries or cremation services
  • education about green burial, support in decision-making and implementing practices that are in harmony with the environment
  • holding space for creative endeavors such as singing, shroud-making, or casket-making; encouraging therapeutic participation
  • referrals to skilled, trustworthy practitioners for grief therapy, massage, energy work, etc.
  • providing a grounded, easeful, experienced presence--for some families, this can shift an intimidating, scary experience to a sacred, empowering experience
  • listening deeply
  • organization and pragmatic tasks (such as sending emails or even simply cooking food) that are needed groundwork for a home funeral
  • responding with flexibility and an open heart and mind
  • follow-ups and relationship-centered work
  • around the clock support in the immediate time post-death through the funeral
  • gentle and bold accompaniment from start to finish

An adaptive practice session with a client.

An adaptive practice session with a client.

MASSAGE THERAPY -- coming soon

(pricing TBD July 2017)

I am currently attending school to become a massage therapist, and will become licensed and able to practice in the summer of 2017. I was inspired to pursue massage therapy by experiencing the profound effect touch can have with those who are dying. I've seen that many times, touch is the last shared, sensual experience between loved ones; and I believe touch can relay presence and love. I've experienced myself--as both a "giver" and a "receiver" (though really it's not a dichotomy at all)--the healing that can arise when touch is skilled, therapeutic, intentional, and empowering.

My particular interests in the massage field lie at the intersection of how mental, emotional, and spiritual health show up in the physical body; how systemic justice issues are imprinted in our bodies; and how empowerment and holistic healing can take part in the shared space of client and therapist. My work with the dying has shaped my style of bodywork--it's simple, kind, respectful, and intuitive, and above all else, I value holding space for every unique being who shows up in our shared space.

I dream of one day becoming licensed to practice somatic experiencing, or another form of melded talk and body therapy. 


Enjoying a concert at the national mall with clients.

Enjoying a concert at the national mall with clients.

What I've learned about the end of life--it's all about relationship.

What I've learned about the end of life--it's all about relationship.

INDIVIDUALIZED SERVICES

(pricing determined upon discussion of service and financial situation)

We human beings don't fit into boxes--and neither do our needs. Please contact me if there's something within my general realm of practice that you'd like assistance with. This might include:

  • Doula/support services for individuals who are not dying, but dealing with a big change--perhaps a new diagnosis or disability, or a loss of another kind. My services are appropriate for those who don't know if they will live or die, and those who expect to live but are dealing with something challenging.
  • travel with individuals who are sick or dying, or to them with family/friends
  • rituals or remembrances honoring individuals who died some time ago, but who didn't have a ceremony or whose ceremony didn't meet their wishes or the needs of loved ones
  • "queering" care, funerals and rituals
  • rituals honoring losses or changes that aren't death
  • pet support for dying animals, and home funerals for beloved pets
  • creating space together for children to process grief and participate in relationship before and after death of a loved one
  • working in collaboration with clients and other service providers like hospice folks, funeral directors, and spiritual and religious leaders to create a melded, individualized experience
  • collaboration with other practitioners and artists focusing on end-of-life or mind-body-spirit issues--for research, partnership for projects, or mutual exploration & creativity
  • workshops and discussions
  • you tell me! I'd be delighted to talk with you.