As my End Of Life Doula certification program comes to a close with Deanna Cochran of qualityoflifecare.org my teacher, mentor and friend, I’m even more unsure where this journey is taking me. To be honest, I’m frustrated. My head overloaded with information and it just keeps coming.
Over the last several months I have also lost a client to a very ugly way to go, and struggling with how unfair, brutal, confusing and out of touch our healthcare system/ institution is here. Spiraling lead me to a need to control. I gobbled up the chance to enroll and get certified in Advance Care Planning as a facilitator , just to make sure I know all the “rules” regarding necessary paperwork we must have in order to die “our way”. I was in over my head with this group accredited professionals and felt totally inadequate (my own insecurities with a lack of a college degree). As if this weren’t enough, I practically begged to be on the board of the Home Funeral Alliance ( North Texas branch), just to know the rules of engagement regarding the right to be buried “our way”. Thank you Mr. Bates for a pretty neat opportunity. “Power to the people!” I’m starting to sound like a 60’s anti government groupie.Just Say No campaign? So I’m covering all my basis for what? Certify, certify. Nothing wrong with continuing ed and gaining knowledge but why do I feel this will make me worthy of what I know I’ve been called to do. Like my mentor says, “just put on the cloak of a doula”. Maybe it’s for my own dying, death and funeral. Covering my basis and having such gifted people to help me when it’s my time?
I’ve become a bit cynical through all of this because although there is a true movement upon us, I’m not seeing a measurable amount of people taking advantage of so many of these resources and planning ahead. Once you are “locked” into a hospital setting, funeral home setting or any other entity that has taken over an illness, dying or death situation it becomes very difficult to get a key made and get out. Your own intuitions are slowly stripped away by intimidation, lack of preparation or knowledge in any of these areas. After all “they” know what is best for you and well, it is so much easier to just let someone else do all the work. Why has this become such a complicated process?
I have to admit, it does seem easier to pay someone else to do it all for us. The “rules” of engagement in these industries are fierce and oh so many. I’m completely overwhelmed by how deep and wide it has all become and find myself reading over and over and over again all of them. Dying our way is really hard to do. And well, just like any major event in our lives, can’t we just hire a “party planner”? I’m all for that if it’s what you want to do. My frustration is in regard to how difficult it is to do it yourself without so much legal tightrope walking. What is the big deal anyway? Yes it takes work and planning ahead but, the planning ahead can make the ending so much smoother and meaningful. A true gift to you and your loved ones. Dying our way can be the greatest party of all.
I want to close this blog by saying as I’ve said before. This is really a place for me to journal and rant. I’m not the worlds greatest writer (obviously), but I know my heart and passions. Just to be a source of comfort a cheerleader, a resource guide, to point someone in the right direction will make all of this worth while. My original goal involved advocating for a no fear, no pain and making sure no one dies alone death, their way. I’m still on the same road.
Peace and blessings