Let’s talk about dying again, this year.

I began my certification program April of 2015 with Deanna Cochran and her excellent course “Accompanying the Dying” along with a group of incredible people connecting from all over the world.  An End-of-Life Doula training journey that has been such a powerful experience for me.  I also felt compelled to take a facilitator certification course presented by The Coalition for Quality End of Life care called, “Respecting Choices.” I mentioned in my last blog becoming a board member for Funeral Consumers Alliance of North Texas as if this wasn’t enough. I thank you Jim Bates for your patience and legal expertise in how to bury your dead. There were some pretty interesting cases and well, we never seemed unable to make it funny. “Keep it simple”.

These along with various volunteer and philanthropic duties have kept me as we say, immersed in unknown territories and treading water in information overload.  Have I taken on too much?  Do I really know what I’m doing?  And, feeling like at times that not many are really listening to what I have to say about how bloody important it all is.

“If you build it they will come”, is the mantra that runs in my brain sometimes.  Or as my teacher and mentor Deanna says so beautifully “just put on and wear your cloak of a Doula, don’t worry about the rest.”  So being referred to as “the lady that talks about death all the time”, feels ok now.  It took sometime to accept that it just isn’t a normal topic most care to discuss. You know, can’t we talk about shopping or gun control?  So I’ve accomplished some pretty amazing things this last year professionally and I’m excited to see what next year offers in this field.

2016 I’ve decided to pursue an opportunity with an organization that offers their photography service to those that have lost a child.  To chronicle the dead loved one and capture forever the sacred journey of letting go. I’ve followed this group on Facebook and realized that my fascination with this scenario comes from my experiencing my sister’s sweet little girl Maggie dying shortly after a premature birth in a hospital.  Me insisting on seeing the body of the precious little child in the bowels of the hospital morgue drawer. My sister drugged and overwhelmed with grief with absolutely no compassion from medical staff. Do I have the “skills as a photographer”, no but I can put on the cloak of a Doula and have no problem around the dead or dying….or advocating.  These are skills that are not always learned in academia.

So, again I’m listening to my life experiences pointing the way. What I want to be different this year for me is to “wear my cloak”.  Last year/ the past, I struggled with insecurities from my not being “degreed” and thus not credible within certain professional circles and unable to implement my skills.  This year, I am embracing my unique yet taboo public persona and never forgetting those I was able to help….last year/ the past.

One person or situation at a time. Slowing down and practicing presence is vital. Experiencing each time connection is made no matter how small and allowing this alone to give meaning to my existence.

May this year you find your purpose no matter how big or small in the worlds eyes and be ok with it.

Peace and blessings




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