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The role of the death doula: 'We're companions to the dying and their families'

14 February 2021 12:28 PM
Tags:
dying
death doula
death midwife
end of life

Death doulas are slowly shifting the way that society perceives mortality.

A death doula, or death midwife, is a person whose work focuses on supporting the dying and their families as they navigate the final stages of life.

RELATED: Terminally ill doctor and patient head to court in latest case over right to die

They offer compassionate listening, physical, emotional and spiritual support, bedside vigil, end-of-life planning, and bereavement support, explains death doula Abedah Musengi.

She says it's important to openly communicate about death and dying so that our loved ones can die with dignity and compassion.

"We're companions to the dying and their families and their caregivers," Musengi tells CapeTalk.

RELATED: WATCH: 'Talking about death is not morbid, it helps us live more fully

A death doula won't replace the services of licensed physicians. We are an added layer of support.

Abedah Musengi, death doula

The idea is to step into the gap and provide holistic care [on top of] what physicians are already doing.

Abedah Musengi, death doula

A death doula is a caring witness. Some of us have a medical background and some of us have a non-medical background.

Abedah Musengi, death doula

There's definitely a deathphobic attitude that keeps us in the dark about this inevitable, inescapable experience.

Abedah Musengi, death doula

RELATED: How death doulas are changing the face of end-of-life care

Listen to the in-depth discussion on Weekend Breakfast with Sara-Jayne King:




14 February 2021 12:28 PM
Tags:
dying
death doula
death midwife
end of life

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