Company name: Till the Last
Company website: https://tillthelastdoula.com/
1) What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your EOL work?
The biggest challenge in working with the dying so far is that I don’t see them earlier on in the dying process. There has been a trend to shorter and shorter stays in hospice, and later acceptance of the fact that a terminal patient is going to die. The reasons for this are multiple. Currently, most of the dying persons that I have worked with have been through hospice, either in their homes or in a facility. I meet them where they are in the dying process and serve in whatever way possible. However, I would like to work with people earlier on, perhaps, from the point of diagnosis. What’s important is for EOL doulas to advocate for earlier referral by doctors and to help educate the public to understand the benefits of facing dying sooner. This can allow time for the dying person to review their life, find meaning, complete legacy projects, address unresolved issues, and even plan for and decide on what their last moments will look like. Having control in the process and finding comfort in knowing how their loved ones will be left behind can give great peace of mind to the dying.
2) What has been the most surprising success?
As an EOL doula, I serve to support the dying and their loved ones. The needs and wishes of the dying person are of the utmost priority, and my focus is to be their companion and advocate in the process. However, I have realized through my work that I can also help loved ones feel more at peace with the death of their beloved. When they see the dying person come to accept and take agency in death in a positive way, loved ones can also feel acceptance with end of life and be empowered to value, to care, to love, and to remember their loved one in a transformative way. The profound impact that my services have had on those left behind and the deep gratitude that I have received as a result has moved and surprised me.
3) Briefly describe your EOL work.
I became an EOL doula to help others plan for and cope with the overwhelming shock and sadness that facing death can bring. My approach to end of life is that it should be positive, meaningful, and affirming. I work with and support the dying and their family and loved ones with this aim. Using a holistic and compassionate approach to death, I support the dying one-on-one and help to advocate for and realize their needs and wishes. I provide comfort and care to the dying person and their loved ones, which may include emotional, physical, and informational support.