To Read: How Death Doulas Offer Emotional Support, Education During Final Stages of Life

How Death Doulas Offer Emotional Support, Education During Final Stages of Life By Lydia Christianson | Jordan Independent News (1/29/20)

"Death. It’s a taboo topic for many — some avoid the topic altogether. But there are those who confront it head on and help the rest of us do so, too.

They’re called death doulas. Similar to birth doulas, who work with families at the early stages of life, death doulas help at the end."


To Read: The Surprising Benefits of Contemplating Your Death

The Surprising Benefits of Contemplating Your Death By Sigal Samuel | Vox (August 12, 2020)

"Mortality might seem like a scary thing to contemplate — in fact, maybe you’re tempted to stop reading this right now — but that’s exactly why I’d say you should keep reading. Death is something we really don’t like to think or talk about, especially in the West. Yet our fear of mortality is what’s driving so much of our anxiety, especially during this pandemic.

Maybe it’s the prospect of your own mortality that scares you. Or maybe you’re like me, and thinking about the mortality of the people you love is really what’s hard to wrestle with.

Either way, I think now is actually a great time to face that fear, to get on intimate terms with it, so that we can learn how to reduce the suffering it brings into our lives."

To Reflect: Be the Things

Picture of a cornfield with the words: "Be the things you loved most about the people who are gone."

Picture of a cornfield at sunset with the words: 
"Be the things you loved most about the people who are gone."
 


To Read: 'I Was Completely Unprepared': Confronting My Sister's Death"

‘I Was Completely Unprepared’: Confronting My Sister’s Death By John Troyer | The Guardian (3/24/20)

"Despite my lived experience and academic credentials on human mortality, I was completely unprepared for Julie’s untimely death at the age of 43. I was not unprepared in that way many people are wholly unprepared for a person to die. There was an element of that emotion, but I was raised to understand that any person, especially the people we know and love, unexpectedly die all the time."


To Read: Death Positivity in the Face of Grief

Death Positivity in the Face of Grief By Megan Devine | The Order of the Good Death (1/18/18)

"There’s so much potential inside what we know as death positive people, but there is a chasm there, between the ways we talk about death in the abstract, and the ways we live inside actual death and grief.

We’ve got to start talking about grief in the face of deaths that are not beautiful."

"What we’re really doing, in both the death positive movement and its sister, the grief movement, is turning towards what feels scary and painful. We’re building skills, and gathering knowledge – not to avoid grief, but to withstand it. To able to companion each other, no matter what comes."


To Read: When COVID Upended Her Career Plans, A Local Mortician Stepped Forward To Help Families Deal With Death

When COVID Upended Her Career Plans, A Local Mortician Stepped Forward To Help Families Deal With Death By Andy Steiner | MinnPost (6/2/20)

"Woosley had grown increasingly disenchanted with the modern Western approach to death and dying, the idea that families needed to be separated from their deceased loved ones, that funerals must take place in impersonal chapels, that the terminally ill must spend their last months on earth fighting death rather than reflecting on their lives."

"She gave her notice at the university, earned end-of-life doula and funeral celebrant certifications, created a website and set out to build connections for her business. “My next step was going to be outreach to nursing homes and senior living facilities, to start forming connections with staff and residents,” she said.

Then everything changed."

To Watch: We Don't "Move On" from Grief. We Move Forward With It - Nora McInerny

We Don't "Move On" from Grief. We Move Forward With It By Nora McInerny | Ted Talks (April 25, 2019)

"In a talk that's by turns heartbreaking and hilarious, writer and podcaster Nora McInerny shares her hard-earned wisdom about life and death. Her candid approach to something that will, let's face it, affect us all, is as liberating as it is gut-wrenching. Most powerfully, she encourages us to shift how we approach grief. 'A grieving person is going to laugh again and smile again,' she says. 'They're going to move forward. But that doesn't mean that they've moved on.'"