Coping with loss.

The practical aspects of planning for death are best taken step-by-step. The emotional aspects are another story. A Death Midwife can help you cope with the loss of your loved one both practically and emotionally.

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The story, or one version of it.

Your loved one is dying. There is nothing to do but be with them. They are in their own bed, in their own home, and comfortable. Their team of carers is nearby and readily accessible. The room is warm and softly lit, and your loved one’s favorite music is playing. A table near the bed holds a vase of their favorite scented flowers. You gently hold their hand, lightly stroking their fingers, perhaps talking softly, perhaps sitting silently, a loving, calming companion on their final journey.

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The story, or another version of it.

Your loved one is dying. Nothing has been done. No documents have been signed, no preferences discussed, no arrangements made. Your loved one is strapped in a hospital bed, with various tubes and lines snaking into their body. The room is cold and harshly lit, a cacophony of beeps, unfamiliar voices, and blaring TVs. Medicinal odors prevail. You are underprepared, overwhelmed, and frozen in a rising tide of fear, uncertainty, and regret.

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Which version would you choose for your loved one?

Let’s get real.

Obviously, these stories tell an ideal and a train wreck version of death. Is the ideal version possible? Yes. Is the train wreck version likely? Yes. Why? Over 80% of folks say they want to die at home, surrounded by loved ones. Only about 20% do. Over 80% of folks think it’s important to document one’s end-of-life wishes. Only about 20% do.

See the pattern? It’s all about the conversation and the documentation. Ask the questions. Document the answers. Repeat as needed.

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Having “The Talk”

No, not that one (we’re trusting that the birds and the bees conversation has already been covered!). We mean The Talk with your loved ones about end-of-life wishes, choices, and plans. Starting The Talk can be tricky, and it may take a few efforts before a conversation of substance occurs. Keep at it! When we know what our loved ones want, when we know all of the options available, and when we’ve taken steps to ensure the required documentation is in place, we can focus on what really matters: the lives we live together now.

Is your loved one nearing the end of their journey? Consider the services of a Death Midwife.

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The aftermath.

Your loved one is dead. You may feel gutted, lost, or numb. You may feel relief, and then guilt about feeling relief. You may feel nothing or everything. All of this is normal.

There isn’t one way to grieve. You don’t get grief “right.” The stages of grief are not checkboxes to be ticked. There is no magic number of weeks, months, or years that pass before you “get over it.” You don’t get over it. You learn to allow it, to honor it, and to live with it in your own way and on your own terms. The depth of your grief reflects the depth of your love. Both remain.

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