After earning an M.S. degree in Education and working in women’s health for several years, I had a homebirth 30 years ago which spurred me on to becoming a childbirth educator and labor doula. I came to believe in the value of supporting the natural process as much as possible, for both the mother’s and her baby’s sake.
While being with my mother in an inpatient hospice in 2010, I was struck by the similarities between the birthing and dying experiences. This epiphany sparked my desire to work in Hospice; subsequently, I became a Hospice & Palliative Care Volunteer with Jewish Family & Community Services, as well as a Volunteer with Kaiser Oakland Hospice.
Feeling there was a missing component for me in serving as a Hospice volunteer, I was thrilled to discover the work of End of Life Doulas, which is based on the model of how birth doulas serve women and their families. I trained with INELDA (International End of Life Doula Association) and am convinced of the tremendous contribution that providing this type of care offers to dying people and their loved ones.
Currently, I’m working with Kaiser Oakland Hospice to incorporate Doula services into their program, as well as continuing my education in End of Life issues, educating the public about our services, and working with Hospices to include Doulas on their teams to enhance their service delivery..
Re: Comings & Goings… I chose the name (rather, it chose me) to reflect my fascination with both of these most basic realities of being human and their similarities, and being drawn to helping to guide people through their entrances into – and exits from — this world.