People facing illness and dying have been my greatest teachers, and sharing their walk has surely been the deepest honor. This is called “Death Doula” work by some. Yet deathwork as I do it extends well beyond bedside vigil to include many aspects of life, change and loss.
“Deathwork” is not just for the actively dying. It can begin at any time, including in childhood. It may be a present in a loss, a life change, a difficult diagnosis, a terrorist attack, a death of a pet, of someone we love, or just someone whose death opens deeper questions around mortality. It includes dealing with a 20 year old’s existential anxiety or a 66 year old’s fears about aging, for example.
When faced with the issues around illness, aging or dying in our culture, there is usually a lot of education that needs to be done. Consider me a tutor. Supporting this passage with an experienced fellow traveler and learning a little more about life processes can make the road a lot easier when meaning is hard to find. Together we help the traumatic become both more manageable and meaningful step by step.
Grief Work of course walks hand in hand with Death Work. In some ways these processes aren’t at all separate. However working with grief we focus more on the issues of loss, sorrow, regret, relationship healing, closure and transformation. In reality, all relationships are forever. And they are all finite. With that insight we will learn to release what is gone, take tender care of continuing bonds and work to resolve unfinished business. I will help you complete some aspects of your relationship, and transform other aspects. Understanding energy, relationships and the body is of profound help to this care. I will help you re-stabilize your body, your energy system and your identity so that you can more easily reclaim your life and health after loss, continuing to move in the flow of life.