More About EOL / Death Doulas from a UK expert

You can listen to Professor Allan Kellehear from the UK talk about the role EOL Doulas can play in individual lives, as well as our role in death literacy.

If you are wondering if an End Of Life Doula is a good fit for your compassionate community then please do not hesitate to get in touch. I am an EOL Doula who specialises in information transfer, client advocacy, consumer rights, vigilling, and after-death support.
Let’s talk.

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Why Mamma Mia 2 – here we go again is a wonderful metaphor for life after *** SPOILER ALERT!

If you haven’t yet seen Mamma Mia 2 and do not wish to know about a central aspect of the film’s plot please return for either my next post, or when you have had a chance to watch the movie.

Hubs and Self went to see the film last night, and we really enjoyed it – and we had read a fair bit of negative press, mostly complaining that the film lacked the ‘exuberance’ of the first one. And, yes, I can confirm that the sequel does not have the relentless, driving energy and breathless pace of the first. And this is sensible for a few good reasons…

  1. This is not the original, this is a sequel. If you are really attached to the pace of the first one then you are free to keep watching it. #sorted
  2. Everyone is older, and as we mature we do not have the relentless energy of youth – as humans we are subject to time (and oxygen, but that’s another blog post).
  3. Donna is dead and the film considers life, music, love, and change through a framework of loss and mourning that would be caricatured at best if a poppy, bouncy, high-energy approach to the movie was present. And this last is why I really loved (and yes, I cried at times… I did grow up listening to ABBA after all, and I am nostalgic and romantic and sentimental at times) how the movie is paced and crafted.

When someone we love dies we are changed. Even though we still feel love, joy, sorrow, exuberance, happiness, fear – all the things that make us human, sentient, and complex – we feel them through a new lens of experience. We have an ‘after’ now, which informs our responses and our understanding of the world. The film also takes place at the first anniversary of Donna’s death, and many of the characters respond with tears and sorrow to this date – it is not uncommon in real life for the full force of grief, loss, and mourning to take effect after a year has passed, taking many of us by surprise, so as an EOL Doula and sociologist I liked the honesty of the writing.

I could write for hours about how well I think the filmmakers compromised between happy music and a full perspective of emotion after a death, but I think I will leave this post shorter than I had intended. Just like our lives…

May your day be filled with music, laughter, joy, and enough bittersweet memory of all the people and times you have loved to make it a rich one.

If you are experiencing your own anniversary of a death and would like to know more about your own End Of Life options, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am an End Of Life Doula who will help you find the right soundtrack for your advance planning and funeral.

Let’s talk.

A not-to-be missed opportunity to hear me speak in Sydney as part of the panel for Co-designing the Funeral of the Future.

Picaluna funeral disruption model offers consumers a genuine alternative to the corporate (generally rushed, frequently impersonal, consistently overpriced) after-death funeral business model in Australia. Much of the focus for Picaluna is working with clients to genuinely serve and service their needs, and this is much more effectively achieved when people have planned in advance.
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This panel event, with six specialist individuals who all have particular areas of expertise within the death, End Of Life, and funeral fields, will sit on a panel and answer your questions on Wednesday 29th August at UTS Aerial Function Centre, Sydney. Participants are able to email their questions for the panel in advance, offering everyone a chance to listen, explore, and consider what ‘funeral’ and the personal are for each of us, and how this might be expressed in a funeral designed by, and for, you.

See the link below for tickets – and in the meantime, if you have questions do not hesitate to get in touch. There is an email link on the landing page for the event information and tickets here:

https://www.stickytickets.com.au/73938/codesigning_the_funeral_of_the_future__the_picaluna_panel.aspx

Let’s talk.

Why Knowing Your Consumer Rights Around Funerals, After-Death Bodycare, and Body Ownership Can Save You Money (as well as time, heartache, and energy…)

There has been a flurry of financial information doing the rounds of Australian news outlets in the last few days – see HERE and HERE from finder.com.au for details.

The average cost of a funeral now in Sydney is more than $8K, a startling figure in light of how inexpensive a funeral and cremation can be if you know your consumer rights and plan in advance. Of course, ‘planning’ refers to honest, open considerations of personal wishes and ideas, and open, honest conversations and a willingness to listen to the person whose End Of Life you are planning. The open-mindedness particularly pertains to Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) planning.

This is one area of death, dying, and End Of life documentation for which I strongly recommend you engage a suitably-informed End Of Life Doula; as there are sometimes state-by-state variations it is always a sensible idea to double-check that the EOL Doula you wish to retain for this purpose is an expert in the state you live in. This is a consideration for people who live close to state/territory borders, or who may know someone who is a highly-skilled EOL Doula, but they practice in a different state.

I am a staunch advocate of transparency in costing, as well as in consumer rights – however the corporate funeral industry in Australia is quite resistant to having informed consumers as this means the profit margins will be lowered – see Ibisworld for further information. One of the locked figures is the profit margin, estimated by the 2017 Ibisworld Report at 1.2 billion AUD per annum and growing.

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As a way of increasing death literacy and awareness in my area I am hosting an information evening: Plan Your End Of Life & Live Better! an official #D2KD event on August 8th with consumer education as the focus. Many events are being held around Australia throughout August, so have a look at the #D2KD site to see if there is one near you. Alternatively, if you prefer one-to-one interactions feel free to contact me to talk about your rights and choices at End Of Life – but remember I am based in NSW. For other Australian states, or to find an EOL Doula closer to your home, try The End Of Life Doula Directory.

Curious about your rights and consumer options? I specialise in information transfer and am extraordinarily good at explaining things from different perspectives so we can be sure you are fully informed and have all your questions answered.

Let’s talk.

An Evening With Me on Dying To Know Day

I will be hosting a local event on the evening of D2KD, August 8th.

Details are available on my Facebook page, tickets available through Eventbrite: https://www.facebook.com/events/194998904462520

 

The Only Person In The Room Talking About Death…

I have finally surfaced from the jet-lag from my trip to Europe, where I was given the opportunity to present twice – once about the funeral disruption industry in Australia, once about End Of Life Doulas in Australia. Both presentations were in the same afternoon, so my tiredness at the end of the trip is understandable.

What I found fascinating is that the funeral disruption talk was slated for the panel “Birth and Death” – however I was the only person in the room who was talking about death. Weirdly, I was in a room full of midwives, nurses and researchers who were firmly fixated on the medicalisation of birth and the ramifications of this for practice. Which is good, and certainly food for good thought and future research pathways, however both mothers and infants/foetueses do die – so I was fascinated by the way I was actually sidelined by the room. Many people took enthusiastic photos of my presentation, but zero questions afterwards.

I do invite all of you to have conversations about death and dying. Please. Don’t be afraid of being the one person in the room who will begin the talks.

If you would like some pointers about how to begin a End Of Life conversation please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Talking EOL Doulas and Health Sociology in Europe

I am a bit quiet on the posting at the moment as I am in Europe where I spoke at the biennial European Society for Health and Medical Sociology (ESHMS) conference.

A short holiday to recharge my energies and catch up with friends has followed the conference, but I do want to let you know how the conference went.

I presented on disruptions to the funeral industry in Australia and EOL Doulas in Australia. There is a lot of interest about Doulas in Europe, coupled with a genuine concern that poorer people are able to access our services – many colleagues were wondering about government subsidies for EOL Doulas in fact.

I plan to return to the next conference in 2020, where my research into EOL Doulas will be the focus of my

If you would like to know mire about family-led or alternative funeral options, or are Doula-Curious ease do not hesitate to contact me. I am happy to answer your questions.

Let’s talk.