‘A good death is an extraordinary, moving and sacred experience. It can also have a healing quality, not only for the person who is involved but their families, friends and the wider community.’
- Felicity Warner, Gentle Dying
What is Soul Midwifery?
From early diagnosis to bedside vigils, a Soul Midwife offers to support holistically a dying friend. Soul Midwifery works as part an integrative approach to palliative and end of life care and aims to bridge the healthcare of the individual with death care.
The Soul Midwife’s most important role is to provide comfort, continuous support and reassurance in helping a dying person to experience the death he or she wants.
Soul midwives lovingly assist and accompany a dying person on this process, and can provide their services at home, in hospital or hospice.
I am comfortable with talking about death and I can offer you the space and time to talk about your own mortality.
Principles of a Soul Midwife
To work as non-medical holistic companions who guide and support a dying person in order to facilitate a gentle and tranquil death.
To support and recognise the individual needs of the dying person and ensure they feel loved and supported.
To create and hold a sacred and healing space for the dying person (whether in a hospital, a hospice or at home).
To respect and honour a dying person’s religious/spiritual or atheist/agnostic beliefs and practices.
To work as non-denominational, multi-faith practitioners who honour the dying person’s beliefs about life, death or the afterlife.
To listen, provide gentle therapeutic techniques, and ensure compassionate care at all times.
To ‘serve’ our friend; not aim to ‘fix’ or ‘rescue’.
To give healing, using sound, touch, colour, scented oils or other gentle techniques to alleviate pain and anxiety.
To keep a loving vigil.
To work holistically with the spirit and soul of our friends at all levels and stages of transition.
To support families and their loved ones, giving loving care with a human touch
To provide comfort, continuous support and reassurance in helping a dying person to experience the death he or she wants.
A bit of background
I trained as a Soul Midwife Practitioner with Felicity Warner and her school in 2015.
Following my case studies, I was offered a volunteer placement as an End of Life Companion in one of the busiest hospitals in Somerset by Marie Curie UK. This was a pilot project and the first service of this nature to run in partnership with the NHS in UK.
Later on I trained at Advance Level in Soul Midwifery which involved working more with the aspects of the transition of the soul. I trained as facilitator in TLC for End of Life Care to support other volunteers and individuals in a caring role for the dying to help in gentle and meaningful ways before the end.
Until today I have been supporting individuals in this setting who died alone or had little company in busy wards. Some had family present but they could also often feel overwhelmed and isolated themselves. I have provided with emotional and practical support and advocacy to patients who were dying as well as families whilst being cared at the hospital and I have worked as integrated member of a multidisciplinary team in the wards. I have also worked privately with individuals who wanted to die at home or before being transferred to their local hospice.
Prior to this training, I attended development courses in Spiritual Care run by Rigpa UK. Rigpa was founded in 1979 by Sogyal Rinpoche, a Buddhist teacher from Tibet, who was also the author of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. Their spiritual care programme offered practical ways in which the wisdom and compassion of the Buddhist teachings can benefit those facing illness or death and help support their families and care givers. This development was to support my role as a Ward Volunteer at Trinity Hospice in London where I also received additional training in palliative care, managing difficult emotions and end of life care amongst many other courses. Here, I worked as a member of a multidisciplinary team, supporting emotionally and practically terminal ill individuals and their families and in their 24 hrs of their lives.
My interest in this part of life came from witnessing few bad deaths during my life and wishing that the process of dying could have been honoured in a different way.
You can contact me to arrange a first time meeting and discuss your personal needs and circumstances for requiring this service. If you have a care plan for dying at home, I will work as part of the team under your care.
For how long?
As long you and your family need me.
How much will it cost?
This will be discussed on the day of our first meeting as this is a personalised service. Overnights stays are offered at £15 p/h. A discount is available for individuals with limited financial means.
Support with Advance Care Planning.
Support with your end of life wishes.
Support with funeral planning and choices.
Support and advice with rehoming your pet.
Emotional support and companionship with euthanising pets/preparing a good death and closure for you and your pet.