Caregiving and Dementia: Connection and Loss

In honor of Alzheimer's Disease Awareness, I have decided to share some of my personal experiences caring for people with dementia. Life has presented me with some irrefusable opportunities to learn new lessons lately, and I hope some might reach—and resonate with—overwhelmed caregivers. Connection is always paramount, after all. First, though, it’s important to clarify… Continue reading Caregiving and Dementia: Connection and Loss

The Talisman: Discovering Death Rituals as a Doula

Although definitions vary slightly, the term “talisman,” from telesma (Greek) and tilsam (Arabic), is often defined as a physical object imbued with powers to repel negative forces or attract positive energy. There is evidence from as far back as 25,000 BC that prehistoric peoples readily used these symbols of protection, and they were very common in ancient Egypt—especially in… Continue reading The Talisman: Discovering Death Rituals as a Doula

Tips for Talking with Kids about Loss

Children are naturally curious. Sometimes they ask BIG questions. I did. When I was 6 or 7, I asked my grandmother if she was going to die. Just like that. Clear out of the blue. She told me she would (“someday”) and that she wasn't afraid. She had "lived a good life." This clearly left… Continue reading Tips for Talking with Kids about Loss

Death Doula Initiation

My initiation into the realm of end-of-life care presented itself unexpectedly when my grandfather was dying. I showed up largely unprepared for what I was entering into, which is the case for all doula work, truly. We don’t know exactly what will be asked of us or how we’ll support ahead of time. My grandmother… Continue reading Death Doula Initiation

Weathering the STORM of Grief

Grief is our natural response to a meaningful loss. Some losses are heavier than others, yet they are all valid and real. It might be a change in daily activities, losing a role we have held, transitioning to an empty nest, divorce, retirement, or a death (among others). Healthy grieving can be quite intense, especially… Continue reading Weathering the STORM of Grief