How To Find Meaning In The Face Of Death – The Time Between Diagnosis & Death Presents An Opportunity For ‘Extraordinary Growth’
You Only Die Once – Make The Best Of It
In addition to helping plan a client’s final moments, death doulas often help the dying person create a meaningful ‘legacy project’. Some people like to write letters to future grandchildren to open at their weddings, or put together their favorite recipe collection to pass on to loved ones.
The legacy project can take many forms and is only limited by one’s imagination. Sometimes the legacy can take the form of a scrapbook or a collage. Some have made audio or video interviews. This legacy project is something the family will always remember their loved one by and to pass on to other generations.
These projects do not have to be big. It gives the patient direction and keeps the focus on living and not on dying.
Many times, death doulas solicit anecdotes and shared memories from people in the patient’s life so that the patient can see their impact on others. You may be asked to help set up reconciliations so that the dying person can make amends or let go of a long-held grudge/
You can conduct a ‘life review’ and ask how patients want to write the last chapter of their lives. Get specific and iron out details like, “What do you want the space to look like? Will you want massage? What rituals do you want your family to do right after you have died?
Death doulas can assist people plan their own funeral arrangements down to the smallest detail, which may include being ‘waked’ in their homes or attending their own living funeral.