Caring for the dying - how EOL Doulas can help with the strain
Updated: Aug 27, 2019
According to the groundbreaking research undertaken by Horsfall et al (2012), it takes 16 people to help someone die at home.
Much of this support is not only for the person who is at end of life, but for their partner/spouse, and the network of people closest to them. The network of 16 people is called a compassionate community (aka: a com com). I am frequently one of the 16 people when I am working as an EOL Doula, and I consider it an honour to be a part of a network - I am also very happy to help people who don't think it is possible to have 16 people around them at any time, let alone when they are at end of life or dying.
One of the 'quietest' parts of someone dying in death talks and conversations about death and dying, is that the carers get their own routines back after someone has died, and the relief may be felt as somehting shameful, even taboo... I argue, however, that relief is a natural and normal part of the grief and loss bundle when someone dies, particularly if we have been actively caring for any period of time (which is especially common when someone dies at home). This article here discusses what a complex melange of emotions and responses caring for the dying and relief can look and feel like.
If you are interested in learning more about how to form a compassionate community network for yourself or someone close to you - or if you are wanting to talk about grief and relief - please do not hesitate to get in touch. I am an End Of Life Consultant and Doula who specialises in being part of com com networks, and processing grief-based emotions.