What is a Death Midwife?
A Death Midwife includes the roles of death doula, spiritual counselor, end-of-life caregiver, home funeral guide, funeral planner and celebrant. Death Midwives guide and support individuals and their families through all three stages of the dying process:
BEFORE… upon notice of terminal diagnosis or life-limiting illness
DURING…active dying and death, and
AFTER…unexpected death, final rites, burial or cremation, funeral or memorial and bereavement.
“A Death Midwife shepherds individuals toward a conscious dying experience; guides loved ones in after-death care of the body and empowers families to create personal and deeply meaningful funerals at home.” Sacred Crossings
Death Midwife services include but are not limited to:
– In-home, hospital, or nursing home visits with the family and their loved-one
– Detailed reporting to next-of-kin unable to visit
– Emergency room support after unexpected death
– Holding space while life-support is discontinued
– Support with stillborn and infant death and bringing baby home for a home funeral
– Finding a local, reputable hospice to meet a loved-ones needs
– Assistance with completing advance directives for health care and death care
– Assistance with fulfilling final wishes, healing relationships, and putting things in order
– Spiritual support including guided imagery, meditations, etc. to help alleviate anxiety and suffering
– Guidance with completing the life-review and legacy project
– Help with writing an autobiography or creating a video-biography as a legacy to loved one
– Guidance with after death care of the body for a home vigil and funeral
– Coordinating with funeral home for transportation and cremation
– Assistance with funeral planning
– Celebrant to officiate funerals, memorials and graveside services
A Death Midwife provides you and your family with all the information you need to understand your choices and complete your documents so that you can relax and let go peacefully when the time comes.
Some of the many questions that can be answered include:
– Would you like to be buried, cremated or interred in a crypt?
– How would you like your body cared for between death and disposition?
– What clothing would you like to wear?
– Would you like a decorated cremation casket? Pine box? Traditional coffin? Shroud?
– Would you like the casket be open or closed at your funeral service?
– Would you like a traditional funeral or a family-directed funeral at home?
– How would you like to be remembered in your eulogy?
– What about…Autopsy? Burial plot? Minister? Music?