A death midwife ushers an individual into death, much like a midwife ushers a new baby through birth. Death midwives also work with the family, helping them through the process, and they can advocate for the family with a funeral director. Here are five ways death midwives can help if you or a loved one is dying:
1. Creating peace and resolution
Like hospice workers, death midwives meet with their patients or clients during their illnesses and as they are dying. Death midwives can work with you or your loved one at a nursing home, a hospital, a hospice centre or your home.
They help the dying person to find peace, and, depending on their certifications, they can offer certified counseling or simply an understanding ear. If the dying person has any regrets or needs to find resolution on any issues, working with a death midwife can often help.
2. Advocating for the dying person's wishes
Everyone has different feelings about death and dying, and everyone has different ideas on what funerals should be like. A death midwife can help advocate for the dying person regarding these issues.
If you are dying and you want to stay at home or go to the hospital to get more medication or take a final drive down the coast, you can talk with your death midwife. If your family has misgivings or misunderstandings about your wishes, a death midwife can help advocate for your point of view.
3. Helping family members
Although a death midwife advocates first and foremost for the patient's wishes, these professionals can also help the family through the process. If they need someone to chat with, to help organise meals as they sit by the death bed or to help plan the funeral, the death midwife can fill those roles.
4. Working with funeral directors
Families who work with death midwives often embrace a range of end-of-life practises. Some families prefer to keep the deceased loved one at home, where they prepare the body for burial through washing and anointing with oil.
Other families, in contrast, prefer to say goodbye to the body at the home or hospital, but then, they want the body picked up by a funeral director, taken to a funeral home and embalmed before the funeral. Regardless of what you or your family wants, the death midwife can help you contact the right professionals and communicate your desires to the funeral director.
5. Officiating funerals
Many families have their own rabbis, pastors, imams, priests or other religious leaders officiate their funerals, but if you are a multi-faith, agnostic or atheist family, you may prefer to have a neutral officiant at your funeral.
Many death midwives also offer officiation services. As they often get to know the dying person and their family through the death, death midwives have unique insight into what to say and what type of ceremony best reflects the dying person's beliefs and personality.
23 September 2015
Welcome to my blog. My name is Molly, and a few years ago, I lost my husband to heart disease. He had only just turned fifty, and it wasn't anything we were expecting. Through my intense grief, I had to host and organise a funeral. I wanted to include religious elements from our pasts, but I also wanted to be true to the non-religious but spiritual beliefs of my husband. I think many people are in the same position, and if you are, I want to help you. This blog focuses on making funerals meaningful. It provides tips, ideas, facts and more. I hope it inspires you.