Soul midwives fulfil a function that has been around as long as there has been life and death. Midwives or Doulas assist at birth, Soul Midwives or Death Doulas assist at death. The aim is to make birth and death a deeply transitional experience where trust is off the essence. Trust allows the intake of the first breath and the exhaling of the last breath to be the natural experience it should be.
I have trained as a Soul Midwife with Felicity Warner, the founder of the Soul Midwives Movement in the UK: www.soulmidwives.co.uk.
As Felicity says in her book The Soul Midwives’ Handbook, the Holistic & Spiritual Care of the Dying, “we all have an ancestral memory of how to sit with the dying; it’s in our bones“.
Soul Midwives have been trained to support and recognise the needs of the dying person and to tune in to whatever it is that may be needed. We can alleviate anxiety and ‘hear’ the concerns someone has around their dying process. If a few hours rest are needed by the family or friends, we can vigil. I do work and liaise with other Soul Midwives in my area and together we can help you and your loved ones prepare for the last journey. This means we can give you as much of our time as is reasonably possible. Experience shows that together we find the right amount of time you need.
We can also help create a plan of your wishes regarding your preferred place of death and we can talk about your funeral wishes, or we can just sit and listen.
Soul Midwives are non-medical, non-judgmental and non-denominational; they do not fix or rescue. They can offer gentle touch to soothe anxiety (arms and legs and shoulders only) where appropriate. They bring their own healing skills to the role as well. Some Soul Midwives use music or just sound. Some are Reiki practitioners, some use their counselling skills, others use colour or oils or a combination of all.
We support the dying person facing the end of their life and we do this by way of holding that sacred space between living and dying, when somewhere deep inside the ‘call of the soul’ is getting stronger, but the will to live is still very present. Maybe you are not yet ready or willing to hear it and together we acknowledge that and at the same time help make room for the call of the soul. And when the soul grows and the body wanes, the body feels and knows on a very deep level that it needs to heed that call and can then let go. We will stay with you until it becomes apparent that your soul has left your body. And the care does not end there, as we can help bridge the period towards the funeral and shortly afterwards.
Whether you are at home, in hospital, hospice or nursing home, we make sure you know that you and your loved ones feel loved and supported. We are able to tune into the family’s feelings around the imminent death and we can liaise between you and them at this difficult and emotional time.
Soul midwives are recognised for their unique skills and fulfil a different role from the medical professionals and instead offer a holistic addition of care to them.
Setting a fee for this work is complicated and I have no set expectation of payment for my services. However, I will gratefully accept a donation if you so wish.
We adhere to the professional standards and Code of Conduct, set by the Soul Midwives School.
If you would like to know whether you or a family member might benefit, please get in touch.