Service Area: San Clemente, CA & Henderson, NV
Strive to maintain a nearness, in both thought and action, to things of eternal significance
Continue to serve in my position as a compassionate listener at the local hospital which will subject me to people and situations closely aligned with experience related to death
Make a daily effort to be fully conscious, aware of the beauty, peace and serenity that surround me, and to be “in the moment”. By applying these efforts, I will be able to help others connect with the same love and acceptance I experience
Acquaint myself with the social customs, religious rights and observances of others
Practice and use breathing skills with patient and family members
Utilize the Vision Map as a guide to help grieving families properly organize and prioritize their desires
Help to provide a peaceful atmosphere for the patient through physical beauty, sounds and smells
Strive to share the message of a peaceful passing with those people in my life
Why I Am Here: After helping my dad through hospice care in my home, I became very interested in the process of dying. He was 89 years old, and had dementia. It was a very tender time, as he had lived with my family and I for the past 7 years before his death. My sister was a nurse and together, with a few other helpers, we were privileged enough to provide a wonderful environment in which he felt safe as he passed to the other side. Preparing for his death was not easy for my Dad and it was certainly new and a little scary to me. Despite our collective fumbling through, we were able to come up with a plan that was comforting to him and gave all of us a sense of peace. After my father passed, my sister, a registered nurse, told me about the “End of Life” Doula training she had recently completed. The concepts she told me about fascinated me, and she encouraged me to take the course.
Experiences Leading Me Here: I have experienced quite a few deaths in my life. My mom died when I was six and my oldest sister died when I was 16. After I had been married for a quite sometime and given birth to four healthy children, my husband and I decided we would have one more baby. During a routine pre-natal check up, the doctor discovered that the baby was not responsive and looked to be a still born child. Because the fetus had progressed so far, the doctor explained that I would need to go through the birthing process despite the circumstances. This was an extremely difficult experience. Years later my step-mother who had been an powerful influence in my life since I was 15, died on the operating table during a routine surgery. Of course, this happened years before my father passed away. Both my step mom’s passing and giving birth to a stillborn child happened quickly, without warning, so when my dad passed after years of battling all the health issues attendant to dementia, this extended process was a new experience for me.
There is not an easy way to get through grief. Yet, despite his pain and mine, my father’s passing was a spiritual, special experience. After some time had passed and I reflected upon this event, a strong desire to help others through this kind of ordeal often occupied my thoughts and I wondered how I might be of service. Prior to joining the training I had been at a loss to find a way to move my desires into positive action. My training here along with the other events in my life have been an answer to my silent prayers. I have enjoyed learning to be a Doula, as my outlook on life and death have changed considerably. I believe that death is just a new beginning to an afterlife. Although some may not believe the same things that I do, I believe I can help them using the skills I have learned here, coupled with the training my life’s experiences have given me.
Educational and Life Experience: I graduated with my B.S. in Business Administration from Brigham Young University. I have been married for 33 years with 5 children, 5 grandchildren and a very great husband. As I have gone through the years, I have participated in countless volunteer opportunities. These opportunities have given me a chance to be compassionate and help others. I currently work as a Volunteer at Saddleback Hospital in Orange County, CA as a Compassionate Listener.
My Preparations: I will use my training as an “End of Life” Doula to help family, friends, and others in need of comfort, assistance, love and understanding during perhaps the most vulnerable time of their lives.
Graduate of the Conscious Dying Institute
Bachelor of Science from Brigham Young University (Business Management)
Board of Directors for The Lullaby Connection
Volunteer Compassionate Listener for Saddleback Hospital