Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

End-of-Life Doula”! Brilliant Idea

Originally posted on July 10, 2018

I picked up a book at the public library titled A Graceful Goodbye: A New Outlook on Death, by Susan B. Mercer. She’s an end-of-life doula. The idea of “doula” as one who facilitates a major role transition like birth was familiar. Indeed, I was a doula for my daughter’s first child’s first few weeks. What a privilege! But apply that word to death! Double-wow!

I wrote an article on role transitions and how to celebrate them, but this takes it another step: Doula or educated aide for dying! Of course! (Why didn’t I think of this?) (Just because I don’t think of everything—lesson to be learned now!)

Anyway, the author (Susan) gives me ideas! (1) She multiplies her role and what it entails via writing, and writing is a technology I’ve spoken and written about! We have writing! We didn’t used to have writing. Many people don’t even have writing, much less reading!

(2) Culture is speeding up its evolution! Things are happening faster and more interconnected. It’s could be charted as a rising slope of change! Wow!

(3) Religion has had this covered but emerged from each one’s own roots and thereby contaminated by each one’s beliefs. In our own era of non-belief or eclectic belief, in which millions of people have friends of many different beliefs and no beliefs, rituals as gatherings—with people from different backgrounds—as non-battlefields—is a relatively new happening!

(4) So books that appeal to no-particular-belief are interesting, and the subject of this book is also interesting: There are so many components to end-of-life! It could fill the mind of a professional!

(5) Just the idea that it’s not morbid, could be extracted from the realm of the unspoken, the realm of taboo, talked about, anticipated, even, planned for—shocking! But good. Let’s do it!

(6) So many components! Legacy projects! Final projects for the still-living. Services, green burials—only a handful of states have them in 2018—etc.

Lots more to think about. The basic idea is rich and the time is right. I want to help spread the word. (I’ve used this medium of a blog to spread the word on lots of stuff!)

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