When my son completed his junior year in college, he challenged me to go back to college, and I accepted. During the same year, my mother had chronic illnesses requiring frequent hospitalization. She died in May 2011, unable to attend his graduation.
Five years later, in May 2016, my son graduated with his Masters, and I graduated with my Bachelor. You see us smiling and looking up because we know she is watching. We miss our Matriarch. She completed the 11th grade, which was the highest grade when she was in school.
We thought we were prepared for the experience, but when reality hit, we were not. We had advance care planning conversations, but nothing was in writing. We were emotionally and physically exhausted at the onset of my mother's dying experience. We were bombarded and overwhelmed with medical terms and last-minute critical decisions. It's hard to make informed, rational decisions when your loved one is dying, and even harder when you are guessing, What should I do?
We needed a mediator, and advocator, to assess our circumstances and provide guidance when death became imminent. We needed an End of Life Doula to fill the gaps that existed between the hospice care team, family, and our loved one. We needed someone who understood and valued the sacredness of the dying process and someone to express our emotions to as our loved one continued to decline.
From my mother’s death, I discovered my life's destiny. As an End of Life Doula, I am fulfilling my destiny on behalf of my mother's gift to me. I am privileged to learn from her final gift. Her death compelled me to care for individuals approaching the end of life, and their surviving families who are experiencing the journey.