Updated: Jan 25
DYING CAN BE A TABOO TOPIC. ENTER THE DEATH DOULA.
Valoria Walker and Laura Lyster-Mensh were featured in the Washington Post on January 9th, 2023. Valoria, an end-of-life doula and an educator at the International End-Of-Life Doula Association, was Lyster-Mensh's instructor — and is now her mentor. Walker taught her students that talking openly about death lessens the discomfort and unease around it, and that clears the way for people to think about their hopes for when it
is their time. "We can't make informed decisions about anything unless we talk about it,"
I was honored to attend Laura's first Death Doula Days at the amazing Historical Congressional Cemetary. I had never visited the Congressional Cemetery but heard raving reviews. It is the only American "cemetery of national memory" founded before the Civil War.
The weather was a bit breezy, as it is this time of the year in Washington, DC, but the sun was bright and the aroma of coffee filled the air. Walking through, I learned about the history of those buried there. The distinctive headstones and the beauty of the grounds were captivating.
Congratulations to Laura, the death doula in residence at the Historical Congressional Cemetary. I look ahead to warmer days, the opportunity to attend Death Doula Day's events, and the chance to tour the cemetery again. Another small step for end-of-life doulas.
Schedule a tour if you find yourself in the Washington, DC area.