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We are delighted to bring you an Interview with an End of Life Doula. We wanted to discover more about the role of a Doula, the services they can offer and how they approach this important work with their clients and their loved ones.
We sat down with Sabrina Singh to find out more about her work, her passion for the role and how she compassionately supports people with their end of life journey.
Hi! I’m Sabrina, an End of Life Doula. As a doula I feel my purpose to help people find light and meaning during this delicate time of life. I’m a very optimistic and happy person and I love people. I am innately curious and love connecting with others.
Before I trained in end-of-life care, I worked in global events. I’ve lived and worked in many different places around the world and what I’ve learned is that despite our cultural differences, humans are all fundamentally the same. Somewhere between birth and death, we simply desire a sense of belonging, connection and love.
What is an End of Life Doula?
End of Life Doulas approach death holistically, supporting the dying and their loved ones as they are reaching the end of life. We help practically, supporting choices, creating end of life plans, and help people put their affairs in order. Doulas help emotionally as well, supporting the caregiver and loved ones, and comforting fears associated with death and impermanence. We also help spiritually, holding space to allow the dying process to unfold naturally, and offering a calm presence so that the family and loved ones can find peace in this very uniquely beautiful time of life.
End of Life Doulas alleviate many pressures on the health care system. We have more time to dedicate than a traditional medical model. Dying isn’t a medical experience, it is a human experience, and death doulas can really help families and loved ones honour the process of dying.
Talking about dying can feel overwhelming and scary; doulas can help people work through these feelings, putting together end of life plans which allow people to feel more secure and in control.
What services do you offer?
My services typically fall within four areas:
- Advance Care Planning: I will help create an end of life care plan rooted in your unique needs and wishes, and in doing so helping families better complete the affairs of loved ones after death. I draft advance statements and talk through the intricacies of what it actually means to request / refuse care, giving you more control over the process.
- Non-Medical Support: I can help make sense of a situation, discussing options, and aiding in difficult conversations. I interview care homes, in-home care agencies and hospices to help determine where you / your loved one wishes to go when the time comes. I also provide practical support around the home, relieving the burden placed on primary caregivers.
- Legacy Planning: Creating legacy plans and facilitating life reviews have been proven to restore a sense of optimism, improve a person’s well-being and satisfaction with how they’ve lived their lives. I like to involve children and families in these activities, giving people time to properly process their feelings.
- Support at End of Life: I provide companionship and vigil presence for those actively dying. I act as a guide and help answer questions about what to expect and when. I help make everyone feel more grounded and ensure caregivers are prioritising their well-being.
How do you work with your clients?
I have met my clients in various ways but the most common is through referrals. Most of the people who approach me are loved ones of the person who is dying. I find people often don’t know how to support a family member or friend when they receive a terminal diagnosis, but offering the services of an End of Life doula is one way to do that.
Through the pandemic I have been working virtually, although I am starting to call on people at home again. My aim is to empower families and their loved ones; supporting those reaching their end of life means giving others the confidence to take control of wherever they are on their journey.
What got you involved with becoming a Doula?
I had never heard of an End of Life Doula before I trained. I found out about Death Doulas through a Birth Doula friend of mine.
And synchronously, she became a Birth Doula because I encouraged her to follow her passion. So that is not lost on me. When I learned about End of Life Doulas, I knew it was what I was seeking without even knowing it.
What you seek is seeking you, Rumi says. I found a training course straight away. It was a calling for sure.
What do you enjoy most about the role?
I love holding space for people to talk about the death of a loved one in a safe, supported way. It is my honour to help people find peace in this very delicate time of life, and I hope my services enable people to do that.
How can people get in contact with you for your support?
If you’re curious about how I might be able to support you or a loved one, you can book a free consultation and find all of my services on my booking site here: Sabrina Singh – End of Life Doula.
Learn more about End of Life Doulas
To learn more about the work of End of Life Doulas UK, their services, training and resources – click here to visit End of Life Doulas UK website.
For our audience in Canada please visit The End of Life Doula Association of Canada website here.
In USA, the National End of Life Doula Alliance website (NEDA) here.
If you have any other Doula organisations you would like us to add here, please get in touch.