New Haven, CT: In just a few days, I'll be speaking about my new line of work as an Elder Care and End-of-life Doula at my town public library as part of their September free adult education program series.
In the middle of preparing for it, a terrifying anxiety invaded my entire body. Who will be attending? Will anyone show up at all? Will I be able to get my point across?
Like many others, I rank the fear of public speaking higher than the fear of death! Yet, in a few short days, I will be speaking in public about how to make the life-to-death transition – death – less frightening. Just terrifying...So I went for a longish walk with my dog and realized that what I needed to do was, first, to overcome my own fears, and then explain simply and clearly why it is that I do what I do.
So why I am doing this work? It's because I want to help people overcome their fear of death and help them, instead, see it more positively as a transformative (if inevitable) journey. My mission as a Doula is to teach and guide people in dealing directly or indirectly with life-threatening illnesses and to shift from feeling fearful, stuck, isolated, helpless to finding answers, hope, meaning, peace and connection.
How I do it? First I need to meet my audience, you. I need to understand your own fears when it comes to end-of life. I want you to feel unique and confident enough to speak up about what truly matters to you in life, how you, yourself, would like to be treated near the end, how you'd like to be remembered by loved ones. I want to pick your brain about what you see as missing in the current health care system that you would like to see filled when you need it. I want you to feel the lack of judgement in the room so you find a way to delve deeply and meaningfully into your own passions and uncertainties, your own internal rhythm. I want you to "think outside of the box" about what truly makes you happy, and about the relationships you truly want to have with others. In other words I want you to feel understood for who you are so that you can define what it is that you want, get organized, and make the decisions that will help you get just that.
And suddenly, after writing down what my mission is and what my objective is for this talk, I feel completely at peace and I can go to the session with confidence and a smile on my face! Who cares what I'll be wearing?! I know who I am and I know that I can help.
Do you know what you really want out of life? Find out what's inside you by talking with a Doula, who can help you meet your own personal living-well and end-of-life goals.
nhfpl SEPTEMBER 2017
Meet an Elder Care & End-of-Life Doula
Wednesday, September 13, 6:30 pm
IVES Main Library - 133 Elm Street - New Haven Ct 06513
Learn about holistic care for the elderly an their families with Nathalie Bonafé, Ph.D., a Certified Care Consultant and Doula as well as a volunteer with Seasons' Hospice an Palliative Care and a former biomedical research scientist in cancer studies.
Topics: Design Living-well plans before a crisis - Advance health care planning - Formulate Living wills - Five wishes - Complete Legacy projects - Family meeting facilitation - Help you build your support team - Working in collaboration with your doctors, lawyers, family and friends, with palliative care and hospice agencies - Vigils, Home funeral questions etc.