Laurie is a young mother, a daughter, a dancer and a birth doula; she knows that when a child is born of the body of the mother, a sacred bond is instantaneously formed. She also knows that the mother-daughter bond is one of the strongest connections two people can share and it only intensifies as they grow older together.
When her mom called her sometime in the Fall, saying she was reaching the end of her life, Laurie did not feel quite prepared for the journey. That's when she and I connected.
She wanted more time with her mom. She was however determined to do everything in her power to support her mom and her wishes, the best possible way for the two of them. She wanted to be there for her, as her mom had always been there for her, since the day she was born. I could feel the unconditional love between them, as Laurie was talking.
She explained to me what the situation was, and found the strength to ask for support. To me, it was clear that what Laurie needed to wholly advocate for her mom and honor every one of her wishes, was just a few new tools and someone outside the family to hold her own hand. It was truly an honor to be able to do that, hold space, for such a beautiful person.
In the subsequent interview, hosted by CareDoula® School, www.certifiedcaredoula.com, Laurie and I answer questions tactfully crafted by Deanna Cochran, leader in the field of End of Life Accompaniment.
You'll learn how Laurie asked for support, what practical and emotional guidance she got from me, how she was able to accompany and care for her mom and for herself through the journey, and how she felt about it.
Finally, you'll understand that even in pandemic times, we were able to work together, although remotely. We, doulas, call that dance the doula dance, whether at the beginning or at the end of life.
This dance was even more meaningful for us, and especially for Laurie, in such sensitive times for her family. But it's what a community is all about, after all. That is what Ram Dass was saying in "we walk each other home". He wanted to remind us that we do not go through life alone.
Laurie and I live in the same community. It was not our first time dancing together; we had participated in a Sound and Movement Choir for People Who Work in Healthcare, back in 2018. It looks like we found each other when we needed it.
Whether we’re with family, chosen family or friends, most of us interact with others every day. We keep company, so to speak, and mutual support is what binds us together.