I found Nathalie to be extremely resourceful in dealing with my issues. She is an amazing person. She is very knowledgeable, compassionate, understanding, and non-judgemental. I have truly valued my sessions with her and I feel that I have made a connection with someone whom I can always reach out to for guidance. Nathalie is very easy to talk with. She has offered additional resources for me to look into to assist with my growth and life experiences. She also followed-up to see how I was progressing. I would highly recommend Nathalie.
Nathalie Bonafé is a treasure. She has a warm and gracious personality that puts one at ease and is calming, even when discussing the scary topic of dying and end of life. Nathalie has a genuine, deep compassion which she combines with offering extensive practical knowledge about the necessities of dealing with and facing the end of one’s life and applying due diligence to the requirements of a proper and well ordered approach to the end. She suggests that we focus on “the final moments” while at the same time encouraging us to “live with satisfaction in the present.” Though the topic is dying, Nathalie talks a lot about joy in living. Somehow, she is able to take the sting out of the subject matter of death, and replace it with a sort of practical warmth, and in this way offers true hope -- even when facing the end. Nathalie carefully studies one’s entire situation, both internal and external, and provides extensive resources on the practical aspects of will, advance directives, Five Wishes, and so forth, while at the same time encouraging reflection on the spiritual and psychological aspects of the person -- in my case, a true, deep fear of dying that reflects a life lived with a whole lot of fear. She is helping me face and deal with this fear. Nathalie has totally changed my attitude and feelings about death and dying and I shall be forever grateful.
"Nathalie meets you where you are at with a kind, warm and supportive approach. She has tremendous knowledge in her scope of work and unconditional regard for each person's unique circumstance. "
"My children had signed me up for some sessions, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. From the very first session (Nathalie drove from New Haven to Danbury), It was VERY apparent that Nathalie is an extremely warm and empathic person. We conducted our sessions over Zoom and she would suggest actions to take, but never she never “pushed”, but rather through conversation would wait until she felt I was ready for that step. And when it was time to do some physical visits to various facilities, she again drove to Danbury and visited some facilities with me and treated me to lunch. She has called several times to say “Hello”. We have accomplished a great deal, things that I never would have thought of – all due to her very gentle and knowledgeable guidance. Working with Nathalie has been a complete pleasure!!!"
"Nathalie is very kind, compassionate, and professional. She wanted to know me, and about my life. She understands my traumas that I've been through, and am still going
through. Her thoughts and ideas for moving through my grief have been very helpful. I've also enjoyed our conversations about life and learning how to grow from my life
changing experiences. She has been a great benefit for me. I feel stronger, more in control of my emotions, but also learning and growing as I move forward. I have new
purpose and energy, and I feel more empowered. Because of Nathalie’s guidance, I’m getting my grief under control and, even though I still have very emotional and sad
times, my trauma has been serious, and I will learn how to seriously move through it and forward. I will miss my French friend."
"My grief Doula, Nathalie, was incredible! She was kind, generous with her time, and supportive. There were times I left feeling nourished in spirit—that I wasn’t alone in feeling a particular way. That is the power of this program and a strength of Nathalie’s. She created a safe space amidst incredible vulnerability and guided me gently toward future actions. The additional sessions allowed for greater reflection. And that was everything. It also helped me understand more fully body/mind connections, particularly the wellness of women as caregivers facing their own health issues. We had honest conversations about women’s health and family relationships. I am far more confident and secure in the decisions I have made and the changes I’ve implemented in my life as a result."
"Nathalie came into our lives at an incredibly overwhelming time. My mom had just been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer entirely out of the blue, and the prognosis was less than a year. In the middle of this completely surreal time, Nathalie was an anchor, a validator and a joy bringer. My mom struggled her entire life with the shadow of tremendous childhood trauma that led her to feel unsafe and unheard in healthcare spaces. Nathalie was inspired in her ability to partner both myself as caretaker and my mom as patient as we advocated for her needs in a health care system that is not, to say the least, trauma informed. When dealing with a terminal diagnosis, the metrics of what is needed change incredibly. Nathalie was there to help us translate the medical reality into one that squared with the spiritual and emotional needs of my mom. When my mom died, Nathalie was there to care for the caretakers - my sisters, our partners and I - to feed us, sit with us, laugh and cry with us. I am forever indebted to Nathalie for everything she gave. "
" I was so fortunate to had Nathalie accompanying me during my grieving process.
Nathalie is truly supportive and intuitive, she listened to me with sensitivity and total acceptance, her friendly attention gave me the confidence to freely explore whatever I was feeling. Through our meetings she guided me with clarity that helped me to see the situation with new perspectives.
With her support I had the opportunity to learn a lot about myself and the process I was experiencing.
I absolutely recommend Nathalie for anyone in need of a a friendly ear and expert support guidance during difficult life's transitions.
"Dear Nathalie, I just wanted to thank you so much for your support and for listening to me in my struggle to remain healthy. Meeting you and talking to you have really encouraged me to be more proactive in my communications with medical providers. You are an angel."
"Nathalie came into my life at the perfect time. Fortuitously, I found her website while on the internet searching another topic. I was heartbroken and exhausted during our first Zoom meeting. My husband had been battling brain cancer for over a year, and it was clear that he was deteriorating rapidly. Nathalie immediately made me feel comfortable, and I knew that she would provide a safe place to express my grief. During our time together, she listened and supported me in a caring and compassionate way. She helped me realize that there are ways of feeling connected to a loved one even after death. I feel fortunate to have found her and know she will always make herself available, if needed. Nathalie is not only incredibly intelligent, but she has a way of dispensing wisdom in a deep and loving way. I will forever be grateful to her for her guidance during this challenging time in my life."
I cannot say enough good things about Nathalie Bonafe! I recently consulted her about end of life planning and support for an extended family member. Nathalie is compassionate and very knowledgeable, the perfect combination to help put one at ease, so that energy can be directed to what CAN be done instead of to what cannot. Just knowing that I have Nathalie as a resource, to turn to as needed with questions and for support, has been helpful. Highly recommended!
"Nathalie met with my mother and some of our family members in what happened to be one of the last days of her life. She was able to connect with my mom in a deep and meaningful way in that short period of time.
They spoke of some of my mothers loves and Nathalie had a beautiful way of connecting the ordinary to the bigger, more extraordinary lessons of life. This was a thoughtful, powerful, and peaceful moment during a dark and hard time. We'll be forever grateful to Nathalie for sharing her gifts with us. "
"Nathalie supports the movement of exploring meaning of life before death by beginning the conversations that can dispel fears of death and dying by normalizing a dialog through death cafes so all can explore their desires for their end of life experience.
A true professional embracing life and death experiences with each of her clients."
“I was connected with Nathalie just days before my mother died, still, she was able to make a remarkable impact for me and my family. It was such a refreshing and gentle change of pace talking to her about my mothers diagnosis and the state she was in at that time, while she was battling brain cancer. Nathalie provided a comfortable, safe space to cry, talk, and at times just take a moment of silence. In the most gentle way, she helped me process what was happening as well as helping me find ways to connect with my mom during her final days. I can’t thank Nathalie enough for that.”
"Recently I've taken over the management of my elderly mother's care from halfway across the country. Nathalie not only helped me stay grounded, focused, and out of my own way, but also opened me to the possibility of actually turning a difficult situation into a beautiful, energetic dance. She reminds me that I can, in fact, trust my instincts - and that alone is priceless."
"Folks like me are used to sucking it up, walking it off, or just telling ourselves “it’s not cold”. I’m 74 and, for most of my life, that’s gotten me through most tough situations. But grieving and saying goodbye has proved to be much harder than anything I’ve ever faced.
That’s why I’m so terribly grateful to Nathalie for leading me through the gathering celebration of my late sister’s life.
Over the last few years, Nathalie has immersed herself in learning how to help others through their grief. She knows now what to do, what every one of us will need. And she’s such an astounding empath that she chooses, almost intuitively, what to say, what to do, how much to lead and how much to follow.
If you’re facing a grief you can’t walk off – and I’ll tell you, you won’t be able to do it alone – ask Nathalie to help you. She knows what works and she’ll “read” what you need. And then, she’ll help you find a peace you could never have found on your own."
"It was nice to talk to Nathalie that one day. She felt like an old friend. It's so nice to know there are such kind people out there. Her visit was especially helpful and came at just the right time when I was very stressed out. Thank you for helping me when I was really in need."
"My session with Nathalie was like having coffee with an old friend. I never felt rushed, and her warmth and encouragement was palpable, even across the miles of a remote zoom call. Her insight, patience, and gentle good humor grounded and reassured me as I navigated the murky waters of a major midlife career change. I am deeply grateful to know Nathalie and can wholeheartedly recommend her services!"
Finding a doula in a pandemic is no easy task. Being 5 hours from my home was an added challenge to me during the most difficult 4 weeks of my life. My mom called me calmly one day last fall to tell me she was ready to “go home.” And if it weren’t for Nathalie, I would have missed this sign entirely.
Nathalie met my emotional and intellectual needs, answered every question I had, and kept a couple steps ahead of me so there were no surprises. I no longer fear or judge the work of an end-of-life doula. End of life work is important, needed, and supportive. And I am so glad Nathalie accepted the call to this special work because I could not imagine going through the process without her. Read more.
Nathalie has a special gift. That gift is to impart her knowledge in a clear, concise manner. After one hour I had a clear understanding how and why of making an advanced directive with the self confidence to proceed. Once I finished it was as if a weight had been lifted and I was able to move on to the business of living my life. She encouraged me to have my wishes known to my family and supplied me with the tools necessary. Lucky to have found Nathalie as a resource person!
"I have worked with Nathalie and she is the most giving, compassionate woman I have ever met. I came away from it with greater understanding and clarity of what’s important to me, how I can fit more of what I want into my life, and what are the obstacles holding me back from doing that. Nathalie immediately put me at ease and talking to her was a joy because she is so warm, understanding and nonjudgmental. For most sessions Nathalie gave me an assignment which required me to think deeply about what a perfect day would consist of, my bucket list, my values, and my limitations and face all of these honestly. From this Nathalie helped guide me to see the real possibilities for my life and what I could do to make some of these come true. I am way past 50, but now I have a greater understanding of how to make the years I have left full and meaningful."
"I would like to express my appreciation to Nathalie Bonafe for making the process of completing my and my husband’s advanced care planning – easy and comfortable.
We always knew the importance of completing our advanced directive. Dealing with the death of my parents taught me how important this was; Nevertheless, no matter how many times we tried – it never got done. Just the thought of doing it overwhelmed us. Then Nathalie stepped in and offered her assistance. Accepting her assistance was the best decision we could have made. She helped to create a relaxed environment - where we felt immediately at ease and was able to discuss our wishes freely and comfortably with one another. She explained each section step by step and answered all our questions. The entire process took less than an hour. One of the most productive and enjoyable hours ever spent. Thank you, Nathalie!"
"My family worked with Nathalie after my father was diagnosed with late stage lung cancer, and I cannot recommend her enough to anyone in a similar situation. She was kind, sympathetic, caring, supportive to me and my family, and was extremely professional from beginning to end. While we only worked with Nathalie for a brief period of time, she did an excellent job of establishing a rapport with myself and my family, providing actionable information in a gentle way, and acting as a confidante through the entire process. I would encourage anyone in a similar situation to reach out to her - she's very much worth it."
"Nathalie is an astute intuitive and consummate professional in serving the best interest of her clients. Personally, Nathalie provided me with assurance of the values that I bring to my intended path as a death doula as well as practical considerations to make the journey my focus in observing the unfolding of the manifestation of my dream to serve as a death educator and counselor to people of all ages to come to a conscious and positive attitude towards our mortality and to reach marginalized communities to ensure their right to a meaningful and beautiful end of life experience. Working with Nathalie was the next step that I needed to trust my inner voice and the authentic expression of self."
Lisa Nachmias Davis, Davis O'Sullivan & Priest LLC, Attorneys at Law:
"Recently, I had a client with no friends or family and a diagnosis of terminal cancer. Nathalie's help ensured that my client's final days were dignified, peaceful, and meaningful. From making sure that her needs were being properly met by the homehealth aides, to visiting her almost daily in hospice, Nathalie's help was invaluable. She was more than a companion to my client -- she was a new friend. After my client died, Nathalie also took care of the funeral plans, and when asked to do so, handled the task of clearing out my client's apartment. She as able to separate the important financial documents, family memorabilia, items of value, and trash. She located buyers for challenging items like book and jewelry, took appropriate items for charitable donations, and dealt with what was left. I found Nathalie to be trustworthy, thoughtful, sensible and sensitive in these difficult and delicate situations".
"Dr. Kathleen Leinhardt, a physician who treated one of Bonafé’s clients, saw firsthand how the emotional and logistical support offered — providing food, music and companionship, while also helping organizing home health care and hospice services — changed her patient’s experience. “Nathalie truly took on the role of a surrogate daughter,” she says. “End-of-life doulas can be an invaluable help to those who lack family or whose family lives far away. More than that, though, they can serve as a guide to both patient and family through the emotional and logistical process of dying.” extracted from Connecticut Magazine article.
Darlene Miakos Volunteer Services Coordinator @ Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care of Connecticut:
"Nathalie is a gift to our patients. She is their voice and advocate. When she visits them, she brings with her compassion, kindness, heart, respect, dignity, and an amazing smile!"
"Nathalie exceeds expectations in all areas of her role as a Seasons Hospice volunteer. She demonstrates Seasons TRUE HOPE VALUES with every patient she visits with honoring their life with compassion and respect, while adding quality of their life at the end of their life. We are very lucky to have Nathalie as part of our Team".
Kim Trowbridge APRN., Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care:
"I could not think of a more deserving recipient for the Olive Branch Award from Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care! What you give to our patients and families is immeasurable. You give love, your soul, your compassion…you inspire me!"
Michelle Webber LCSW, Psychotherapist and Life Coach:
"Nathalie Bonafé is one of the most caring, compassionate and supportive women I know, a true patient advocate. I have known Nathalie for several years and have yet to meet a kinder, gentler soul. And she knows her stuff. She is there for you and your family for any end of life issues. She will stand up for you no matter what, explain things to you that might be complicated in end of life issues and advocate for you when you are just plain tired, overwhelmed and do not have the energy to deal with end of life decisions. She is truly one amazing woman, filled with energy, life and love. I would not hesitate to recommend her to any individual or family in need".
"Meeting with End-of life Doulas taught me that if I had to do it again, I would call them much earlier in the process.
My husband and I had been to workshops presented by Nathalie Bonafé and Ingrid Harrison, two EOL Doulas who often work together, and learned so much about end of life there. It really helped me believe that death didn't have to be a negative experience.
Sadly, my 92 yr. old Dad recently passed away. He was vibrant and active until his fall just weeks before. After my dad fell, and his health started to deteriorate, I wanted to introduce Ingrid and Nathalie to my family, but some family members were reluctant to ask for help. As my dad fell sicker in the hospital, I needed some support and Ingrid and Nathalie agreed to met with us. They sat with us for over 2 hours in my home. They listened, asked questions, and offered options on how they could help us. They were so easy to talk to, honest, comforting, offered to come immediately to the hospital to meet my Dad, and would speak to him in a non-threatening way to make him comfortable, because we knew he was scared and didn't want to close his eyes. The family was still divided so we agreed that for that night we would return to the hospital with their guidance, put comfort measures in place. We had intended to call them back, but my Dad passed away. Death does not have to be scary and negative, Ingrid and Nathalie helped myself, my brother, and our spouses realize it, and it helped us feel so much more comfortable with the process, and our emotions. They were such an amazing support to us, were so flexible, accommodating, and sincere. I recommend them without reservation."
Cara McDonough, Journalist (New Haven Independent, Connecticut Magazine)
"I got to know Nathalie when I was writing a feature story about her. From the moment I met her, it was clear that her methods were rooted in creating deep connections with her clients - and really with anyone she talks to about the crucial subjects of caretaking and death. Nathalie has that rare ability to take what is arguably life's most daunting topic and help you see it with clear eyes, explaining both the practical and philosophical ways we can make end-of-life care less scary, and much more manageable. She enlightend me, making me think about details I really hadn't: Nathalie explained to me that not only does she help clients and their families navigate the pain and grief of death and illness, but the often overlooked administrative tasks that encumber us during these times, and that having an objective, non-family member there to help with these tasks can make all the difference. Beyond her obvious capability and knowledge in her profession, Nathalie is warm, inquisitive and always willing to both learn more and educate others about what she and others in her profession do. Through her "death cafes" and other events, she is striving to not only expand her profession but to truly help create a movement, making death less of a taboo topic, and instead something we all can explore and celebrate together."
Benoit Planchon, Entrepreneur and business owner:
"Having known Nathalie for more than 30 years, I can say without reservation that she has exactly the right personality and background to be an excellent care consultant. She has always had way-above- average listening skills. She is always able to give you confidence and optimism because you can talk to her without fearing any judgmental responses on her part. In addition to her empathetic personality, she has an impressive track record in very complex analytical work – in the sciences, in business, and in emotional support care. She clearly has a tremendous capacity for understanding all sorts of problems. Finally, she has had her fair share of situations that have made her own path through life difficult at times. She knows how rough the sea can be, and as an experienced sailor she has learned how to adapt, to change and to work through the headwinds we all face from time to time. The combination of Nathalie’s caring ear, non judgmental mind, and huge heart makes her a superbly skilled person to help others."