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A Brief Look at Why I Became an End of Life Doula

Should you have a funeral?

Recently I was approached by somebody who didn't want to have a funeral and wondered what she could legally do to stop her family holding one for her after she was dead. This got me thinking. Why do we have funerals? Are they for the living or for the dead?

It would seem that every culture has some…

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What is an End of Life Doula?

This is a podcast I recorded a few months ago, talking about what I do as an End of Life Doula. 

Just click on


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I hadn't realised how long it has been since I wrote on this. When I opened up the page I discovered that I'd started to write something and then never finished it. Those of you who are going through grief can perhaps identify with that!

Since my last post I've been through the first anniversary …

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In Loving Memory

Today is Hallowe'en and, although most people associate it with witches, I want to take a moment to briefly reflect on its other meanings. Hallowe'en began as a pre-Christian Celtic festival, Samhain. This marked the end of summer (in the Northern hemisphere) and the beginning of the long dark night…

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A Parting

This is something I wrote about 17 years ago, after my Mum's death in October 1999. I recently read it again and thought I would share it here. 

A Parting

Being born, it is often said, is a struggle. But the striving to grasp life at the beginning is only a forerunner of the struggle to die at th…

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So many of the people that I see ask me if how they are feeling is normal. Our society has taught us that there is a right way to grieve and that you can get 'stuck' in stages. I always tell them there is no right or wrong way to grieve and that whatever they are experiencing is the right way for th…

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We all die yet many of us are uncomfortable with the idea of dying and unsure of what to do or say when we find out a loved one is dying. For many of us, that will be a parent but for others it may be a partner or, perhaps hardest of all, a child. 

If you are preparing yourself and others for th…

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Remembering Our Loved Ones

Recently I was talking with a friend about how she remembered her son on special occasions. She told me that on his birthday, the family held a family dinner with a birthday cake for him and at Christmas they laid a place for him at the table.

Another friend still hangs a Christmas stocking for …

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The Dash - How will you be remembered?

Have you ever read the poem 'The Dash' by Linda Ellis? If you haven't, you can find it here. Whenever I read it, I think of how little information is given on gravestones and memorials - sometimes only the dates, perhaps a quotation or a brief epitaph but little to give a sense of the person who liv…

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My first birthday without my son

It was my birthday last week. The first since my son, Sean, died. The 18th since my mum died. The 26th since dad - and so many friends who once would never have missed my birthday. I was grateful for all the people who sent me birthday wishes, checked up on me, made sure I was ok. 

How we d…

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What to say and what not to say to people who are mourning

Our society is awkward with death. Often, people don't know what to say - and in their attempt to offer comfort, they say things that are upsetting and may even intensify the feelings of loss or grief. 
I remember when my dad died. He was in Scotland and I had to make an emergency trip to be w…

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12 blog posts