DEATH, DYING, INFANT LOSS, and GRIEF

Dying, like birthing, used to take place in the home. It is only in the past century that death has routinely included things like embalming and immediately passing off the care of the deceased to mortuaries. But we are starting to understand that making death invisible does not erase it, and, in fact, prolongs, muddies, and complicates our grief. We have a deep, primal need to care for our own dead, and to sit in a watchful vigil with them, as our ancestors did before us.

The '“death positive” movement is reclaiming dying, bringing it back into the loving hands of family and friends. As you or your loved one transitions into home hospice or approaches your last days, I can be there to help guide you and to relieve pain and soothe anxiety through gentle acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy, sound therapy and simply by being calm and quietly present. I can help connect you with resources to handle paper work, as well as options for cremation and natural burial.

After your loved one passes from an extended illness, you have the right to keep their body at home (or return it to the home from the hospital) during the first few days following death, to wash, dress, and shroud it and to hold funeral services at home, just as humans have done for millennia. It is safe and legal. As long is the body died naturally and was not carrying a communicable disease, there is nothing inherently dangerous about a dead body. Far from being morbid, the practice of caring for your own dead at home can be deeply life affirming, loving, and tender. Home funerals can be held for grandfathers and grandmothers and wives and husbands and even sweet stillborn babies. We no longer have to have our dear ones ripped from our arms shortly after death and whisked away to be embalmed and refrigerated and placed in exorbitantly priced casket. You can help slow the decay of your loved one with a bed of ice, and a simple shroud or box is all that is legally required for burial in California (although some cemeteries may have their own policies, they must legally allow you to purchase your casket elsewhere if you wish). Mortuaries often prey on grief and guilt to manipulate and upset to the bereaved. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

As a Death Doula, I can be there to help you understand your choices and to physically and emotionally support you and your caregivers and loved ones.

 
At a training with Mortician and Author Caitlin Doughty and Death Doula Alua Arthur.

At a training with Mortician and Author Caitlin Doughty and Death Doula Alua Arthur.

 

As a member of The Order of The Good Death, I’ve been trained to facilitate home funerals by Jill Schock of Death Doula LA, Alua Arthur of Going with Grace, and Amber Carvaly of Undertaking LA.

I highly recommend using the VERY afforadble, natural mortuary services of Undertaking LA. If someone you love has just died please contact Undertaking LA, FIRST.

Death and illness are a part of every life. I’m here to help you navigate this challenging time, so that you might experience dignity and peace in your final moments.

If you are interested in bedside acupuncture for end of life or home funeral care, please message me directly to discuss your options. No one should have to go through this alone.

TO PURCHASE A MODERN MOURNING BUTTON

click the button below. I originally designed these for grieving mothers. I make .50 cents per button which goes toward helping me provide free care for grieving mothers.