Death is not discussed in the United States as it is customary in many other countries.  Here we see it as a Taboo topic of conversation.   Which is exactly why there is so much confusion and even shock when someone receives a terminal diagnosis.

 

Death is a dance, a partnership and we can navigate it with compassion, empathy and understanding if we have the right information and tools.  As a cancer survivor, my journey with death is personal and I come from a place of great appreciation, respect and compassion for anyone receiving a terminal diagnosis.   I've journeyed with each of my immediate family members losing them one by one.  Two of them I spent the last months of their end of life journey and the other two were instant with little notice and closure.  My most recent loss was that of my first grandson who only lived 19 days on ECMO and suffered from CDH (Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia).

 

My career in hospice allowed me to serve for more than a decade helping over 800 patients and their loved ones.  I quickly learned that each end of life experience is unique and personal, no two people or families experience death & dying the same.   I've assisted people of all ages, races, ethnicities, nationalities, religions and genders.    What I know to be true, is that most patients & families don't know what to expect and aren't provided the education & information they need to diminish the chaos and trauma at such a critical time.

 

That's why I became an End of Life Doula, to help alleviate the discomfort and empower people with what they need to have a peaceful transitional journey.

"I've always been an End of Life Doula in my heart.  I was more of a patient & family advocate then a corporate gal.   Always longing to continue to help families and their loved ones after the initial meeting.  That's why I started Afterlife by Design and continue my path now as your Doula."

 

                                                        Love, light and peace be with you!    

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*  Hospice Care worker - 10 years

*  Patient Care Tech, CNA

*  Certified End of Life Doula​

*  Death & Dying counselor & companion

*  Psychology, PA, Psy

*  Published Author - available on Amazon

TESTIMONIALS

Sent: Thursday, July 11, 2013 04:31 PM

To: Barbara Ball

Subject: You are an angel!

 

Dear Barbara, I am sorry that this can't be a longer, more formal letter, but our lives are chaotic right now, as you will understand.  I am writing to express our family's gratitude to you and your organization for acting so quickly, and in such a Herculean way, to get our dad moved to a hospice facility in just a matter of hours.  Very impressive!  You really showed a compassionate spirit in all of your dealings with dad and with us, his family, for those several hours that we were together.  You were focused on our immediate needs and worked diligently and creatively to get to a quick resolution that evening, all the while keeping our emotions in the forefront and respecting our wishes.  I was sorry that dad didn't live long enough to enjoy the facility, but you definitely made a difference in his last few days.  He was grateful for all of your effort, and that of the others involved that afternoon, to find a suitable place for him.  We are comforted by the fact that he didn't die alone, at home, in his chair, unable to move or even call for help.  This was a much better end - cleaned, fed, cared for, respected and treated humanely.  We can't thank you enough!  You were an angel sent to us that day.  God bless you!

 ** Dave and Lee Ann, Sedona, Arizona

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April 10, 2015  - Recommendation 

 

I worked with Barbara and found her compassion, passion and understanding for and of hospice care, patients and families to be unsurpassed in my ten years’ experience serving as a hospice chaplain.  Barbara is fluent in customer care and needs, she is intuitive in meaningful care with regards to plans and strategies for assistance.  The performance results speak for her with regards to admissions inquires and thank you letters received during the time we worked together in hospice.

 

Anybody experiencing her initiative and grasp of diagnosing need and providing solution will recognize, as I have, her extraordinary value in helping those at End of Life.  I’m happy to provide this recommendation for her.

 

Peter M Nackowski BCCC

Board Certified Clinical Chaplain, Utah