Catherine Agla-Ouellette, Thana Doula Service
Catherine Agla-Ouellette, Thana Doula Service End of Life Doula
CREATING SPACE FOR THE EXPRESSION OF THE PRECIOUS NEEDS OF THOSE APPROACHING THE END OF LIFE AND THEIR LOVED ONES
The word “Thana Doula” is Greek for death servant or helper. Just as a Birth Doula supports women during the labour and birthing process, An End of Life Doula supports a person and their loved ones during the dying process which may last over years or months. A Thana Doula accompanies those approaching their end of life by creating space for the expression of the precious needs of all involved. With the support of a Thana Doula, there is the potential for profound meaning and transformation for both those approaching the end of life and for those who support them. A Thana Doula complements the care given by family members, friends, health-care providers and palliative/ hospice professionals.
My vision is to help my community recognize that birth, dying, death, and bereavement are fundamental aspects of the human experience— and we can learn to be less fearful and therefore live a much more fulfilling life by accepting the inevitability of death. I am an observer of the human experience who hopes to help others explore their own feelings of fear and expectations around death.
Sometimes we adopt long-held beliefs from a traumatic childhood experience surrounding the death of a loved one that can steal away the most precious moments left to be lived. What Legacy do you wish to leave behind when your time is done? I hope my work can be instrumental in creating social change and part of my legacy around how we manage palliative care as well as how we can enhance or change our death and dying practices.
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