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What is a Death Doula?

What is a Death Doula?

The end of life journey is a deeply personal experience that brings uncertainty, big transformation, and many logistics to consider throughout the process, for the individual and their family. The grief and fear that can arise when the end of life is near can be overwhelming - but with help it doesn’t have to be. Getting extra support from a professional death doula to navigate this experience is an increasingly popular choice people are making to better understand and navigate the experience. Just knowing that this service is an option can bring a lot of peace. 

If you are wondering, “what is a death doula anyway and what exactly do they do?” You aren’t alone. In this post we’ll get into what a death doula is, some of the services they provide, and why you might consider working with one in the future. 

What is a death doula? 

Death doulas, also referred to as end of life doulas, are professionals trained to guide individuals and their family through the end of life journey. Many might make the comparison to a birth doula, who provides comfort and advocacy to a mother and her support system during the birth process. An end of life doula does not have license to provide medical support, however they often work alongside hospice care and palliative care teams to offer emotional comfort, logistical backup, and advocacy for an individual and their family. 

There are accreditations and training through organizations like The International End of Life Doula Association and the National End of Life Doula Alliance that someone can receive certification from to become an end of life doula. These trainings include reading and study as well as in person work experience. 

What services does a death doula provide? 

The services a death doula provides can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual and family they are working with. In general they offer emotional support, education, spiritual guidance, advocacy, and more. 

The impact of having a end of life doula can be profound. Their guidance can: give the dying  a sense of empowerment, help it to be an experience that brings family members and friends closer together,  and offer emotional healing through open communication.

Emotional Support: A death doula can help to create a safe space for the dying and their family to share openly. Discussions might include the dying process as well as fears and emotions that arise during this time. They can also facilitate open conversations around life hopes, fears, and regrets in an effort to bring a sense of acceptance and closure. After a loved one has passed they can also help family members to process their grief.

Education: Options around palliative care options, hospice services, and advance care plans can be discussed with an end of life doula. They have knowledge and training around end of life options and can talk through them all with you so that you and your family can make decisions that are best to meet your specific needs. 

Spiritual Guidance: Facilitating rituals that align with your spiritual beliefs and practices is another role the death doula can take on. Directing practices like prayers or meditation, and generally creating a calm environment aligned with your values are all possibilities. This can be as detailed as creating a plan about what you want the room to look, sound, smell and feel like. 

Advocacy: While an end of life doula is not licensed to provide direct medical care, they do have knowledge of the system and can advocate for you, help you make decisions, and offer educational support. This can include guiding conversations around end of life between doctors and family members. It can also entail making sure that the wishes of the dying are carried out within medical settings or organizing visiting hours with friends and family. 

Other Support: Assistance with getting things in order, like helping with end of life paperwork and detailing end of life or funeral wishes can also be within the purview of a death doula. 

Whether you are outlining logistical plans and organizing your life documents now or closer to the end of your life, The Nokbox, like a death doula, can provide assistance and make the process much easier to complete. Even if you don’t fill it out, it will offer your next of kin guidance to get things in order themselves. 

Often, those who choose to hire an end of life doula are facing a terminal illness, but even those who aren’t close to the end of life and just want to better understand and be prepared might hire a death doula for help. Embracing death as a natural life process by planning ahead and working with a professional who has expertise in the end of life experience can bring individuals and families closer to a place of healthy acceptance and facilitate healing and peace through the journey. 


Mar 13, 2024 • Posted by lija appleberry

I have a NokBox I want to include will and trust what is the price? And how to order ?i. I am on no hurry

Mar 13, 2024 • Posted by lija appleberry

I have NokBox already and wa

Mar 03, 2024 • Posted by Jen

You can find a death doula by going to the International End of Life Doula Association and search by state. Link below.

Mar 03, 2024 • Posted by Jen

You can find a death doula by going to the The International End of Life Doula Association directory and searching by state.

Oct 18, 2023 • Posted by Bette R

I am considering purchasing your Nokbox. As a professional organizer, I am still working on getting all my information together. Your system looks great. I have a lot of artwork that needs to be documented. Do you have a section for that as well as jewelry?

Thank you,

Sep 24, 2023 • Posted by Jean

How to find a death doula?

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