Updated: Oct 17, 2020
When we tell people what it is that we do, the first reaction is that they hear the word "midwife" and so assume babies! Which means we usually have to clarify and emphasise it's not birthing, but dying, where we do our work. I have even had someone physically back away from me when I said that I sit with people end of their lives. I guess it can seem a rather unusual vocation.
Under pinning everything we do is a deep desire to help people, and empower them to feel at peace and in control of their situation...whether that is within their lives and their health and wellbeing, or at end of life, however long that may be.
For most people, the thought of death, their own or their loved ones, is just too much to bear, and with the advent of modern medicine and hospitals, it has been very easy to hide away the fact that we will all die! But we will, all of us. Some of us are much more at ease with that knowledge, and so we are drawn to work with death, and the dying.
What we don't do
We do not do the physical, personal care of someone - administering medication, dressing, washing, feeding, clinical work, that is something that we leave to the medical professionals, nurses and carers.
So, what is it we exactly do?
We provide a much more "spiritual"/energetic role, but we are non-religious and are happy to work with anyone of any spiritual belief or none. We can provide support in various ways, by helping to create an end of life plan, whether that be a light-hearted plan that encompasses funeral planning, songs, memory books and recordings, things to celebrate your life, to a more serious advanced care plan/living will, funeral options etc. We help people think about how and where they want to die - who they do or don't want around the bedside. We can help you think about the questions that you don't even know you have! - Some people can find planning this type of thing when they have a terminal diagnosis very healing and empowering!
Think about it, we plan our weddings, parties, we have birth plans, it is also vital that we can plan for our deaths. Not only is it an empowering thing to do, giving us some control over what happens to us at a time that we can feel the most out of control, it is also a deep act of love that you are doing for your family - taking away some decisions and burdens from them so they know exactly how you feel - and also taking away some of the fear for them as well as for yourself.
We provide a huge range of holistic therapies, such as massage, Reiki, sound healing, aromatherapy, reflexology and many other holistic treatments that can help soothe and balance, we can signpost to other health and holistic professionals - we have a vast network of people that we can call on and so if there is something we cannot provide, you can be sure that we know someone who does!
Something very important to us is helping people to have the confidence to make the choice that they can die in their own homes. When asked, most people say that this is where they want to die, but when faced with the stark reality of that prospect, often it may seem easier to leave everything to the hospitals. At the last hurdle, we may feel we lack the skills and confidence to care for our loved one at home. It is indeed a daunting task, and is not always possible, due to a variety of reasons, but with the correct help, procedures, equipment, and support in place, it is achievable. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong, every death will be like every person, unique. We aim to guide, support and offer choices wherever possible, to ensure a peaceful transition.
Soul Midwife / Death Priestess
Whats in a name? We go by many names - Soul Midwives, Death Midwives, Death Doulas, Death Priestesses, Doulas for the dying, and we all do very much the same in essence, guide and support the dying and their families to ensure a gentle death experience, but at Angelic Aurora we have made a subtle difference between what we do as Soul Midwives, and as Death Priestesses. We feel when we are working as Soul Midwives we are working with people from the minute they receive a terminal diagnosis and start on that pathway. This is where we teach skills and share knowledge about the dying process at our end of life skills workshops, help with memory books and death plans, support emotional and physical wellbeing with holistic therapies and herbs - enabling the path of acceptance on the journey.
We take the role of Death Priestesses once we are vigiling with someone as they enter the last phase of their life, or what we call the "active dying" phase. This is where we move into deeper, more sacred energy work side of what we do, helping the soul transition from this world to the next, working on a much more vibrational level, using Reiki, energy, essential oils and sound vibration.
We are not special, anyone can do this work, which is why we are so passionate about passing on and sharing the skills and ancient wisdom of what we do, but it is a calling, a vocation, and not for everybody. Some heart breaking and emotional times are witnessed when walking this road, but to sit with a soul as they transition, to work with a person at end of life, and their loved ones, to hold space for people so they can just "be" is truly a humbling experience and a real privilege - and something that can't be summed up in just words.
We hope that by sharing our words, blogs, videos, we can take away some of the fear and stigma around death and dying, and create a place where we can have those conversations in an uplifting and empowering way.
Sam & Simone xxx