Death Midwifery

Releasing with Blessed Goodbyes

The end of life is as miraculous and mysterious as life’s beginning. My gift to you and your family during this most sensitive experience is to create sacred space and ritual within your personal environment, and bridge families closer together through significant talk, stories, reminders, forgiveness, hand-holding, laughter, tears, and blessed goodbyes. ~ Regina

What is a Death Midwife/Doula?

Moving into the light

Death midwifery has been around since the beginning of humankind. Throughout the ages, women and men, husbands and wives, lovers, parents, and friends, have sat at the bedsides of those who are dying, supporting them through their last breath. Death midwives are those who take on this role and more, as outlined below.

In many ways, the position of death midwife/death doula, is similar to that of birth midwife/doula. When a person is nearing death, Regina serves as their non-medical supportive companion through the dying process and assists them in leaving their physical body and this world as gently, gracefully, and with as much dignity as possible. Regina becomes attentive to any fears and concerns that arise and, as their advocate, helps to relieve these in practical, emotional, and spiritual ways.

As death midwife, Regina’s primary role is to assist those who are dying and it is their wishes and needs that come first. Secondly, Regina cares for family members and close friends by assisting them as they come together to love and support the one who is dying. She also encourages family and friends to support each other throughout this challenging time. Together they create a sacred space for emotional healing and ceremony that serves to celebrate the life of their loved one.

Death midwifery works beautifully along with hospice care although Regina also works with those not in a hospice situation. Regina is a trained hospice volunteer and provides home services for hospice patients as well as co-facilitates a hospice bereavement support group. 

Creating Sacred Space and Ceremony

Sacred space can be created by bringing together photographs, candles, flowers, religious articles, ointments, special foods, memorabilia, and anything else that is thought to be important to both the dying, their family members, and close friends. These items are usually placed on a special table or shelf that is visible to the person who is dying so that memories flow and bring forth loving conversation. 

Ceremony during the dying process is an important piece in the celebration of life. It is a way of including those who are dying in the sharing of memorable moments and precious times. Ceremony can be conducted religiously, including church, synagogue, or temple rituals, or secularly in nature. Both may include music, singing, readings, memories, prayers, or other proceedings that are meaningful to the one who is dying.

Caring for the Dead

Most people are in a state of shock after a loved one dies. Making even simple decisions can seem overwhelming. A death midwife becomes a valuable liaison when funeral choices and decisions must be made. Whether a funeral takes place in a religious setting, funeral home, or in a private home, if invited to assist, Regina will be present supporting your family, helping you through any decision-making challenges. If requested, she will assist with filling out paperwork and clarifying laws regarding home funerals and cremation. She will listen to your needs with an open heart and mind and be present to facilitate compassionate communication between family members so that everyone’s needs are heard and met in a loving way.

Religious Setting or Funeral Home Services

If a service is to be held in a religious setting or funeral home, Regina is available to assist your family in creating a personalized and meaningful service and to escort you to and from the location. If requested, she is also available for the process of choosing a grave site, casket, vault, cards, headstone, or ashes urn, etc., as well as to guide you in asking relevant questions and making sure you receive satisfying answers. 

Home Funerals

Caring for a loved one after death is a sacred gift and, as a way to give this gift, more and more families are choosing to hold funerals at home. Home funerals offer a beautiful way to say goodbye to a loved one in a comfortable and familiar environment. Creating a funeral service at home allows a longer period of time, usually one to three days, for family members and friends to come together to honor the one who has died. It allows for a service that personally, culturally and spiritually embodies the desires of the one who has died.

As families return to the ways of home funerals, they are rediscovering beautiful traditions of their heritage and creating new ones that will be passed down to future generations. As death midwife, Regina will guide you step-by-step through this most sacred undertaking.

She is available to guide your family in caring for your loved one’s body after death as well as in creating and decorating a beautiful burial casket. She can also assist a family member or friend in creating a personalized and meaningful service. Many stories and memories unfold as a family and friends carry out these loving acts.

Green Burials

Caring for our planet is as important to Regina as caring for those who pass from it. Green burials are a beautiful way to release your loved ones into the infinite care of the universe.

“Green burials” or “natural burials” are toxin free, meaning that bodies are interred without embalming fluids. Pennsylvania law does not require a body to be embalmed before burial. Vaults are not used and caskets, if used, are made of biodegradable materials. Graves are usually marked with flat stones native to the area or with native plants.

As death midwife, Regina is more than willing to help you plan a green burial for yourself or your loved one, if desired. She is happy to speak to you and your family about this earth friendly way of saying goodbye. 

Contracting Regina as Your Death Midwife

Should you choose to contract Regina as death midwife for yourself or another, you will meet initially and talk about your wishes and Regina’s role in the process. It is important to come to a mutual understanding of what is required and expected prior to any commitment and to see if all those involved are a good fit for your particular circumstances.

Payment of services will depend upon family needs and can be discussed at the initial meeting.

Regina’s wish is for you to create the most loving and meaningful goodbye possible for yourself or someone whom you cherish. In honoring this path, Regina is in service to you. 

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