Trained and Certified by INELDA, the
International End-of-Life Doula Association
Born in Salem Oregon and raised in beautiful natural spaces I was weaned on storytelling, freedom to explore and deep respect for the power of community. From crossing moss covered natural tree bridges over ravines to racing bareback with my friends, I grew into the understanding that I am pioneer stock through and through.
I can remember my mom saying that she knew in her bones that she had crossed the Oregon Trail. I know in my bones, that I'm descended from those who accompanied people in their community who were dying.
A University of Oregon graduate, with extensive small group facilitation experience focused on internal growth and change, I chose INELDA as my end-of-life doula training organization in September 2015 and haven't looked back. I am a trained volunteer for Providence Hospice and NODA.
Using active listening, gentle nudging and coaching,
I’ll meet you where you are emotionally. Your personal values and situation are paramount. We’ll contemplate how to develop a Legacy Project in a way that feels true to who YOU are. We’ll establish a Vigil Plan for final days when speaking is diminished.
My life mantras are:
Say "yes" if you can.
I can do hard things.
People matter more than things.
Shop at home first.
Is this good enough?
What are your guiding wisdoms and how do you share them with your loved ones?
I'd be honored to explore this with you.
Certified through Momdoulary's Death and Mourning Doula Training Program (TM)
Years ago, the sudden loss of a friend from a tragic accident inspired my study of death and dying. When something freaks me out I study it - and boy was I freaked out! In the course of my studies, I learned of Death Doulas/Midwives and was fascinated by the idea.
I volunteered with hospice and knew I was on the right path. In 2015 I earned my End of Life Doula certification through the Momdoulary Death and Mourning Doula Training Program. I also volunteer with End of Life Choices Oregon and Northwest Pilot Project.
In the past 150 years or so, our society has turned deathcare over to “professionals”, after having done it ourselves since forever. The result has been our losing touch with a natural and profound part of life. Because any talk of death is generally avoided until something happens, people often don’t know what their loved ones would want, or what their options are, or what the process can look like.
As an end of life doula I am committed to giving deathcare back to families. Doulas are not more “professionals” to turn things over to - we are members of the community who want to help folks have the best experience possible when it comes to dying. My goal is to help families experience as much healing, love and yes, even humor,
as possible in their last months, weeks, and days together. I love the Ram Dass quote: “We’re all just walking each other home.” It is truly an honor to serve in this way.
On a personal note, a few of my favorite things are: my family, birds, trees, the moon, music, weird art, books, quiet, Halloween, and laughter - always laughter.
Sacred Passage Doula
Studied at the Conscious Dying Institute in Boulder CO
Originally from NY, I have been an Oregon resident for the last 8 years while practicing as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in skilled nursing facilities and the home health arena in the Willamette Valley and Portland metro area.
Being present in my father’s 15-month journey through terminal illness and death in 2013 inspired me to learn more about what support at end of life could look like.
In 2016, I studied at the Conscious Dying Institute of Boulder, Colorado, and obtained my certificate as an End-of-Life Sacred Passage Doula. That year I also began the rewarding experience of volunteering with Kindred Hospice.
I feel fortunate to have connected with my colleagues at Evening Star. As a team, we are dedicated to creating the sacred space for individuals and their loved ones to experience end-of-life on their terms as much as possible, helping to educate and empower our clients throughout their process. I am dedicated to creating as much peace (of mind, heart and soul) as possible to promote optimal quality time with loved ones.
I respect each individuals’ diverse needs. Like a blank canvas, I hope to work with you on creating a meaningful ending, reflective of your values, to your unique life experience.
There are times when an ability to call on the skills and knowledge of qualified and vetted independent End-of-Life-Doula [EOLD] practitioners becomes a distinct advantage. While the working partners will always remain the backbone of Evening Star’s service model, contract EOLDs can and do provide our lead partner doulas with critical backup support for client care – as needed.
End of Life Doula
Trained with INELDA [International End of Life Association]
My life-long journey has prepared me well for this rich work as an end-of-life doula [EOLD], which I am dedicated to. I can remember my earliest initiation when as a teenager, I first read Jessica Mitford’s “The American Way of Death”, and could hardly reconcile it with my own vastly different “kinder and gentler” experience, whether as witness to or an active participant in my friends and family’s subsequent passings. With hands-on experience during both of my parent’s decline and home deaths, I saw firsthand, along with my sisters, how a peaceful, personalized and well-supported passage can make all the difference to a better outcome. Since then, I’ve been a champion for humanizing our cultural norms around death and dying in ways that it may be returned to us all for compassionate caregiving with heartfelt dignity.
And so, with a passion for the possible and an equal appetite for making it happen, I first entered this emerging field as a volunteer for hospice, which led me to train as an EOLD with INELDA’s program, and more recently, to hold a board position with NEDA [National End of Life Alliance] as chair of its Strategic Planning and Marketing Committee. In January, 2021, I will be completing an 8-week EOLD online certificate program with the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine.
With over 35 years-experience as a marketing and business professional across diverse fields including health care, education and internet technology, I am also a trained bioenergetic health practitioner in private practice.