Death Doula | Home Funeral Guide | Life Celebrant

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About Me

Death is a difficult subject for many of us and it's oftentimes feels sanitized or glossed over by hospice and palliative care to maintain a more positive outlook.  One of the roles of an End of Life Doula and Home Funeral Guide is to have those difficult discussions, answer questions, and help sort out the information in a practical and compassionate way with the goal of allowing everyone involved to process a natural part of life.

I was drawn to this field after burying the majority of my family, including both of my parents before I turned 40.  I was my father's death doula long before I knew what one was and helped him plan his wake, funeral service, and read him his eulogy while caring for him in hospice.  It was a cathartic experience for all of us.  Although I have mourned every person and animal companion that has ever occupied my life, I am grateful for what I have learned from their deaths as much as what I experienced during their lives.  I have learned valuable lessons -- some gentle and loving, some traumatic -- that I want to share with others to help make their own experiences less confusing.  

And, in the case of the dying, making the experience less lonely and isolating.

I sought training and certification through Lifespan Doulas, Ann Arbor, MI,  for their End-of-Life Doulas (EOLD). Their program was comprehensive and the facilitators have been death doulas for over a decade, and they are a driving force behind the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance (NEDA).  NEDA's "seeks to inspire positive, creative change in American death practices by offering the highest standards for ethical and practical guidelines, public education, and rich networking opportunities for all end-of-life (EOL) doulas who support the dying, their caregivers, and the agencies involved.‚Äč"  At this time our field is not governed by any credentialing body; NEDA seeks to change that for us all.  I strongly support this movement.

Along with my EOLD certification, I am a member of both pagan and humanist clergy, which allows me to be a life celebrant for the dying regardless of their personal beliefs -- or lack of them.  I also have training and/or certification as a Home Funeral Guide and in Grief and Bereavement Counseling, grief Reiki, NeuroLinguistic Programming, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Hypnotherapy.

I teach classes on mourning and grieving in Detroit, Chicago, and near Columbus, OH.  Subjects including Mourning with Energy Work and Crystals; Mourning with Herbs, Teas, and Oils; Planning a Pagan Funeral, and Death Magic: Discussion and Practicum.  Feel free to contact me if you're interested in discovering what classes I have coming up or if you think you might like me to teach a class for your organization.  

- Tara L. Callaghan, EOLD