“Amicus mortis”

Death doulas: the women who prepare families for the end

At least 100 people in England are becoming experts in passage to the afterlife by serving as an “amicus mortis,” or “friend in death.” Caroline Dent, who was profiled this week by The Guardian for her work as a death doula, hosts a monthly “death café” to explain the services she and colleague Lisa Wong offer, which are akin to traditional childbirth doulas, but for the end of a person’s life. “We’ve lost control of one of the most significant events we’ll ever have to face,” she said, calling death in the 21st-century “over-medicalized.” Organizations like Living Well, Dying Well serve to train such doulas for work in the field, where they help families in care planning and preparing on how to best live together with meaning through the last days of a dying person. According to The Guardian, all but a handful of these providers are women, and most hail from social work or nursing backgrounds.

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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