Butterfly - Transformation

February 27th at 10 AM PT/ 7 PM CET

The gift of End-of-Life Doulas

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When I started the Conscious Living, Conscious Dying series in October 2018 in honour of my husband and co-founder of The Wisdom Factory, I found out about the existence of Doulas. Here in Italy, where I live, I had never heard about them, we hardly have hospices available here and the threat to be in hospital during the dying process is an absolutely unbearable idea.

I had Mark at home in his last month and did whatever I could do for him with my limited understanding of how to do best what is needed in every moment. If you live in a country where Doulas exist you might find some inspiration and valuable information of what you can expect if you hire one or if you want to become one yourself.

I have invited 3 professional Doulas for this show, Lynne Feldman, Stuart Davis and Tarron Estes, who is also an instructor for becoming a Doula. I am very curious to learn more about their work, and, who knows, I might become one myself and start the work where I live right now?


The panel discussion with the announced guests will be rescheduled

Lynne Feldman – Doulas

0:00 Heid’s intro and Hello from Martin  Ucik

2:15 Lynne Feldman introduces herself. The story of her cancer diagnoses, She knew Robin Reinak whose sister in law was dying of lung cancer. That leads her into searching into a modality with which she could die easier herself. How she found out about DOULAS. Different approaches

5:45 The different ways of being a doula

6:05 What does “DOULA” mean? Doulas: emotional, physical and spiritual support, as well as for the families,  in live passages (birth/death)

7:50 Lynne’s critique of independent doulas. At “Valey” there is a completely integral program. Work in a team. Explaining the conditions for the training: e.g. “Butterfly program” for dying children, as separate training.

10:30 The patient is covered 24h a day by the team. 4 h per person until the passing of the patient.

12:00 The training: the idea of a good death. The client’s value system was important. Doulas need also defend the patient against others, even family members who don’t want to respect the wishes of the dying which the patient has laid down in a booklet.

15:45 Practices: Guided visualisation for all spiritual orientations. Therapeutic touch. Aroma therapy. How to deal with the families. An example. The insensible wife of a dying man.

18:35 Heidi give example of her mother. Lynne continues the story of the impossible family of the dying man who wanted to have a party when the person tried to die.

20:15 The work in an entire team. Always the possibility to get help from the health professionals. Continuous log about the patient throughout the team. Taking care also after the passing. The question of wills. Another example. The doulas become part of the family and are invited to the funeral.

24:10 Heidi: is that volunteer work? How can we expect that somebody will do that for us?

24:35 Lynne tells the story of her neighbor Gerhard, how independent Doulas come unprepared

Why Lynne took the training? Service and spiritual practice.

27:00 are there enough people doing this?

27:25 When Lynne’s husband died she fell into depression and hadn’t continued with the doula work. There are many dedicated people doing that integrated practice.

29:45 Heidi’s experience with the passing of Mark. Lynne talks about phenomena before dying. And that they were never left alone – while Heidi felt completely left alone with important questions.

31:50 Valley hospital hospice program in New Jersey. Integrated doula program.

32:45 Martin didn’t know that doulas exist.  People with higher purpose. What can that be? Doulas is a great example for finding a deeper higher meaning in life. Martin shares the funerals in the nearby cemetery. He find cemetery inspiring, not so much his young employee.

35:42 Heidi mentions Angela in the live audience again. Then talks about the experience of being with a dying person. Fears to be left alone when dying. She also stays with her dying animals.

37:30 Doulas can go also into the hospital, at least where she is. Heidi reads another comment of Angela and explains the purpose of our shows, als the previous CONSCIOUS LIVING. CONSCIOUS DYING show.

38:45 Lynne talks about her recent miss diagnosis and the 2 months of preoccupation, fill out the booklet with the wishes for your end. A story about a long term friend dying, whose children were in denial of his death. Working with the family is important.

41:20 Death is a failure of western medicine. Prolongation of life with the new technologies.

41:55 Lyne talks about her book and Ken Wilber’s attempt to offer a workshop about death and dying – nobody showed up. What we fear gets ever bigger if we don’t look into it.

43:10 Martin had lived in California and would fill out such a paper together with his daughter.. Lynne will get informed about where you an find these possibilities.

44:44 Heidi: before it was the task of family member. Hospice program is no cost. Lynne: interrupted by telephone call. She is learning about the disabled and how to defend them (she learns a special need lawyer). She defends a boy with “Sensory processing disorder”.

47:30 Heidi: So many places where we can help! It needs some structure to it, just trying to do that on your own is seen like weird. WHat can we do when we are out of reach of those programs?

48:56 The “Silver tsunami” -= people of our age, Baby Boomers. Gerontology: it needs to be dealt with that situation!

49:15 Heidi about the show “Integral Gerontology/Dementia” with Bettina Wichers.

49:55 Heidi reads comment from Angela and shares her experience when facing cancer and death. MArk’s death still seems unreal to her.

51:00 Lynne about the death of her husband. Cancer support group: 2 years after the event people needs help. Heidi: we can function somehow, but the inner landscape is upset.

52:12 Starting to wrap up. Heidi announces the rescheduling of the panel discussion with Lynne, Stuart Davis and Tarron Estes.

53:40 Heidi announces the session for next week. The use of consciousness enhancing drugs and the loss of fear of death.

54:45 Heidi explains how people can get the content in English even if the session will be in German.

ABOUT OUR PANEL MEMBERS (Please click on their names)

Watch a previous episode with Lynne Feldman in the first season of The Wisdom Factory

An excerpt

Full conversation


Stuart Davis

Davis, a practicing Buddhist monk, is just a bit more hyphenated these days; he’s become a MusicianDirector-Comedian-Author.

With 15 albums to his credit and guest appearances on NPR and syndicated radio’s “Coast to Coast Live,” music is still his main squeeze, and his irreverent TV show, Sex God, Rock ‘n Roll brought Stuart’s down to earth wit and irreverent humor – a mainstay of his live shows – to a larger audience. His latest release, Music For Mortals, out August 7 on SDM, is proof; the melodies are catchy and instantly memorable, intelligent songwriting in the vein of Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, XTC, and – being a Minnesota native – Bob Dylan. The first single, “Beautiful Place,” has thought-provoking lyrics and builds to a soaring, instantly memorable chorus you’ll have a hard time getting out of your head, and USA Today just selected “Not Another Lifetime” for their Playlist, saying, “the versatile, sonically inventive singer/songwriter is at his most wickedly playful on this track from Music for Mortals.”

Stuart was with his father when he died and, inspired by this experience, he signed up for the school of Tarron Estes to become an end-of-life Doula himself.

Tarron Estes
Tarron writes:

I work with Health Care Systems and Senior Communities facilitating “End of Life Culture Change” and “Best Three Months: End of Life Fulfillment and Care Planning”. I have delivered “Human Caring: A Caring Science Educational Initiative” and “Caring Science Conscious Dying” for nurses and clinical professionals at Kaiser Permanente and other hospital systems in the US.  These programs increase the caregivers ability to develop and fulfill life priorities and care plans based on what people want and need most as their dying time approaches.

I believe we can shift the end of life experience from the “worst months of life”  to the “Best Months of Life”.  Our country is experiencing a groundswell–a true grassroots movement that I call “Occupy Death”. This movement calls us to explore and create transformational healing experiences during the dying process. People all over North America want to take back the care of loved ones so that we can all heal and experience more love. We want to live as beautifully and fully as possible through dying in a good, sacred way.