In our new series of “Let’s Talk About …” we hope to cover some important issues that we feel need delving into a little deeper. In our first post we’re talking about dying and the role of the Soul Midwife and have invited Anna Taylor, who is a trained Soul Midwife, to write an article for us so that we may understand the role a little better.
“A Soul Midwife provides non-medical holistic and spiritual support to people who are dying; our services can be sought from point of diagnosis to death. As a Soul Midwife we like to build a strong rapport with the people we support and so instead of thinking of them as a patient or a client we refer to them as a friend.
The support that we offer covers a vast number of services and is led by what the friend requires at that time. We believe in meeting them where they are, by this I mean to accept where each person is with their acceptance of the situation. We do not wish, nor can we change or fix a friends outcome, however we can support them so that they have a death that is peaceful.
From a practical point of view we may accompany a friend to their medical appointments to provide moral support, or we may discuss if they have any wishes that they would like to fulfil; whether that is a visit they would like to make or a letter they want to write to a loved one. Sometimes people try to protect their loved ones from the situation, we can provide a safe space for them to be vulnerable where they may discuss their feelings and thoughts. We are at ease in this situation and comfortable for friends to talk about death and dying in a clear, honest manner including their fears, however, at the same time if a friend does not wish to talk we are happy to sit in silence. This allows us the opportunity to hold space for a friend as they work through their emotions and thoughts in their own time.
One of my favourite techniques is guided meditation which is beneficial to use from the start. The last sense to leave a person when they are dying is their hearing and if we have practiced this then towards the end when we provide a meditation they will recognise our voice. Through compassion and love we provide gentle touch, this is not massage, but a soft, gentle reassuring touch that they are not alone and are supported. Some Soul Midwives also practice complementary therapies that may be used at times to ease anxiety or discomfort.
When a person is dying it can be an overwhelming time for both them and their loved ones, we are aware of this and so aim to provide support and reassurance for loved ones as well. Soul Midwifery does not align with any one faith, we support each friend in their personal beliefs on death and dying, as mentioned we meet our friend where they are on their journey.
One aspect that I really appreciate about Soul Midwifery is how individual we all are. There is a framework that we work within and we each offer our service with our best intentions; however, what we each bring to our service is unique and I truly believe that each friend will find the right Soul Midwife for them.
I refer to myself as a Soul Midwife as I have completed the Soul Midwifery course with Felicity Warner in Dorset. However, there are others who have completed similar training who refer to themselves as End of Life Doulas, Death Doulas etc. Felicity Warner has a webpage https://soulmidwives.co.uk/ where more information may be found and she can confirm if a person has completed training with the Soul Midwives School. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Soul Midwife then I would recommend that you attend an introduction day, they are running on 15 Mar 2020 and 11 Oct 2020 in Oxford.
More about Anna:
Anna is a qualified nurse with over 10-years experience of looking after patients with a variety of conditions. During her career one of her passions has been providing care to palliative and dying patients. She feels it’s an honour to be able to support patients and their relatives in these situations.
Anna is also an Angelic Reiki practitioner, channeling healing energy from the Angelic Realms.
Anna will complete more holistic training during 2020.
You can contact Anna at:
Facebook: Soul Midwife and Holistic Therapist
Phone: 07851 347215