It is always an interesting conversation when I tell people I am a birth doula and a death midwife in training. People understand my fascination and commitment to supporting and empowering families in birth but when it comes to death their faces change. I am often met with questions like “why on earth would you want to do that? ” or “are you morbid?”
Interestingly the word morbid suggests an unhealthy mental state or attitude to something but I would argue the unhealthy aspect of dying stems from the death-phobic trauma culture surrounding it and our failure to make friends with our own mortality.
For starters our fear of the conversation in general and the decision-making processes surrounding death.
This means we end up with morbid statistics like 70% of people wanting to die at home and only 14% of people who want the palliative home care option arranged actually getting it. Simply because many people don’t know what their options are.
I wonder what it would look like if death became a conversation we could all joyfully have and plan for together – without the fear and with the communal goal of giving our loved ones the kind of departure they want?
This week Jane Caro tweeted “ How do you want your last days on earth to be spent? You won’t get your wish if you don’t tell anyone. #deathoverdinner