Welcome to Navigating Dying! Navigating dying is a complex and demanding experience for those at the end of life, their loved ones, and their caregivers. I’m here to help.
As an end-of-life doula I serve people in a variety of stages of life, to include:
People who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and want to engage the resources an end-of-life doula can provide.
Family members (biological or chosen) who want to educate themselves about the dying process and need help developing a support system for both the dying and them.
Caregivers who are overwhelmed with the never-ending responsibilities of caring for a loved one.
Anyone wanting to create an informed advanced directive.
A person wanting to ensure their loved ones have the necessary information regarding their medical wishes and all the related documents in case of an unexpected illness or death.
I didn’t know that end-of-life doulas existed before a doctor friend urged me to find someone to help me and my family during my mother’s final illness. I found Alison Butler from a list my friend sent me of end-of-life doulas in the Tucson area. I took a chance and emailed her to see if she would come meet me and my mom. This proved to be the best thing that happened to both of us in her final days.
-- Karen Jacobs
The difficulties and fears that surround an open conversation about illness, dying, and death have left many uninformed about the process itself and all the choices available to them. In addition, people often choose medical power-of-attorneys based on familial relationships and neglect to have the necessary conversations that would give the decisionmaker the confidence their choices reflect the wishes of their loved ones.
After decades as an educator, I am experienced and knowledgeable about strategies to demystify medical information, navigate difficult conversations and help plan someone's death with agency and guidance.
I am a certified End-of-Life Doula and Advanced Care Planner (IDLM). My formal training includes doula courses from INELDA and IDLM, and the NEDA proficiency exam.