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Navigating dying is a complex and demanding experience

I'm here to help.

Throughout my life, I have had a multitude of personal and professional experiences that provided me the knowledge and skills necessary to guide others through the end of life.

Living in a compromised body has given me deep insight and empathy into suffering and ways to think more expansively about what quality of life can mean. Having an invisible disability meant I was often not believed by doctors and  I had to learn to navigate medical systems and understand and synthesize medical terminology and information myself.


And as an educator, I often had to help students navigate complicated family dynamics, teach them to advocate for themselves, and act as a sounding board for them.

Alison grins at the camera. Above text reads "Hi, I'm Alison".

When my stepmother was given a three-year prognosis, I witnessed up close the experience of someone diagnosed with a terminal illness and navigating their end-of-life.


She was an extraordinary woman who chose to face her cancer head-on and was intentional about how much treatment she was willing to tolerate and calibrated that with the pleasures that were possible during the time she had left.


Hers was my first experience of what a “good death” could be...

Later, I had the privilege of being present at the end of a close friend's father's life and became my father's primary caretaker at the end of his life.

Both were profound experiences - I learned to advocate and be present for both of their medical and emotional needs. I was moved by their struggles and fears. I was especially grateful to be able to hold my father at his last breath.

Alison stands at the Grand Canyon smiling.
Alison and her mother sit outside smiling.

These experiences were the beginning of my interest in working with people at the end of their life.

My goal with creating Navigating Dying is to use the skills acquired over the years to work with people diagnosed with a terminal illness and examine their values, wishes, and choices to help them be intentional about how to spend their remaining time and determine what a “good death” means to them.

How I can help

As a progressive Jewish woman, social justice is essential to me in all its forms.


My practice is based on the premise that every human being—irrespective of, but not limited to, their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and other cultural attributes—has a right to die with dignity, surrounded by love, compassion, and grace.

In addition to the more traditional end-of-life doula work, I am a certified advanced care planner and instructor at the International Doula Life Movement (IDLM).

I find working with clients especially rewarding, and also provide:

  • Training and workshops for hospices, home care companies, senior living facilities, and community organizations

  • In-services for a variety of organizations


  • Robust resource database for clients and research

Image by Casey Horner
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Picnic Spot
Alison leans against a doorway surrounded by cactus, looking foward.

More About Me

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.


I’ve participated in a range of workshops and seminars, including those from the Shomer Collective, Reimagine, and Kavod v'Nichum.


I am a member of the Tucson End-of-Life Doulas and received my Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.

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