The recent popularity of birth doulas is certainly a reaction to the relatively clinical nature of modern birth. It’s perhaps only natural, then, that death doulas have emerged as a balm to a growing sense that there is something awry in our modern understanding of death. A death doula, or end of life doula, is there to keep the focus on the humanity of their charge and restore dignity to the process of death.
“To me a death doula is no different in its mission than the hospice movement. To me it’s a natural cultural response, the pendulum swinging back the other direction,” said Joshua Magariel, Manager of Grief and Loss Services in Chicago at Rainbow Hospice and Palliative Care.