I am a Soul Midwife Level 2 Practitioner.
As well as having an extensive background in working with death and the dying, I have trained with Felicity Warner – Founder of the Soul Midwives Foundation and although I have been nursing for nearly 30 years my role as a Soul Midwife is non-medical.
“I consider myself extremely honoured and privileged every time I support a ‘friend’ through a peaceful transition”
What is a Soul Midwife?
A Soul Midwife is a non- medical, non-denominational or multi- faith practitioner who supports those going through the dying process and beyond. They are there to complement professional colleagues.
The role of the Soul Midwife is hundreds of years old and has its origins in many traditions.
Where does a Soul Midwife work?
Dying companion’s home
Who does a Soul Midwife work with?
A Soul Midwife works with the dying person, referred to as the ‘friend’ or ‘companion’ and with the family and other chosen loved ones of the companion.
What can a Soul Midwife help/support with?
A soul midwife’s role is flexible depending on the situation. Every dying process and death is different therefore every situation is different, but a Soul Midwife can offer help and advice on planning and recording end of life wishes and they can support with comfort measures such as breathing and relaxation techniques. They also use a number of complementary therapy techniques that can help with the alleviation of pain, anxiety and restlessness. These include use of essential oils, ‘gentle touch’ (which is a type of very gentle massage), Sound therapy or just sitting quietly and keeping a loving vigil.
A Soul Midwife can also provide encouragement, comfort and support to family and loved ones of the dying person to enable them to acknowledge and participate in the process to a level at which they feel comfortable. The dying process can become quite worrying and stressful for families especially if there are children involved, a Soul Midwife can offer support with this at such a difficult time.
How often does a Soul Midwife visit?
Again this depends on the situation and the needs of the ‘friend’ or ’companion’.
Some people request a weekly visit some request a visit twice a week or more if the person is very close to dying. A Soul Midwife can also support the family and loved ones left behind by visiting after the death for a while too to share experiences and to talk and reflect over the death.
The numbers of visits or time spent can be agreed at the initial consultation visit.
This image is from “The Quiver” (1868) vol III No
This image is of the dying King Arthur at Avalon
Comforted by four enchantresses
Why do I need a Soul Midwife?
You may not need one! You may have planned everything about your or a loved one’s end of life stage and therefore not need a Soul Midwife at all- and that is fine, well done!. You may however have doubts, fears or anxieties about how you or a family member or the dying person will cope with the whole process or you may not have been able to plan anything at all.
You may be alone and have no-one to support you through this experience and not want to do it alone. Or you may know of someone who has real fears about dying and death,
You may have a dying relative but have commitments that you simply cannot avoid and just want someone to sit with them until you return. After all, this is real life and we all have things that we just have to do at times.
Death and dying is not an easy thing to talk about. As a society we have been removed from death and dying over the generations. That coupled with the diversity of our population now, where many cultures do not talk about death and dying openly or simply just find it difficult. It is after all the completion of the cycle of life here in earth BUT it can be extremely ‘painful’ on many levels.
A Soul Midwife can really be a great support and comfort at this time.
When will I need a Soul Midwife?
People seek a Soul Midwives support at various stages. Some companions and their families like to if they are able to plan ahead and so call on a Soul Midwife from the point of diagnoses or months before the companion dies. Others maybe don’t get the chance if there has been a rapid decline and some companions are quite close to death when the Soul Midwife is called upon. Some just know when to contact a Soul Midwife…trust your instinct, it’s usually right!
If you feel you could benefit from the help, comfort and support of a Soul Midwife, give me a call on 07543 905 232 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I also do talks and workshops for care homes and home care agencies in the Essex area.