End of Life Mentor
An “End of Life Mentor,” also referred to as a “Death Doula,” or “Death Midwife”, is a personal resource. This is someone who supports by relieving stress, answering tough questions, interfacing with medical professionals, translating medical lingo, holding space, and/or maybe fills in so that a caregiver can take a deep breath or get a good night’s sleep. This type of mentor will support, guide and nurture all who are involved at the end of a lifetime—including the dying person, their family and other caregivers, if needed.
Danielle Dvorak first felt the call to work with those at the end of their lives over 20 years ago. At that time, she shepherded her grandmother through a very difficult last year of life. After that, she spent many years working with various hospices, supporting those who were dying, their caregivers and their families. Her work with cancer patients and other terminally-ill people has included support with reiki, sound/music, gentle touch and anything else needed to relieve stress and uplift those involved. Sometimes this means just sitting and holding a hand and/or listening; other times, this might include running errands, doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen or whatever else will bring relief.
Recently, Dvorak completed a training in accompanying the dying, resulting in a certificate that qualifies her as an “End of Life Mentor”. She is truly inspired and wishes to help people find their way through this challenging time, whether they are a caregiver, the family of a loved one who is getting ready to pass on or one facing their own death. With her support and guidance, it is possible to experience peace, beauty and a sense of closure instead of what often occurs when people are unprepared to move through what can be a remarkable time at the ending of a life.
Dvorak regularly gives free talks on death and dying in hopes of encouraging people to free themselves of the phobia our culture has developed around these human experiences. Her talks focus on issues such as the history of death and dying, the five most common regrets the dying face, the four things dying people want to say and hear and more.