Caring for the Dying describes a whole new way to approach death and dying. It explores how the dying and their families can bring deep meaning and great comfort to the care given at the end of a life. Created by Henry Fersko-Weiss, the end-of-life doula model is adapted from the work of birth doulas and helps the dying to find meaning in their life, express that meaning in powerful and beautiful legacies, and plan for the final days.Read more...
Caring for the Dying describes a whole new way to approach death and dying. It explores how the dying and their families can bring deep meaning and great comfort to the care given at the end of a life. Created by Henry Fersko-Weiss, the end-of-life doula model is adapted from the work of birth doulas and helps the dying to find meaning in their life, express that meaning in powerful and beautiful legacies, and plan for the final days. The approach calls for around-the-clock vigil care, so the dying person and their family have the emotional and spiritual support they need along with guidance on signs and symptoms of dying. It also covers the work of reprocessing a death with the family afterward and the early work of grieving.
Emphasis is placed on the space around the dying person and encourages the use of touch, guided imagery, and ritual during the dying process. Throughout the book Fersko-Weiss tells amazing and encouraging stories of the people he has cared for, as well as stories that come from doulas he has trained and worked with over the years.
What is unique about this book is the well-conceived and thorough approach it describes to working skillfully with the dying. The guidance provided can help a dying person, their family, and caregivers to transform the dying experience from one of fear and despair into one that is uplifting and even life affirming. You will see death in a new light and gain a different perspective on how to help the dying. It may even change the way you live your life right now.
- ISBN-13: 9781573246965
- ISBN-10: 1573246964
- Publisher: Conari Press
- Publish Date: March 2017
- Page Count: 256
- Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-01-23
- Reviewer: Staff
Fersko-Weiss, founder of the first End-of-Life Doula program in the U.S., defines the core features of this powerful framework for supporting the dying and their families, modeled on the compassionate care services that birth doulas provide. Moreover, he offers guidance for anyone hoping to engage the approaching death of a loved one with grace and intention. With Buddhist calm and a sense of thoughtful presence, Fersko-Weiss shares the core tools doulas use to help the dying approach ego integrity by reflecting, exploring meaning, and addressing unresolved conflict, while also helping them choose the surroundings that make them feel comforted and appreciated. Approaches such as creating a legacy project and planning the vigil can help family members process fear and allow closeness to continue until the end. Although not structured as a guidebook, enough detail is included that families without access to a doula could successfully use many of the ideas on their own. Warm stories of client experiences give permission to imagine a death experienced with as much humanity as the rest of life, with profound results for everyone affected by the event. Fersko-Weisss perspective is a desperately needed reminder of the value of facing lifes most difficult transitions with open eyes and hearts. (Mar.)