The Life Review unfolds organically through a series of conversations. It looks different for each individual, but is the cornerstone of our work as end of life doulas. In this process we explore themes of life, and help identify other areas where we might focus our work together, whether that be in legacy work or how vigil will be conducted.
Many people at the end of life want to commemorate their life or leave something behind for their loved ones. Legacy Projects can be enacted by close those close to them, or the dying person themselves. As doulas we support the process by helping envision the project, brainstorming solutions to obstacles that might arise, as well as directly participating in certain circumstances. This process can be incredibly nourishing not only during the dying process but for many years down the road.
The time of active dying can last anywhere from hours to a few weeks. By planning for this time we set the stage for beauty, comfort, and a sense of sacredness to unfold when the Vigil arrives. We can also help design rituals to mark important moments in the end of life process, which will give everyone involved a sense of security as it unfolds.
We refer to the time of active dying as the Vigil. It can be taxing for loved ones, so we offer more comprehensive availability throughout. In other phases of the process our visits will last 1-2 hours, but in vigil time we can be present for 3-4, or more if needed, as well as being available by phone for quick check-ins and updates. We will implement the Vigil plans and be guardians of the dying person's wishes, as they approach the end of their life.
Six to eight weeks post-mortem we will facilitate a small gathering for those who've been present throughout the experience. This early grief work reminds the community of loved ones that they are not alone in their inner process. Sharing memories and reflections helps loved ones bond and furthers the collective process of healing.