It might surprise people to learn that I didn’t always know I was going to be a death doula.
I remember when I first heard about doing death work. I thought it sounded like wonderful, very needed work, but I didn’t personally feel a draw to it.
That all changed in 2019 when I began connecting with my Ancestral Guide on my Father’s Father’s Lineage. He brought me back to the ancient, old growth forests of the Black Forest in what’s now southern Germany.
He brought to a sacred Oak grove and sat with me at the guardian Oak Tree. He showed me how our healed ancestors reside there in the Oak, like a literal family tree.
He showed me images of him tending to the dying at the base of the tree and being welcomed by their ancestors in the branches.
I witnessed the steadiness of his presence with the dying and his willingness to go into the unknown with them. His own groundedness helped the dying to let go and continue onto their next journey.
With deep care and respect, I watched him tend to the bodies of his beloveds and wish them well on their return to the great mystery.
He surprised me when he turned to me specifically and told me that I am a death worker. I didn’t want to disrespect him but I didn’t quite believe him. At the time, it seemed completely random to me.
I continued connecting with him, tending to the wellness of the ancestors on my father’s father’s lineage. He showed same a long line of death workers and that I was the next one. He showed me ancestors who had denied the call of death medicine and what a mess it had become for everyone.
I knew that my other ancestral guides also had vocations – as community leaders, sound healers and herbalists – and yet there wasn’t an invitation to become those things.
My Guide waited for me for about two years, strong and silent, never pushy but steady that he was here when I was ready to lean in.
In early 2022, I went through a big initiation when my four primary lineages (Mother’s Mothers, Mother’s Fathers, Father’s Fathers & Father’s Mothers) were all healed, and online. We did a harmonization ceremony, where my my four ancestral lineages came together and showed me what part they had to play in my life and destiny.
And to my surprise, they showed me that they were all coming together for the emergence of the death medicine that lives in me. Each of them showed me specifically how they intended to support me – with all of their gifts, blessings and affinities.
They taught me that my life was the celebration of their gifts and confirmed that yes, I am a death worker and my destiny is to exist at the threshold of souls and support to transition with deep care and respect.
I shared with them that I had known this for a few years, but I felt scared. It felt like it was too much, too much…
They each came forward and vowed to support me with specifically how they would do that. I felt their deep love for me and in me.
In 2023, I completed my Sacred Passage Death Doula Training with the Conscious Dying Institute. I am still new to death work and seeing my first clients this year, but it has already begun to integrate into my understanding of who I am and what I came here to do.
I can’t honestly say that I would have chosen this vocation had it not been for my Ancestral Guide, and I’m so glad for the connection, because I am so proud to be a vessel of death medicine.
I recently completed a lower world journey with a Goddess who supports me in embodying my medicine and after that journey, I wrote that I am part of the wing that carries the dying back to their ancestors with deep care, dignity and intention for them too to become good ancestors.