Becoming A Death Doula: The Beautiful Journey Of Living With Death With Stephanie Dawson

WRT 45 | Death Doula

  What does a death doula do? Today’s guest will enlighten us on the path she walks. Stephanie Dawson is a retired nurse turned death doula turned grief coach. Stephanie takes us into her journey from a career-ending injury death of a loved one to becoming a death doula. The tragic events may have been painful, but they did not close her doors and, instead, opened her mind to believe that death becomes our friend that we take with us. Let’s take a moment to listen to this beautiful journey of Stephanie Dawson today. Thank you for viewing this post. I am not a licensed therapist or professional life coach. I am sharing my experience of loving the same man for 32 years, a mother to two adult children, a retired military officer, a breast cancer survivor, and my connections with others.  Anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts should reach out to a suicide hotline or local emergency number in their country: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/suicide/suicide-prevention-hotlines-resources-worldwide   Social Links: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephanie-dawson-955948183 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deathwithsteph — Watch the episode here   Listen to the podcast here   Becoming A Death Doula: The Beautiful Journey Of Living With Death With Stephanie Dawson In this episode, our guest is Ms. Stephanie Dawson. I found her on Twitter because I wanted to know what a death doula was and she is one. This conversation is so interesting. She drops some gold nuggets in here. I’m going to give you one. She said that death becomes our friend that we take with us. I want you to know how she talks about this.     In this episode, our guest is Ms. Stephanie Dawson, a death doula. I believe I tracked her down on Twitter and reached out to her. With the idea of a death doula, I didn’t have a clue but the more that I read about it, the more interesting it became. It’s morbid but here we are. We’re on a whole widowhood conversation. As you know, one of my intentions is to always have guests who are interesting. I never heard of a death doula so here we go. Welcome, Stephanie. Thank you for having me. Thank you for being here. I know that you’re more than a death doula so we won’t start right there but it is something that I do want to get into. Where are you from originally? I was in Michigan until I was six and then I moved to Black Hills of South Dakota. I grew up in Deadwood, South Dakota. Those were two different places. At what age? How do we get to South Dakota from Michigan? My mom was a hippie. She went out to the Black Hills on vacation. She was a single parent. I was six and my sister was one at the time. She fell in love with the Black Hills so we moved there. It up and moved us. Did you take on some of that hippie atmosphere? Where would you put yourself in the placement of that? Almost everything about me as an adult is directly related to my childhood. I’m a strong advocate for women’s rights and people of all colors and dispositions. I have a queer daughter so I’m very active there. I was rabid about the environment. How does that show up in your everyday life being rabid about the environment? I was always trying to lower my footprint with reusable silicone baggies, beeswax paper, bar shampoo, and bar soap. One is partly water. Also, laundry sheets. I used to make my laundry soap. My daughter never thought it worked as well. She didn’t like it. Now, they have so many ecological options. I have magnets that I have in my washing machine. I found them on Amazon. I have balls that are made of wool or some material. I use that in the dryer. We have those too, the Woolzies. My grandsons like to steal them from my laundry when they’re around. It’s a ball and they’re boys. I can relate to that. My husband has a garden in the back where he does his compost. It was interesting. The trash went out and we did not have much trash to go out. We have more recyclables but most of the food products go into the compost besides fruit and meat. We have a dog so he’s trying to make sure he gets everything else. I never thought about being rabid for the environment but to some extent, we are doing the same thing. When I get grocery store bags, the little plastic ones, we have reusable grocery bags but we always get some of the plastic because I use them for garbage. I don’t buy garbage bags. I don’t think I’ve bought garbage bags in many years. We do have garbage bags. We recycle so much that it’s not worth it. We don’t have that much garbage. We have a grocery store bag every other day. It’s just me and my daughter. We don’t have all that much. How did we come from the six-year-old to this woman who’s a death doula? There’s a lot of story in between there. How do you want to unpack some of that? Going back a little further, even when I was four, my sister died. I told you that. I grew up in a grieving family. My first memory of a funeral is my sister’s. She was a week away from turning three when she died. We were dressed alike. First of all, I am sorry. That is a very young age. Thank you for sharing that. We may have talked about some things in the pre-conversation but thank you for bringing that to this discussion. When you say you and your sister were dressed together, was it at the time she died or at her funeral, Stephanie? At her funeral, we had matching dresses. We were fourteen months apart so we dressed alike often. I’m sure they were our newest best dresses. …

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