‘A good death is an extraordinary, moving and sacred experience. It can also have a healing quality, not only for the person who is involved but their families, friends and the wider community.’ (Felicity Warner, Gentle Dying)
What are Soul Midwives?
Soul Midwives are non-medical, holistic companions who guide and support the dying in order to facilitate a gentle and tranquil death.
- listen, provide gentle therapeutic techniques and ensure compassionate care at all times
- work holistically with both the spirit and the soul of the dying person
- keep a loving vigil
- create and hold a sacred and healing space for the dying person
- recognise and support the individual needs of the departing soul to enable a tranquil death
- use sound, touch, colour and smell and other gentle techniques to help alleviate pain and anxiety
- support families and loved ones.
The Soul Midwife’s most important role is to provide comfort, continuous support and reassurance in helping a dying person to experience the death he or she wants.
A new way of dying
‘It should be a sacred day for you when one of your people dies – a sacred day, when a soul is released and returns to its home.’ (Black Elk)
We all die. But there are good deaths, and not such good deaths. Most of us hope to die, pain free, at home, with our loved ones around us given the choice.But not many of us actually achieve this. Most modern deaths are at best, efficient but clinical, institutionalised, functional and soul-less. Soul midwives ensure that death is a dignified and peaceful experience.
In traditional cultures around the world, death has always been regarded as an important rite of passage, an initiation, a journey across a spiritual threshold. Modern soul midwives are able to draw on these ancient skills and traditions, applying them to our modern world and using them to ease the passage of those who are dying.
Soul midwives lovingly assist and accompany a dying person on their journey, and can provide their services within a home, hospital or hospice.
- To work as non-medical holistic companions who guide and support a dying person in order to facilitate a gentle and tranquil death.
- To support and recognise the individual needs of the dying person and ensure they feel loved and supported.
- To create and hold a sacred and healing space for the dying person (whether in a hospital, a hospice or at home).
- To respect and honour a dying person’s religious/spiritual or atheist/agnostic beliefs and practices.
- To work as non-denominational, multi-faith practitioners who honour the dying person’s beliefs about life, death or the afterlife.
- To listen, provide gentle therapeutic techniques, and ensure compassionate care at all times.
- To ‘serve’ our friend; not aim to ‘fix’ or ‘rescue’.
- To give healing, using sound, touch, colour, scented oils or other gentle techniques to alleviate pain and anxiety.
- To keep a loving vigil.
- To work holistically with the spirit and soul of our friends at all levels and stages of transition.
- To support families and their loved ones, giving loving care with a human touch
- To provide comfort, continuous support and reassurance in helping a dying person to experience the death he or she wants.
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