In the 40 years I’ve been helping people say good-bye, I’ve been the minister, surrogate social worker, energy practitioner, and end-of-life advocate. My hope is to provide you with my competence and empathy so we can talk about ‘the tough or scary things’ that arise between family and patient. I can suggest helpful rituals for letting go, or ways to navigate through sensitive conversations such as healing past wounds or honoring different beliefs.
"She gently, yet assuredly, guides the terminal client toward resolution(s) in a number of ways. Debbie actively listens to her client’s concerns lending helpful insights. She asks excellent questions to encourage introspection, while respecting boundaries."
As your advocate, I want to assist you and yours in:
- Addressing numerous emotional issues, such as hope, forgiveness, fear, beliefs, spirituality, and surrender.
Offering an additional, effective modality called “therapeutic touch” which has proven to reduce pain, anxiety and discomfort.
Officiating end-of-life ceremonies as your non-judgmental, caring minister.
Talking directly will definitely give us both a much better idea of your specific desires. I do not represent a denomination, medical institution or hospice organization, but am able to interface with them as you wish. I would be hired by you. I would represent you. My fee would be determined by what and how frequent services will be needed and my travel distance.
Let me help guide you through confusion, doubts, and experiences with a nurturing and reassuring heart.
As your advocate, I believe that you are the expert on your life, and it is important to honor your wishes.
Now is when you could use important help from a trusted and trained advocate. My unique skills bring heightened understanding between patient and “family” (including children, grandchildren, partner, co-workers, friends, retirement community); patient and medical world (including hospice, MDs, hospital staff); patient and religious/secular expectations (including discussing spiritual vs. religious topics, interactions with professional chaplains, working with family’s clergy, as well as planning memorials/rituals, as desired). I am someone who is well-versed in all of these areas.
An advocate is able to facilitate different points of view towards greater harmony.
Friends, family and healthcare staff can be extremely caring when loved ones face end-of-life situations - but may not always be completely candid, confident, or experienced in how to find appropriate emotional resolutions. For instance, you or your loved ones may be struggling to cope with a terminal diagnosis, intense family dynamics, conflicted spiritual issues -or- have real fear around the final moments before death.
Either way, I guarantee both positions feel surreal. As someone who has experienced the loss of my mother at a young age, helped my 19 year-old friend die of leukemia (when I was 18), and repeatedly kept finding myself faced with intense experiences surrounding death & grief, I have witnessed our enormous discomfort to people at the end of their life, such as we may be clumsy about what to say or do, and when or if, to call in hospice. Often, we may not know what to do with the people who are trying to live around dying either.
Since my youth, I have supported hundreds of adults and children, and their families, as they face the dying process. Now, I want to make this service available to you and yours. As a former hospital and hospice chaplain (and later, church minister), I know all too well the importance of being fully present, realistic and sensitive. I can identify with comments like, “If only someone could ‘bring me back into my body’ long enough to help me: find a cure, fix dinner, sleep a few hours, stop crying, pay bills, ‘really’ grasp what the medical reports said, talk to the kids, decide if and when to quit work, plan a funeral...Just teach me how to balance ‘insignificant daily demands,’ while I feel like life is spinning out of control!”