Death Doula panel

Santa Fe Death Doulas (L to R) Carli Wheeler, ChrisTina Simek, Sara Morgan, and Jane Turner.

What does a death doula do? This hourlong panel discussion helps answer that question. The four panelists are: ChrisTina Simek, Carli Wheeler, Sara Morgan and Jane Turner. They are all based in Santa Fe, and they all come to the field with widely different stories.

The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek word doulē, which means ‘female slave.’ Doulas are typically women, but in the end-of-life doula field, there are men who have stepped up to provide guidance. Traditionally, doulas are women trained to coach pregnant women and their partners during the pregnancy and birth process.

Now, the same idea is being used in end-of-life care. These doulas represent an outgrowth of recent cultural trends favoring more natural and holistic approaches for an aging generation of Baby Boomers. Death doulas provide non-medical advice to people facing death and their loved ones. They may work within or outside of the hospice care system.

Doulas help families prepare for the death of a loved one by teaching and listening, helping to create a legacy, planning for the vigil and funeral, educating about active dying, offering visualizations and rituals, and assisting the bereaved with self-care and grief work. Some of the services doulas offer may overlap with those offered by a hospice social worker.

Watch the Video

Please accept YouTube cookies to play this video. By accepting you will be accessing content from YouTube, a service provided by an external third party.

YouTube privacy policy

If you accept this notice, your choice will be saved and the page will refresh.

Held as part of the Before I Die New Mexico Festival, this panel discussion took place in Santa Fe on November 6, 2019, at Berardinelli McGee Life Event Center.

Festival Sponsors

A big thank you to our sponsors who made the 2019 Before I Die New Mexico Festival possible, and most of the events free:

2019 New Mexico Festival Sponsors