At the end of our lives, we hope to be able to gather a team of people, I like to refer to it as a constellation – both professional and non-professional – around us to help ease our passing.
This includes not only the main carers, family and friends but also doctors, nurses, care-home assistants, health workers and alternative health-care providers. This constellation liaises with each other and works as a unit to provide all the care we need. After passing, another set of people will assist with the funeral arrangements, memorial events and legal dealings. We also hope that the ones left behind will be able to seek adequate support through their grief.
When it comes to our animal companions, things may seem slightly different, although it is just as important to assemble a constellation around them, just as we would do for a human.
What is a Death Passage Animal Doula?
DOULA – from modern Greek
(δούλα, doúla (pron. /ˈðula/): “servant-woman”.
One of the most important people in this constellation should most certainly be your vet but you may find an end of life doula (or midwife) to also be invaluable at this time. Originally assigned to non-medical women attending births in the 1960’s but with roots in the ancient sage-femmes and wise-women of old, doulas now encompass the transitioning process at both ends of life, acting as a kind of anam cara; giving you support, advice and hands-on care, perhaps even sitting vigil with you and offering their shoulder to cry on throughout and after the transition.
The Natural Dying Process
I believe that a natural dying process is not inherently ‘medical’ – animals intuitively know how to die unassisted and our job is to support them whilst they do what they need to do. It is of course, important to have a constellation around them during their death passage and because animals do not ‘talk’, we are not always aware of their wishes and can often feel at the mercy of ‘doing the best thing’ for them through euthanasia, other invasive medical procedures and impersonal body disposal that does not align with what we believe our companion would have wanted.
Because I am both a death passage doula and an animal communicator, I can be a vital part of the team, helping you and your companion in multiple ways – conversing with them on an intuitive level to find out exactly what their wishes are, helping assess comfort levels and asking about their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. I am also able to be that anam cara you may be searching for – the shoulder to cry on and the one to share your fears and grief with.
Please understand that I am not here to tell you whether or not to euthanise your pet.
I am able however, to support you in your decision-making with love and humility, serving the highest needs of your companion in this essential, almost-forgotten and at the end of the day, life-affirming work. My approach is non-judgmental and I hold space for all religions, beliefs and cultures and because this service is intuitive (and out of necessity through the covid crisis) it can be provided entirely online.
- To consult with you about your animal’s physical, emotional and spiritual situation.
- To monitor changes week-by-week, day-by-day and hour-by hour and ask your companion what they need in the way of pain relief, alternative therapies and palliative care.
- To let them know about euthanasia options if/when they need help to pass over.
- To act as a bridge between you both and to help them live their last days on the earthly plain in as comfortable and natural a way as possible.
- To help you understand how to tap into your natural intuitive abilities so that can understand what their needs and wishes are.
- To find out how and where they would like their body to be laid to rest.
- To sit in virtual vigil with you if you require this service.
- To help you (and any other animals that remain) through the grieving process with compassion and support.
- To provide afterlife communication and help you feel your companion’s presence within your own energetic body if you so wish.
PAW-IN-HAND SUPPORT GROUP
ARE YOU CARING FOR AN ANIMAL AT THE END OF THEIR LIFE? IF SO, YOU ARE WELCOME TO JOIN MY FACEBOOK SUPPORT GROUP PAW IN HAND – A COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE WHO ARE GIVING PALLIATIVE CARE TO AN ANIMAL COMPANION RIGHT NOW OR HAVE DONE SO IN THE PAST:
My name is Louisa Archer and I am an animal communicator offering a range of services for companion animals and their humans, which includes conversation, investigation and energy work. I specialise in intuitive death passage support with an emphasis on the natural transition process, taking into account the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the animal (and human) during the last weeks, days and hours of their life here on the earthly plain. I also provide an afterlife animal communication service for those people who want to keep in touch with their beloved one after death.
See full bio here.