UK-based Crystal Heaven offered a workshop I attended this fall near Houston, Texas, an introduction into the art of the Soul Midwife. If you haven’t heard of a Soul Midwife before, you may have ideas of what it could mean simply by its name. As I pointed out in my article on Re-Thinking Our Conversations About Death, if we have doulas for birth, why not have them for death?
What Does it Mean to be a Soul Midwife?
Essentially, Soul Midwives ensure that death is a dignified and peaceful experience. The Soul Midwife will lovingly assist and accompany a dying person on their journey.
As a trained Soul Midwife, you act and work as non-medical holistic companion to guide and support a dying person in order to facilitate a gentle and tranquil death. They create a sacred and healing space for the dying person, wherever they may be (home, hospital or hospice), honoring the person’s religious and spiritual beliefs, and keeping a loving vigil until their earthbound spirit is released into the light.
A Soul Midwife may also be called upon to assist with being a non-family companion to the dying friend, helping to create a death plan; supporting the friend with holistic therapies such as Angelic Reiki, essential oils, music, and working with their dreams; listening to what is not being said, and generally maintaining a loving space. Some Soul Midwives can also assist in annointing, writing the eulogy, and arranging funerals and wakes.
In the final stages, the Soul Midwife monitors the emotional, spiritual and non-verbal needs of the friend, releases stuck energy, enters the soul space, and clears chakras.
In the dying hours when all stimulants such as smell, music, voices and touch are removed, the Soul Midwife sits vigil, being fully present with compassion and love, honoring the space until the separation of the soul is complete.
As their friend crosses the threshold, the Soul Midwife can help navigate the energies, and take her friend across to those who are meeting them. After fully returning, she honors the sacred experience of helping someone make the transition, marks her safe return with a small ritual of thanks, thanks her guides, and journals her experience. Afterwards, there is a time of reflection and meditation.
When we live in a culture that so misunderstands death and so fears it, having soul midwives show up at the appropriate time to offer comfort and meaning can transform your family’s relationship to death, as well as speed up the healing process for those left behind.
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