I've been working as a doula for more than nine years now. I have supported many, many women and families during labor, and I've been honored to witness beautiful babies as they've made their ways into the world.
Last year was the first time that one of my clients suffered the loss of her baby at birth. The experience left me bereft and humbled, of course, but also grateful and empowered. I felt myself tap into a strength and presence of which I had no idea I was capable.
It breaks my heart to report that just recently I had the opportunity to feel this immense power of grief again. I have come to viscerally understand that life also means loss and death, sometimes far too soon, and a part of my job is to help carry the burden of sadness that families can experience at a time that is expected to be filled with joy and hope.
People often ask, "What do I say? What do I do?" when confronted with the task of supporting those in the throes of deep, deep grief. There aren't any "right" answers to these questions. The best we can do is BE there, to show those who have suffered loss that we aren't afraid of their sorrow, and we're willing to hold some of it for them.
I'm willing to do this. And any tools or information I can acquire to help me offer care with more grace would be very much appreciated. I wish this conference was in some tropical location, but St. Louis in Autumn will have to do. I'm up for the adventure, if you're able to help me get there.
Here's a link to conference information if you're interested in learning more about it. https://plida.org/2018-international-conference/
Many thanks, and so much love.