Art of Dying Art of Dying_Volume III_joomag | Page 52

TARRON ESTES People who are drawn to this calling are like moths drawn to flame. into a holistic way of life. My work is based on this principle: When we experience care, love and healing, the nature of our heart is to give back what we have received. The doula learns to give in ways we all used to give to one other when we were living closer together, when families and neighbors were connected. It's the gift of creating a healing environment. We can always make it better. People come to learn how to be with people who are dying, but it’s essentially about human-to- human connection in all circumstances. Students complete our training and can better communicate with family and friends. End-of-life communication is about elevating human-to-human communication in all circumstances. My program cultivates sensitivity to the myriad of energies surrounding death. My students learn to provide emotional and spiritual support as stewards of conscious living and and conscious dying. We learn the importance of authentic presence and of integrating the unexpected revelations that death always brings. I teach a practice called “Reading the Field.” Reading the Field heightens a doula’s sensitivity to changes 52 | ART OF DYING in their patient and environment. Reading the Field allows a doula to enter subtle energy realms that expand awareness of how best to perceive and support a person’s death process. People who are drawn to this calling are like moths drawn to flame. The flame is our work in that precious last few hours when the veil is lifting, revealing the transformational portal of death. The moth is the doula who is drawn to these moments when they share the rarified, exquisite subtle energy field of the person who is moving from form to formlessness. Another practice I call “Witnessing the In- Between.” This is a time when the dying are between worlds, a little ways off-shore, but not fully launched on their voyage to the other world. The doula knows how to relax into this period when we don't know when the final moment –the last breath— will happen. Doulas learn to invite loved ones to witness the beautiful experiences that take place during this “in-between time.” Our doulas are also trained to protect the time of crossing over, to “Gate Keep.” Every person has a different labor of breath that lasts as long as it takes to get them from where they are to where they need to be. The doula knows from the patient’s breath when there is no turning back. The doula protects