A Death Doula’s Adventures in Life and Death

My work as a birth and death doula has provided a fascinating perspective on not only these hallowed bookends of life, but how the very existence of these marking points shape the reality of life which grows between them. Have you ever thought about this? About how birth and death are the delineation points, the container which holds all the happens within, what gives Life itself structure, and helps provide meaning?

Would what we view as My Life be the same, whatsoever, were it not for the existence of a beginning and end-point? If we had immortality, would we care so much about what happens in our days? Would we have the same ambitions? Would we see what transpired within a single day differently, were we to be assured we literally have all the time in the world?

Thanks to this work, I’ve developed an appreciation and reverence for the beauty and wonder which grace a life lived within the limited space created by birth and death. I’m awed by how this finite life-span can create a deep and unabiding passion for grabbing hold of every single beautiful moment, in order to make the best of it, not to mention an understanding that how we use each moment contributes to the creation of a life well-lived, if only we are open to it. It’s subsequently left me unceasingly aware that we possess the power to create a life well-lived, through how we choose to invest our life moments.

People often inquire as to whether I find my work depressing. The answer is a hearty no. Of course it is sad to see a beautiful soul depart, and to see the grief such loss imparts upon family and friends left behind, and yet, such sadness only serves as testimony to the quality of the life the departed had lived. We are inking stories with our lives, with every moment lived and breathed, with every action and inaction alike. Birth is the opening chapter, death, the final chapter of our story in the book of our life here and now. For those believing in incarnation or life beyond the grave, that changes this not – it is, at least, the end of the story for this life, this incarnation, yes?

I bring this up because I have found it incredibly useful to look at our lives as story, and it has provided comfort to understand death as something one wants to see as yet another well-written chapter. It feels empowering to do so.

So I ask you today, what story are you writing with your life? Are you using your life moments to the best of your ability? How present are you in your days…are you all there, or have you slipped into auto-pilot? What do you consider to be a life well-lived…and are you living it? If not, how can you begin to bring your current reality into alignment with your vision of a life well-lived?

These profound questions are the result of my work as a birth and death doula – and it is through this work that I’ve found myself feeling more utterly and completely alive, which feels the complete opposite of the depression others project I should feel when working so close to the veil.

In fact, these questions have brought me to the next chapter, which I’d like to share with you today: I am about to embark on a year-long international exploration of death and birth. I will be visiting a number of countries around the globe, hitting all seven continents, interviewing everyday people about their relationship with birth and death, both to learn their customs and beliefs, but also, to explore what for them creates a life well-lived, what stokes wonder and joy in their heart, what makes them feel very alive in these moments we have between birth and death.

I look forward to sharing some of these adventures, and hope you will follow along.

Thank you for spending these few moments with me today.

Create an amazing day for yourself!
Laura Saba
Momdoulary Method Doula Training