serve people at the end of life, "Nurturing Touch for the Dying." Listen in to an interview I did with her here: Interview with Elizabeth
I asked Elizabeth to share with me how she got to do what she is doing now. She wrote me this reply. In her own words:
"When I was in the shower tonight I was thinking about my journey to being a death doula. And I realized that it began even before I went into massage school. My 2nd year in college I spent the summer caring for my grandfather who was 92 at the time he didn't need any hands on care as he was able to do all his ADL’s but I did the house work. It was an amazing time that I got to spend and live with him.
I was caring for the elderly and dying before hospice. A year after spending that summer with my grandfather I took a job st a skilled nursing home and was trained as an CNA but realized very quickly that the short cuts and under staffing was not my calling at that level. But what I learned st that facility gave me knowledge that I still use today. I then soon after that started to do some home care for my moms neighbor for her last 2 years of life, who now I know was in End stage MS but she was a fighter till the end.
I was never taught to be fearful of death. And though I was t taught to love death either. I had a cemetery behind my home as a kid and spent many afternoons walking around reading tombstones and wondering who those people where and what there stories where.
How I got started in hospice and what I now know is being an End of Life Doula is I was volunteering at an aids walk back in 2002 and spoke with a volunteer coordinator for a local hospice. I started to volunteer and become aware that this work was what made my heart sing--to help people be comfortable and be able to die.
Being a massage therapist gave me that entrance that not a lot of people have. I was given the gift of being able to develop a relationship with my clients that others didn’t have. It was my calling. I now know that it is such an important piece of the dying process I want to share what I have learned from my 16 year journey into this intimate part of the dying process."
Learn more about Elizabeth's work here at her website: ElizabethErbrecht.com.
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