Firstly I'd like to offer anyone that has lost a loved one, prayers, love and peace to your and your family. May there be grace and love for you and your departed always.

These past few years have been a record for the number of funerals I have attended.  Including a suicide of a young man in his 20's, 22-year-old young man passing from Leukaemia to a 60-year-old passing of alcoholism related organ failure.  

There is the run up feeling of dread and the morning you get dressed in black and compose your thoughts.  The pain in the faces of the close family members and the inner reflections on loss and life.

Now growing up death was always a favourite subject. I enjoyed thinking about what happened afterwards and what kind of funeral I would like.  My mother and me often joke about what we want the other to do in the case of our own funerals.

Perhaps culturally it has been easier when birth death and creation are apparent in the deities around the house. Reminding us that for new to be ushered in (there has also been serval new babies born this year), something has to die.  I am also comforted by the idea that energy cannot die, it transforms.  I have lots of ideas as to what happens, and have  wondered how the support network is in other cultures especially when the person passing on has no family.  So I was comforted to read about this idea of the death doula, helping people through this phase of life. 

'The work of a death doula — Phillips’s work, now — is primarily about presence. He is there to ease the passage from this world to the next. And he knows that the most valuable thing he can offer anyone taking that most solitary of journeys is his company. So he sits, silently wishing them peace and comfort.'

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