Hi, I'm Sue.
My aspiration is to provide you and your family with compassionate care and comfort throughout a life-limiting diagnosis or end of life transition. My vision is to help people recognize that birth, dying, death, and bereavement are a fundamental aspect of the human experience— and we can learn to be less fearful. We can learn to live our lives fully by accepting the inevitability of death.
Ultimately, I guide compassionate illness, dying and death transitions for people who want to pass on their own terms, having their choices respected and honored. Every person has the right to die in a way that fully aligns with their values, which is why I am dedicated to giving my clients the compassion, integrity, and respect that they rightfully deserve.
On a more personal note, I am a world traveler, a storyteller, and an observer of the human experience who hopes to help others explore their feelings, fears, and expectations around death. I expect my work to be instrumental in creating social change around how we manage palliative care as well as how we can enhance or change our death and dying practices.
Memberships, Experience, and Education:
End-of-Life Doula, Douglas College, Certificate of Completion
Certified Funeral Celebrant, CCAOC
Board Member, End-of-Life Doula Association of Canada
Member / Regional Rep. Hamilton, Bereavement ON. Network
Member, Death Doula Ontario Network
Thanatology Studies (Ongoing)
"What is your experience with death, dying, and bereavement?"
I don’t remember a time when my family or friends discussed death or our feelings about it. Of course when I was young I felt as if I’d live forever and was sure I had lots of time to worry about “that stuff”.
Shortly after giving birth to my third child my aunt died. I remember the shock of finding out that she was only 10 years older than me. I felt surely she was too young to die. It was then that I began to think about illness, death, and the unfairness and mystery of it all. I admired my aunt’s strength and honesty at her end. I know now that this was the beginning of my awareness of death and loss. The experience of losing such a beautiful, strong vibrant person gave me a deep desire to be as strong as her. It also helped me to understand that there are no real answers to this kind of loss, there is simply the opportunity to support each other the best we can. As Ram Das has said, “Death is an incredible opportunity to awaken”.
Fast forward through life, children, relationships, and retirement. I had been retired for nearly four years when a very close friend became terminally ill. I watched as her pain became unbearable and as she evaded talking with her children about the reality of the cancer that was ravaging her body. Her unwillingness to address essential paperwork and discussions was difficult to watch and we (her friends) felt helpless as the end drew near. It was a very sad time as I said goodbye to her 2 weeks before she passed away.
Just a few short months following this friend's death, I came upon an advertisement for a course in End of Life Doula work. and within days I had registered for the course as well as for a hospice volunteer training course. The experiences of losing my aunt and my friend (even though these events were years apart) gave me the strength and desire to help others deal with illness, death and loss. As an EOL Doula my goal is to educate, advocate, and empower others and I remain forever grateful to my aunt and friend for guiding me to this opportunity.
“Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it” … Haruki Murakami
Vision & Values
To me, respect is a core pillar in my work. I respect all needs and beliefs, without pushing my own. When we're working together, the focus is on you and your values, and how that translates into your care.
I strive to deeply honour beliefs, traditions, and rituals of all people.I care deeply about diversity and inclusion, with the understanding that rituals surrounding death and dying vary culture to culture.
You can count on me to be 100% present while providing you with services, and you can expect me to offer resources quickly and thoroughly. If I don’t have the answer, I’ll find it for you.
Guiding difficult conversations around dying and death is not for the faint of heart. I believe that these discussions matter, and that gives me the courage to facilitate them.
Have questions? That's common.
I’m here to guide you each step of the way, starting with a complimentary discovery meeting. If you’re curious about your options, I’d love to offer you some clarity.