News from Sue Phillips, Critical Illness/End of Life Doula – April, 2022
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Welcome to spring. I hope you are enjoying the buds and blossoms the earth is gifting us.
Please allow me to take a few moments of your time to update you on what is happening with our services.
What do I do?
I serve people who are dealing with critical illness or approaching death by providing a wide variety of non-medical supports. These supports extend to their entire circle of care and promote education, advocacy, and empowerment. Knowing how you want to deal with a life-limiting illness or end of life before it is happening to you is a form of self-care that is often overlooked. Self-care is vital at all stages of life. It is never too early to ensure your values and wishes are explored and made known to those who might have to care for you or speak on your behalf.
I am a board member of the End of Life Doula Association of Canada, and an active member of the Death Doula Ontario Network and Bereavement Ontario Network. (Regional Rep for Hamilton, ON).
What are the supports I offer?
These supports can include pre-planning, advocacy, legacy project facilitation, companioning, caregiver respite, bedside vigiling, funeral celebrant and post-death assistance.
You are the expert of your life and death plan. I am here to support you on this path.
Getting those important conversations started can be challenging
If you wish to create an opportunity to have a conversation with loved ones and aren’t sure where to start, I offer you a known strategy that might help.
You can start with the I wish, I worry, I wonder strategy … CliniciansReferenceGuide
* I wish - allows for aligning with hopes – “I wish we didn’t have to talk about this because I know it makes you uncomfortable but…”
*I worry - allows for being truthful while sensitive – “I worry that we won’t know what each other needs during illness or approaching death and …”
*I wonder - is a subtle way to make a recommendation – “I wonder if we can share some time to talk about these very important matters so that we can support each other in the best ways possible”
Aside from individual client services, we offer various free community information sessions and story cafes related to illness, dying, death, grief, and bereavement. Community information is also shared through speaking engagements and podcasts.
We have been taking a pause lately to assess how to best deliver the monthly sessions. As we approached the lifting of pandemic restrictions at the beginning of spring it was important to consider how we might provide a balance of virtual support (as we’ve been doing for the last 18 months) and in-person support.We also are now faced with an additional wave of COVID.
This challenge also includes the new “condition” people are experiencing - Zoom malaise (a phrase I heard recently). Zoom malaise is a thing now – people are tired of all-day virtual meetings and might struggle with attending evening sessions. We appreciate this difficulty and continue to explore how best to offer helpful and essential industry information and resources.
Upcoming Event Info
The Goodbye Story Café
We are excited to present a storytelling session in May. Our storytelling cafes have become a favourite event.
We gather to share our own stories of love, loss, grief, bereavement, forgiveness and much more.
Each storyteller (6 people) is provided with the theme for the session. They then read their story within 10 minutes maximum. We are all stories and we are all storytellers!
If you, or someone you know, is interested in being a part of our May Story Café you can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The theme for May is: Honouring Females in Our Lives. Date: May 26th, 2022 – 7:00-8:30 p.m. est.
Limited Series this month is: Sunday Special Letters to Loved Ones
Another feature we have been offering is a number of limited series such as Tuesday Tiny Grief Stories, Musical Mondays, and currently Sunday Special Letters to Loved Ones – see our latest Sunday Special Letter here.
Each of these series offers opportunities to share stories of loved ones. This practice of sharing also offers moments of communal empathy and healing. We are not alone in our life and grief experiences.
You can find our limited series posts on our social sites and website.For more information on individual services: www.suephillips.ca/services
April Recognition Events - check your local area for community events recognizing these important actions.
A celebration that was initiated in 2004 to recognize and honour the diversity surrounding us all. By celebrating differences and similarities during this month organizers hope that people will gain a deeper understanding of each other.
Earth Day - April 22nd
Earth Day promotes world peace and sustainability of the planet. Events are held globally in support of environmental protection of the Earth.
The Day of Silence - April 22nd
Created in 1996 and recognized on April 22nd this year, the Day of Silence is a campaign that seeks to shed light on what many 2SLGBTQ+ youth experience daily. Initially intended to focus on this
problem within the school system it has expanded into workplaces, university campuses and sporting events. Yearly millions participate by staying silent for the duration of their day representing
the silencing of 2SLGBTQ+ students.
Thank you for your ongoing support. Please consider sharing our news.