Doula of Death by Another Name: Death Midwife

Back in July, I wondered why we didn’t have doulas for the process of dying. Several commenters suggested that hospice and careworkers filled this niche, and I thought thought that explanation made sense.

However, there’s apparently still a market for death doulas or, as I read in today’s Miami Herald, death midwives:

An ordained minister from Sebastopol, Calif., Lyons started a nonprofit organization called Final Passages. She teaches workshops about such topics as how to care for a body while it’s in the family home and about burials outside traditional cemeteries.

Lyons also guides families through the legalities and paperwork of at-home funerals — death certificates and body transport permits — while providing emotional support and counseling. Her services can run from $500 to $1,500.

As a very unscientific litmus test of this idea’s popularity, I’ll note here that since July 29, there have been 65 people that found this site while searching terms relating to doulas and death. I’ll try to check back in another six months or a year, to see if there’s any up-tick in activity.


  1. perhaps you could add death midwife and green burial to your list of search words.

    This sacred roll is growing every month in the US.

    Thanks for your article. Nora

  2. The NY Times just ran a piece on this as well. I wonder what your stats on this post are up to now. I found you doing a search on death doulas. I’m meeting with an agency tomorrow about that very training…

  3. Would appreciate a clearing house of information on states’ positions on allowing burial at home. What could be more eco-friendly that dumping my carcass into a hole and planting a tree ontop? Seriously, how can I ensure my estate pays for just two wollen blankets sewen together and the cost of a backhoe for my funeral expences?

      “Caring for the Dead – a complete guide for those making funeral arrangements with or without a funeral director” look for the most updated version.
      Most of the book has information by state!!

  4. Also check out “psychopomps” – via google… powerful and spiritual way that people help others journey across to the other side…

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