Conversations with a Death Doula

Conversations with a Death Doula

For our latest podcast episode ( Episode 17) I had the chance to sit down with Anita Vuong, a death doula here in Los Angeles. Death is not something I have much experience around- I am super fortunate that at almost 30 years old I have yet to lose someone extremely close to me. This doesn't mean I do not think about death, quite the opposite. I have noticed my fears around it coming up more and more, the thoughts of losing my loved ones, and contemplating my own mortality as I grow older. Talking with Anita not only helped me voice these fears, but also helped me to see the entire process in a different light. It opened up my mind and created a new dialog that I hope to continue with my loved ones, so I better know how to care for them when the time comes. 

Below is a little more info about our conversation + some important resources / links that expand on what we discussed! 

What is a death doula? 

In Anita's words - 

An End-of-Life Doula (also Death Doula, Death Midwife) is a non-medical professional typically trained to provide a holistic, hands-on approach to the fundamentally natural process of dying, to care for a terminally ill person’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs during the death process.

The work of a death doula is primarily about presence, comfort and advocacy for the person dying in their final transition and release from their physical body. One of the most important things that a Death Doula does is to actively engage the dying individual during the entire process. Doulas often ask a lot of who, what, how, and where questions. Who do you want at your bedside as you are dying? What music would you like to hear? What type of bed would you like to be in, hospital or your own? Where would you like the bed? Do you want the window open? Do you want people to take their shoes off before entering? Doulas ask a lot of questions but more importantly they listen to what the dying want and need and do whatever they can to fulfill their requests.

You can find more info on Anita's website -

Find her on Instagram: @guidedbyflowers

**If you are in the Los Angeles area please consider donating any left over flowers from events, weddings, etc. to Guided by Flowers! Contact Anita by emailing 

Here are some of the mentioned resources with links : 

Book recommendation - Caring For The Dying, A Doula's Approach To A Meaningful Death

Shop it Here 

Tibetan Book of The Dead - Documentary on YouTube 

Watch it Here

Jill Schock

Death Doula LA- Death planning services, Death Doula education events

Instagram: @deathdoulala 

Emily Cross

Steady Waves EOL- Living Funeral Ceremonies

Instagram: @steady_waves_eol 

Barbara Karnes

End of Life Education Materials for Families & Professionals

National Home Funeral Alliance (NHFA)

Undertaking LA – Funeral Home & Cremations






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