The title of ‘Soul Midwife’ is an ancient role which has been lost in our culture for many, many generations, but thanks to the beautiful work of Felicity Warner it has been gradually resurfacing in the last 20 years or so. Her books A Safe Journey Home: A Simple Guide to Achieving a Peaceful Death, The Soul Midwives’ Handbook: The Holistic and Spiritual Care of the Dying & Gentle Dying: The Simple Guide to Achieving a Peaceful Death give amazing depth and insight into the dying process and our role within it.
Felicity says “We use sound, touch, smell and deep listening skills to help the dying achieve a dignified, peaceful and serene death.” This, to me, is the core of Soul Midwifery.
We start work with our ‘friends’ (this is what we prefer to call our clients) at any point from diagnosis of a life-limiting illness, right up to the point of death. We give as much or as little support as needed. It is a very individual and personal service with complete confidentiality assured at all times (subject to local safeguarding policies and laws).
We work within our friends’ own beliefs, whether secular or religious, and we never try to impose our own, this is fundamental to our work.
Initially we would have an informal chat to discuss how I can best support you and your loved ones, this is usually somewhere very neutral such as a quiet local café so there is no pressure or obligation to continue if it doesn’t feel right for you.
If you would like to work with me I can offer an array of support with practical things such as helping you make memory keep-sakes and recordings, therapeutic touch using Reflexology, Reiki or Gentle Touch Massage, Sound for healing and relaxation, discussing end of life wishes and care (not in place of medical advice), funeral and burial options and signposting to other local services and professionals, easing you into the ‘difficult conversations’ and how to have them with your loved ones and anything else you need support with.
Through experiences with both my own and friends’ families I bring a hands-on understanding of the dying process which will continue to deepen as I work with more friends. It is a deep honour and privilege to be part of this journey.
The 12 Principles of Soul Midwifery
1) To work as non-medical holistic companions who guide and support a dying person in order to facilitate a gentle and tranquil death.
2) To support and recognise the individual needs of the dying person and ensure they feel loved and supported.
3) To create and hold a sacred and healing space for the dying person (whether in a hospital, a hospice or at home).
4) To respect and honour a dying person’s religious/spiritual or atheist/agnostic beliefs and practices.
5) To work as non-denominational, multi-faith practitioners who honour the dying person’s beliefs about life, death or the afterlife.
6) To listen, provide gentle therapeutic techniques, and ensure compassionate care at all times.
7) To ‘serve’ our friend; not aim to ‘fix’ or ‘rescue’.
8) To give healing, using sound, touch, colour, scented oils or other gentle techniques to alleviate pain and anxiety.
9) To keep a loving vigil.
10) To work holistically with the spirit and soul of our friends at all levels and stages of transition.
11) To support families and their loved ones, giving loving care with a human touch
12) To provide comfort, continuous support and reassurance in helping a dying person to experience the death he or she wants.
These Principles are the foundation of our work, they are taken directly from the Soul Midwives School website, click here to access the site and see further information about our work. Soul Midwives School website.
Click on the links below to see further info about Soul Midwifery, and resources which you may find helpful.