I am a Perinatal Bereavement Doula. Yes, unfortunately working with dead babies is part of my job. I dry broken parents’ tears. I take photos of angels, help their parents make memories of their children and assist them “where the rubber meets the road” to use my husband’s ineloquent words. I help nurses and other medical personnel find words when they don’t have any. I hold little broken bodies one last time before they go to the funeral home. I answer a text at 2 am from an anxious mom who has lost her baby and who can’t sleep. I listen to dads rage at the unfairness of losing their child. But let’s just get this unequivocally out of the way: I am no “angel” – even if people call me that all the time. But there, the truth is out now. God is not going to bless me specifically because I work with dead babies and broken parents, I am NOT going to get a special crown in heaven, I don’t have a halo and I am most definitely do not walk on water. There is nothing special about me and I am NOT an angel just because I do this work (ask my exes and a few other people, they will most definitely agree.)
There are millions of people worldwide who do much more than I do daily, who works with much more horrific, unspeakable things and who never ever get any glory for it. I do not want glory. I want parents to feel supported and informed when they are at their weakest. And I want to empower others with knowledge about my industry. Yes, I think with my heart. Yes, I do things many people will feel they will never be able to do, but that doesn’t make me an angel. It makes me a bereavement doula.
Please don’t misunderstand, this does not mean that I do not appreciate the support and love I get from people when they hear what I do. It also doesn’t mean that I don’t feel thankful when parents tell me I helped them get over an obstacle they thought they would never be able to get over. I do. I appreciate it more than words can ever say. My biggest dream is to equip as many people as possible to do what I am doing through my NCOT online bereavement courses. And the 30+ perinatal bereavement workers / doulas and 10 loss mothers I have trained so far are all very special people in my eyes because they are willing to step up to the plate and do this tough job.
Perinatal bereavement is obviously nothing new. But people have never talked about it the way they are starting to talk about it today. The time is absolutely NOW. Parents need our support. They need our expertise. Medical personnel need the know-how we bring. Everyone needs the comfort and the calm presence that a bereavement specialist brings.
But bereavement workers are not angels. They only go where angels fear to tread….
Click here for more information on Perinatal Bereavement Training