Death Doula Training Program Development Team & Facilitator
“There was no path, so I trod one.” – Edwina Gately
Perhaps it was the slow long consuming illness of pancreatic cancer leading to a too soon death of his oldest sister, Rosella, in 1974 that began a winding walk for Clare (Clarence, as his mother named him). Rosella was 31. He was 29.
Perhaps it was her long 6 month stay in the Winnipeg General Hospital from the time of “diagnosis” away from her home and from her family and friends that began to shape a desire, a tepid step for Clare along a forty year path to come and stay for a while with those in South Niagara who wished to die in their homes in the midst of their family.
There was no path, so he trod one.
The paths tried and treasured included sales and marketing in Western Canada after foundling University years. A path of a slight shift in direction became 25 years of pastoral presence in cities of Winnipeg and then St. Catharines. Here in Niagara, this included counselor training and practise, mediation and conflict resolution, bereavement support and spiritual care.
In his current retirement phase, Clare, as a registered psychotherapist, has focused on practicing presence among the families of South Niagara. His life’s paths trodden, oft not clear to him at the time, have formed and informed him as a spiritual guide. A desire for those who face a too soon death who courageously embrace End of Life at home has extended repeated invitations for him to accompany these persons in Niagara’s various communities.
He lives in the Niagara Region with his wife Ruth. This couple enjoys being close to their two sons who have chosen to explore family life. That makes Clare and Ruth grandparents. Both sons have become master electricians and practise their trade in family businesses in Niagara.