Community Presentations

Death Doulas: Supporting the Caregiving Role

Often when asked, what does a Death Doula “actually” do the answer is very simple:  A Death Doula has done their job if they have helped prevent 911 from being called. Death Doulas are quickly finding their place in support of the dying (and those who both love and care for them).  Ready, willing and able to attend at the bedside regardless of the hour of the day means that Death Doulas are an ideal member of any team (professional, volunteer or familial) dedicated to helping each other to die well.  This Presentation will help to engage in conversation and answer the following questions:


  1. How necessary is it to have a Death Doula on an already, robust palliative care team?

  2. Whom does a Death Doula see as their client and why?

  3. When does a Death Doula typically vs ideally join a caregiving team?


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How to Talk with Young People about Dying, Death & Grief

“Looking through the eyes of a child” is a common phrase we hear when trying to understand and relate to a child’s emotions, behaviours and feelings. However, when it comes to discussing life-altering events, we are sometimes at a loss for words.  

Discussing death with children and young adults can be challenging and so, many of us tend to avoid these discussions together. Death, just as birth, is a natural part of our lives. People who live and work with children and teens have a  responsibility to ensure young people know it’s okay to discuss death and learn healthy ways to cope with grief.  ​

“How to Talk with Kids About Dying & Death” is a presentation about helping young people process dying and death and the stages of grieving. Highlights of this presentation include a review of the developmental stages of a child’s brain in relation to how they experience life events, examples of how to approach dying, death and grief conversations with children and youth, and key strategies for listening to and supporting young people who are grieving.


Community Presentation Team

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Tracey Robertson is the Co-Founder of the Home Hospice Association (HHA). Tracey, in her early role, was responsible for an international environmental scan that resulted in the creation of services that are gifted to existing agencies to fulfill HHA’s “for anyone ~ of any age ~ at any time ~ under any roof” dream.  This environmental scan was the catalyst for HHA’s most unique service; The Bello Project, to preserve the human-animal bond when someone is faced with a life-limiting diagnosis, made it necessary to bring Pre and Perinatal Hospice to Canada and convinced HHA that the role of a Death Doula to our mission and vision.  As a result, HHA was the first in Canada to develop and offer training to individuals wishing to offer Doula services either in-utero or any time along the journey of life to death. While the work of running this organization today, takes up a great amount of time, Tracey is also one of HHA’s first Death Doulas to actively work for the dying of our communities.


Terri Viola-Wilson is a retired teacher with over 30 years of engaging with young people in the classroom, on sports teams, in choirs, and in social justice movements. During those years, one of her passions was helping to improve communication between her students and those who cared for them in order for the young person to realize their greatest potential.


With the mental welfare of young people in mind, Terri helped develop the C.A.N.D.Y. Café program. Using personal and professional experiences, as well as continuing education in childhood trauma and child and youth grieving, Terri brings empathy and knowledge not only to the young people she encounters in C.A.N.D.Y. Café but, through presentations, to the adults who live and work with young people.