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Death's Uncharted Territory

Updated: May 1

We fear death because it is uncharted territory for Western culture. The biggest mystery in the world, and the one guarantee we all will have to go through. Our culture purposely avoids the conversation and the responsibilities surrounding it--often until it is too late or even last minute. When we can plan our wishes and have conversations about how we would like to die, our level of suffering becomes more grounded. My job as a death doula is to help support you and your family through this undefined journey.


We need to recognize dying not as medical, but as holistic. There is this unbelievably HUGE gap that is left unspoken, unresolved, unfinished, and undervalued this rite of passage. We plan for births, weddings, divorces, trips, sales of homes, but the true planning of our death is more often left until a diagnosis has set in and grief is apparent. A death doula isn’t replacing your medical team. A doula is an extension of your family. My job is to help provide some relief so there is room for more space in your life to do what seems meaningful to you.


Maybe you already have your will planned out....or perhaps you don’t? Have you gone through an Advanced Care Plan (ACP) process? What does dying look like to you? How would you like to have this experience? With music, candles, prayer, silence, family, or alone? I believe everyone has the right to a death of their choice. To have the opportunity for healing and grief support. What about your legacy? How would you like to be acknowledged? Is there anything that you would like to have passed along such as cards, videos, letters? These are big conversations that can be tough to have.

That is where I come in. My background started with me as a child born with a cleft palate. This deformity gave me 23 surgeries throughout my life. I became comfortable with going “under”and trusting the universe. I went through moments where taking deep breaths and being in the present moment was needed.


My Nanny was devoted to her mother, and when she went into a long-term care facility, Nanny was there 2x a day to feed her. She brought me along, and I would help push someone down the hall, get some water, and listen to stories. Then I became a volunteer at the hospital. When it became my Nanny’s turn, we did the same for her.


In my early twenties I took my Reiki Level 1 and became a massage therapist for the soul. Along the journey I advanced my healing career and continued on with Reiki and achieved Reiki Master Teacher. I spent 7 years learning Tibetan Buddhism and working with meditation and rituals with two very special and beautiful Rinpoches. I have owned my own business for 14 years and still continuing. I have over two decades of being in the healing arts department.


I began to experience death in my life--death in my family, with pets, and with my clients. Now it is time to help people return to the universe as they wish. When I look back at my experiences, I feel like I was always being trained for this. This very purpose. The archetype of the Death Walker. I started having experiences with people who were passing during my meditations. We now know it as a “shared death experience.” It showed me that is my soul's purpose.

I am here to help you make it to the other side or back to the void.

I can’t promise you that this will be easy. In fact, it is going to be the biggest challenge of your life. What I can do is guide you, and support you and your loved ones. I can add some beauty, grace, love, and tenderness and to help bring your ritual of death to you. Rituals will look different to everyone. I am curious about different beliefs, cultures, backgrounds. I am willing to learn yours and bring them to life for you so that you can have the ceremony you deserve during your transition through death.


Another way I can help is through education. Creating conversations and safe places for the community to have to talk about death. Then we can normalize the topic that no one is going to get around versus putting the conversation in the closet and struggling when the time comes. When we understand what we fear, the fear becomes less. There is a way for our western culture to learn to embrace and celebrate death...to honour and respect and learn to come together as a community and cherish each precious life.


Anyone interested in becoming death doula can register for HHA's death doula certificate program here. The next available training weekend is April 19-21, 2024.


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Maleah Bajich is a Reiki Master Teacher, Ritual Practitioner, Massage Therapist, and a death doula through Home Hospice Association. You can find more information about Maleah at www.findingrealm.com


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