Certifications, Training &
Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement
Association for Death Education and Counseling - Since 2015
Hospice Maui, Community Outreach Liaison - Currently
Navian Hospice (formerly Hospice Hawaii, Physician Community Liaison
Presbyterian Medical Services Hospice Santa Fe, NM
Eldercare/ End-of-Life Care
B.S. in Kinesiology & Exercise Physiology
UT Austin - 2001
I lost my mom as a teenager. She had cancer and chose not to do chemo or radiation. Caring for her in our home was one of the most difficult things I've done, and being with her as she took her last breath is by far one of the most important things I've done. I was deeply affected by how few individuals knew much about 'sitting by the fire', as I've come to call being close to someone who is dying. Those who did, like our hospice nurse, became my heroes.
I began learning as much as possible about the death and dying process as a way to understand life. It seemed strange to me that we all die but have such a strong aversion to facing it. Death, dying, and losing someone we love are such sensitive topics. Even though it's one of the most natural parts of life, it is also one of the most confronting.
First, as an eldercare volunteer in 2001, then a hospice volunteer, and finally a self-employed, in-home, end-of-life caregiver in 2007, I began my career and training in Thanatology: death dying and bereavement. 19 years later, I'm an end-of-life care educator, hospice educator, and certified in Thanatology through the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC).
Encouraging open, frank conversations among family members and friends to start getting their affairs in order and serving as an advocate for the dying and the ones who have the courage to care for them in their home are the most rewarding things I do. It is a sacred time of life and an honor to witness someone's last moments. It's incredible to see what we, as humans, are capable of, and the power of love that can shine through this last phase of a life.