End of Life Coach – A Beacon and Guide

An inukshuk, as depicted here, is a beacon and guide for the Inuit people as they navigate the barren lands of the north. Just as the inukshuk is a beacon and a guide for the Inuit, so is an End of Life Coach for those that are dying. End of Life Coaches help individuals and their families navigate the barren and uncharted lands of death and dying. I do that by walking alongside and shining a light down the winding path so that you may be prepared for what lies around each corner.

Life’s transitions can be very difficult and the end of life is no different.  This time is often fraught with fear, stress and chaos. When things don’t go as planned or as well as hoped, it can be very difficult to move forward and recover from.  Similar to a traumatic birth, the scars left behind after a difficult death can cause shame and mental distress that is very challenging to process.

Alternatively, when all parties are aware of what is happening, have plans in place, have played active roles in decision making, have created or engaged in some transition rituals and is leaving behind some legacy work – death can be very meaningful and profound.  There is a way to meet death that will make it easier on everyone – for those that are dying and for those left behind. When death is done well, it leads to life.  

Practically speaking, I help those in their final chapters of life to clarify, communicate and achieve their goals for their remaining time left on this earth. Sometimes I work closely with the individual that is dying and coach them through their final chapter and other times I work with a family member, coaching them as they guide and walk alongside their loved one. And often, it is a combination of both. 

Some of the goals that I can and/or have helped my clients achieve?

The achievements are as varied as the clients themselves. Sometimes the goals are really big and other times they are are quite simple.  Regardless of the nature, they are all important! 

Here are some examples:

  • Decorate their hospital room
  • Go on a vacation 
  • Have a difficult conversations with loved ones 
  • Die at home
  • Completing Advance Care Directives and other necessary legal documents
  • Creating clarity between client and his/or her heath proxy
  • Decision making about potential treatment options
  • Vigil planning
  • Creating Legacy Works – letters, cards, photo albums, videos
  • Funeral planning
  • Grief work – pre and post-death

Other services I provide:

  • Listening and exploration of values, fears and anxieties
  • Advocating for my clients and their goals and priorities
  • Helping clients see all that is possible and understand the risks and trade-offs of each choice they make. 
  • Facilitating difficult conversations 
  • Facilitate the coordination of practical support such as respite care, meals, cleaning, gardening, pet care, end of life vigil, etc.
  • Connecting clients to other professional services that specialize in end of life care such as massage therapists, naturopaths, counselling therapists, alternative funeral options, hospice volunteers, etc.
  • Bereavement support 
  • 24/7 access to me via phone and email for urgent matters

Where and How Do Clients Meet With Me?

I meet clients wherever they are at – in their homes, at the hospital, over the phone, email, text or even over a video conference.  Here’s a typical chronological summary of coach/client meetings:

  • Free telephone or video consultation
  • Initial visit (either in person or video conference according to client’s preference)
  • Monthly visits
  • Weekly check-in calls and/or emails
  • Visits and daily check-ins during active dying
  • Post-death visit and weekly follow-up 

Not only do I meet clients wherever they are at physically, that also applies to where they are at spiritually, mentally and emotionally.  I provide non-judgemental support to people from all cultures, religions and walks of life.

What’s Next?

If you think I can help you and/or your loved one complete their life in a meaningful and peace-filled way, send me an email to tara@lifeanddeathbydesign.com to set up your free phone consultation. Or simply reach out to ask me any questions. The free consultation is 100% no obligation. I’d love to be able to use my experiences and education to help you at such a critical time.

If you don’t have any questions but you’d love to stay in touch, sign up for my newsletter. I promise – no spam!  Only valuable information and heartfelt stories of how others are finding life through death.

Another way to stay in touch is to follow me on Facebook.

Leave a Comment