WHY DEATH WORK?
Amy Bishop, Founder of Cross With Care
How did I get here? I like to say that I did not find death work; it found me. I am not bragging, but by 51 years of age, I had lost my entire immediate family, beginning with the unexpected death of my sister, Beth, in 1993. Some years later, my father died of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, my mother, after a terrible car accident and declining illnesses, my other sister, Lisa (Beth’s twin), also sudden, and finally my brother, John, in 2020. Safe to say, I know grief.
I have been reminded time and again that life is short. Just as every life is special, so is every ending, and no two people experience grief, even from the same death, the same way. The grief that comes with anticipating a death is different than the grief that follows an unexpected loss. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and no time frame that can be applied to it. I realized after my second sister’s death that I was meant to do something with all my pain, and by the time my brother, John, died, I had become an End-of-Life Doula. Looking back, I realize that I had already taken on various aspects of this role, from overseeing my mom’s care to being the executor of her estate. While I never really had any fear around talking about death, my experiences have shown that most people do not want to or know how to talk about it, let alone plan for it, and that seems to be true whether we are talking about our own death or someone we hold dear.
How do we die peacefully? How do we make sure all our affairs are in order so that our loved ones may not be burdened? How do we prepare for and experience death in a way that allows us and our loved ones to live our best lives while we still have them?!
At Cross with Care, it is my mission to use my experience, expertise, and tools to help you create a comprehensive End-of-Life plan that allows you and your loved ones to have a peaceful and dignified experience, safe in the knowledge that the wishes of the dying are honored and that those left behind are supported in every way possible.
I am a qualified, insured End of Life Doula, and I have earned the Proficiency Badge with the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance (NEDA). I am certified through the End of Life Training from Going with Grace and have completed the Intensive Grief Training with Our House Grief Support Center. I’m a hospice volunteer and a volunteer on The Listening Line. Additionally, I am a professional yoga educator and incorporate meditation, stress-reduction, and pain-relieving breathing techniques.
“Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it. “
-- Haruki Murakami
Photo by Ericka Kreutz