We all have fears in life; from losing our comfort toys when we’re little, to taking our driving test as adults and perhaps even our own passing in the future. But the latter of the three examples doesn’t have to be all so scary says founder of the flourishing Soul Midwife movement, Felicity Warner.
The idea of death evokes feelings of fear and loss in the majority of us, and is something that we’d rather not have to think about. We read about it in the news every day but talking about it, reading and even writing about it is hard.
However, what if the process of dying was presented as re-birth or a new beginning, something not to be avoided or feared? What if it was a spiritual process to be experienced with comfort and grace? This concept is the driving force behind the Soul Midwives movement.
Soul midwifery in simple terms is the new spiritual movement of palliative care that is assisting modern medicine’s approach to helping those at the end of life. The ‘midwife’ bit refers to the concept of your soul being re-born and is underpinned by a belief that your spirit lives on after you pass, so death is seen as a new beginning.
The 12 principles of Soul Midwifery according to its founder Felicity Warner
1 To work as non-medical holistic companions who guide and support a dying person in order to facilitate a gentle and tranquil death
2 To support and recognise the individual needs of the dying person and ensure they feel loved and supported
3 To create and hold a sacred and healing space for the dying person (whether in a hospital, hospice or home)
4 To respect and honour a dying person’s religious/spiritual or atheist/agnostic beliefs and practice
5 To work as non-denominational, multi-faith practitioners who honour the dying person’s beliefs about life, death or the afterlife
6 To listen, provide gentle therapeutic techniques, and ensure compassionate care at all times
7 To ‘serve’ our friend; not aim to ‘fix’ or ‘rescue’
8 To give healing, using sound, touch, colour, scented oils or other gentle techniques to alleviate pain and anxiety
9 To maintain a loving and caring vigil
10 To work holistically with the spirit and soul of friends, at all levels and stages of transition
11 To support families and their loved ones, giving loving care with a human touch
12 To provide comfort, continuous support and reassurance in helping a dying person to experience the death he or she wants
Want to be involved? Felicity teaches anyone how to be a soul midwife; she says no previous experience is necessary – the only requirements are to have a loving heart and be a compassionate person.