Well, I think for me life has been like a series of stepping stones that I have followed, not always knowing where the path would lead.
I have been a classroom teacher (middle school and high school English) and a painting teacher (working with Michelle Cassou of Point Zero Painting). I became a mom at 40, and that became my focus for several years. In various ways I often found myself leading groups, or heading up volunteer projects, and I always found that role to be relaxing and fun — it was a surprise to me that not everyone likes to facilitate groups. For me, listening to stories and questions, feeling the way a discussion flows, guiding that without getting in the way — this is simple and joyful!
When my oldest daughter was around 4, my father-in-law was nearing the end of his life. A chaplain with hospice helped our family so much. I loved how she sat with us as we made tentative plans for what each day might bring and processed what was happening. She was steadfast, loyal and calm. She was “leading a group,” like I enjoyed doing, but on this intimate, personal level. One day (thinking maybe I could be like her when I grew up) I asked her, “How did you come to this line of work?” She told me had a Masters in Divinity, and I tucked that away for 10 years, while my children grew older, wondering, “Would I ever get something like a Masters in Divinity??”
As our girls became teenagers, I felt it was time to follow the pull towards some role in end-of-life work, though I had no idea what that meant or how to do it. I didn’t yet know there was a way to study “conscious dying.” When a friend sat with me on our patio on a warm summer evening and began to tell me about the course she had just completed with The Conscious Dying Institute, called Sacred Passage End-of-Life Doula, I knew immediately that I wanted to sign up. She left my yard, and before she was out of the driveway, I was on the computer, checking the next course dates and signing up. That course led to another one, called Conscious Dying End-of-Life Coach and Educator, and when I launched my first Best 3 Months course on Zoom — I was hooked! Put simply: I am passionate about facilitating conversations about mortality that lead people to know what matters most to them.