Provider Category: Creative rituals / artistic services, End of life consultant / facilitator, End of Life / Death Doula, Funeral planner / living wakes, Home death care, Legal / documentation assistance, Massage therapy, Spiritual / pastoral care, and Writing / biography
Being with a person nearing End of Life requires flexibility, creativity, patience, good sense of humour, lots of experience, being a great listener, and always remaining the student. I provide support in understanding legalities required, assisting with ACD, empowering loved ones and community to aim for a peaceful, calm and pain free death. Then to wash the body, create ritual if so desired. Dying is natural, not always smooth and often unpredictable. My aim is to make it as smooth as possible for all concerned.
I support people in hospitals, hospices, the community, including family and loved ones. Not only people, but also animals and beloved pets.
Experience and training:
▪️Lay Buddhist chaplain acute hospitals
▪️spiritual care worker, funeral celebrant
▪️clinical pastoral education at Monash Health 2013
▪️Several death doula trainings with Denise Love, Zenith Virago, Spiritual Health Victoria, secular spiritual care network, Christine Longaker, Libby Moloney
▪️Midwifing Death Course with Michael Barbato
▪️Palliative Liaison Coordinator for Buddhist Council of Victoria
▪️Support home deaths for community since 2013
▪️Presenter on ACD, Spiritual care of the dying.
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My family met Annie when my Dad, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. We were struggling to understand the disease, the health care services, the practical steps that had to be organised and the emotions. Annie helped us in so many ways. She gently guided us through the system and helped us make decisions that ensured he was able to die at home with his wife, kids and grandchildren by his side. He was safe and supported and so were we. We were empowered to look after him in our way. Annie managed to provide us all with a blanket of care that stretched from dealing with the aged care system, liaising with health care providers, supporting us to work out a plan for dad’s death that satisfied his desires and our needs and allowing all of us to have the difficult conversations that we needed to have. She was calm, caring and made us feel that no question was silly and no emotion was unimportant. She became a trusted friend of the family and a confidant and companion for dad. We were so lucky to find Annie and I believe that in an ideal world every person would be able to access the services of an end of life doula to support them thorough this important time. Thank you Annie.
~ Virginia, Daughter.
From the first moment Annie walked into my house, I connected to her kind and compassionate heart. I felt very comfortable sharing with her what has been the most challenging and vulnerable time in my journey living with a terminal illness. Her openness and non judgmental attitude, together with a strong desire to be of service, created a space where I felt held and heard. She helped me to reflect on my journey, my fears, hopes and challenges. Annie also generously shared with me many resources as well as practical suggestions, which I really appreciated. Thank you Annie and may others benefit from your offerings as much as I did. ~ Lee Gefen, January 2020.
During the recent end-of-life period for our dear friend, Katrina, Annie was an invaluable and magnificent support and resource, not just for Katrina, but for her family and her friends. The breadth and depth of Annie’s knowledge, compassion and insight was outstanding and beyond what we could have ever hoped. Annie was able to go beyond the platitudes and the shallow responses of many people and professionals in dealing with impending death, and gently open up authentic conversations which allowed us all to truly engage and share Katrina’s end of life experience.
For the ten week period between when the chemotherapy treatment ceased being effective and her death, our friend and her husband and sons were held in the warm embrace of Annie’s quiet practical, emotional and spiritual wisdom. Annie always listened carefully to the concerns, hopes and fears and was able to suggest and organise a myriad of services and links to ease and honour the difficult but sacred period we were experiencing. Annie’s warm and calm manner, and her gorgeous humour, allowed us the confidence to help Katrina die at home as she so dearly wished.
Annie’s support was available 24/7 and no request or question by us was ever too demanding or strange. Annie has years of experience as an end-of-life doula so she has seen and assisted a variety people with terminal illnesses and their families. This allows her to be able to be guided by the unique person and family she is supporting rather than have a single-based approach or response to various circumstances. Sensing that our friend would be receptive to the idea, Annie asked if she would be interested in a Living Wake. Well, this was just the most perfect avenue for my friend to farewell her life and friends. Annie quietly and humbly made suggestions and saw to details that culminated in the most beautiful afternoon/early evening celebration for my friend. The Living Wake was filled with love, family and friends, wonderful sharing of memories, stories, images, and symbols, music, food, ritual and sacred moments. My friend participated with a joyful and contented heart and all of us there felt we had experienced something very very special. Katrina died just over two weeks later having had a most meaningful and liberating preparation for her death.
We cannot thank Annie enough for the special role she played in guiding us through this time.
~ Jennifer Clancy, June 2019.