Soul Midwife’s Journal – stories of honouring death


Soul Midwife’s Journal                      Print version

 I felt I was ‘there’, experiencing the myriad emotions that accompany the death and dying journey. It was an insightful read. I very much appreciated Margaret’s honesty, courage, openness, mindful awareness, intuitiveness, and sensitivity, not just around the person who was dying, but around their family and other carers. Reading this journal feels an honour, as I am privy to Margaret’s learning and growth from her reflections and observations. If you are thinking of becoming a Death Doula, read this for inspiration. The poems at the end of each chapter give the journal a final soft touch to a subject many find difficult to address. 

Rev Michele Cherry – Interfaith/Interspiritual Minister

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Soul Midwife’s Journal             Print version

If you have nursed or accompanied someone into death I imagine you will find resonance and remembering in these stories.
If you have not yet had the privilege of being so close to the mystery and gritty reality of death, the stories of Uncle Bob, Margaret, Helen and others will take you there.

Margaret’s beautifully written book provides a simple but profound insight into the nature of death as a natural process, at the same time pressing us to examine our own attitudes towards it.
Soul Midwife’s Journal comprises seven distinct stories of deaths at which Margaret has served in some capacity as a death doula. Each is followed by her own exquisite poetry written from the most soulful reaches of her midwife’s heart, and then reflections on her stories by colleagues and friends that sometimes moved me even more than the stories themselves.
In the story of Phillip’s death, Margaret talks of the ‘cultural milieu we’re in, and the medical milieu, that sees death as failure’. Yet her stories lead us to an understanding of death as a grace-filled passage to be embraced and revered rather than feared.

Sue Halliwell, Celebrant

This book is a gem. Stories of life and death told in a voice that is compassionate and gentle, they shine light into the sometimes-dark recesses of dying and death. In these short stories we gain insight into the world of people approaching death, sometimes with dignity and grace and at other times with defiance. Taken as a whole we see into the world of the death doula and are richer for it.

Professor Rod MacLeod MNZM, palliative care specialist

I was very moved reading your book and enjoyed the three parts to every person´s story. The story was as times poignant or jarring or heart-breaking and the poems exquisitely softened or expanded what had been brought in. I particularly was touched by what Anne De Buys wrote… very honest, searching questions and insights. You seemed to grow ever more into your role as doula or soul midwife, with greater clarity and sensitivity and played such a vital role within the family structures. Also you stepped into the unfinished and problematic business of the dying person – as C.G. Jung said, we die as we have lived – and this you did with great understanding and often helpful for all.

Hardy Helena Feiler – coach (Germany)

You have captured a beautifully scripted collection of stories of those leaving this world as we know it. Within these stories I felt the experiences and connection between yourself and the chosen people – golden threads of deep connection.

Carol Wales, Companion to the dying

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