I completed part 2 of the Living Well Dying Well End of Life Doula Training in early May 2018. Again this was held at the village hall in Iford near Lewes and this time was run by Hermione Elliot and Ali Dickinson who is a fully trained Doula. There are two parts to part 2 of the course each 3 days long. There were only three of us from my Foundation course in the group but the entire group of 16 of us bonded really well and fast. I think the nature of what we are doing appeals to a certain type of person, everyone is open, engaging and friendly and it certainly feels like everyone plays an equal part throughout the course.
Hermione and Ali were brilliant hosts and trainers covering all parts of the course thoroughly but with a good sense of humour. This part of the course was much more challenging for me as there was less factual information and a lot more reflection and examining our own views on death and dying and even confronting our own death during a guided relaxation exercise, which for me has been one of the most significant parts of the course so far and has led me to make changes in my own life as a result.
The course is a mixture of open discussion, group work, pair work and individual reflection so never gets boring or stale unlike some courses I have been on! This is not an ‘easy’ course. There are some subjects that require a great deal of thought and understanding but while you don’t have to go into it with any great knowledge but you shouldn’t go expecting to simply walk out at the end of the course with a certificate. There is a great deal of work to be done as part of the portfolio which covers both parts 2 and 3 of the course.
I have made the decision to put of part three of the course until next year. This is partly because I work part time at the Hospice so have limited annual leave but partly because I think it is important to fully digest everything we have learned in part 2 and to gain some practical experience. I am currently going voluntary work on the ward at the Hospice and also running Death Cafe’s in Chichester. I have been invited to speak at a local warden assisted complex on Advance Care Planning and have further events in the diary so I think that is probably enough for one year!