KI Doula Services is a new enterprise recently launched on Kangaroo Island that is bringing conversations about death into a loving, intimate and private space.
Founder Heidi Grieg, along with business partner Kath Bald, believes that there is a need for a local service for local people wanting to explore options available to face and plan for the end of life.
Doula is a Greek word that means 'person of service' - someone who will walk beside others at times of life's major transitions - in this case the profound transition that happens around death.
A doula serves in a non-medical role that complements other professionals to provide a range of services, Heidi said.
"We provide a personalised service because everyone's needs are different. It might be planning for a natural burial or funeral on KI, organising end of life paperwork, arranging child-care or a vigil service, gathering a crew to feed pets or livestock - generally creating an atmosphere that is conducive to a peaceful, personalised transition for someone who is dying, and supporting those that love them the most and want to be involved," she said.
Far from being morbid, frightening or taboo, KI Doula Services brings hope and love into planning for death in a way that honours the deepest wishes and values of those with life limiting diagnoses.
Heidi and Kath are both trained end-of-fife doulas and form the backbone of KI Doula Services.
They are passionate about bringing affordable end of life choices back to the local community,
"Many people on KI have a strong connection with the place they call home, the land, and the environment," Heidi said.
"Just about everyone lives somewhere beautiful. Over the last couple of years, we've become aware that for some people, dying at home is an option that they would choose if they had the support and confidence to do that. That's where a doula comes in."
Heidi and Kath can also work as funeral arrangers in partnership with Natural Grace, Holistic Funeral Care.
Its director, Libby Moloney, provides close mentoring and support, so the local duo can offer a continuity of care for a family after a death has occurred.
"Currently, we can facilitate family lead burials on rural properties if this is preferred. From March 2022, we'll be equipped to cater to all preferences, including traditional church funerals, burial in a cemetery, or transport between the mainland and the Island," Heidi said.
"People can be involved as little or as much as they feel they can manage, and we're proud to work as partners with Natural Grace so we can meet individualised and personalised preferences right here on Kangaroo Island."
For more information visit www.kidoulaservices.com.au and get in touch via the contacts page.
You can also visit the KI Doula Services' Facebook page, contact them directly via Facebook messenger or WhatsApp, or call us - Kath on 0428 169 384, or Heidi on 0497 148 116.