My name is Barb Phillips and I am a Thanadoula. What is a Thanadoula? In simple terms, a Thanadoula is a death midwife. Just as a Doula brings newborns into the world, a Thanadoula closes the circle and helps the dying and their families move through their final stages with grace and compassion.
A Thanadoula provides both compassionate care and practical assistance. Thanadoulas will do something as simple as be there with the dying in their last days, maintaining a presence and promoting peace and tranquility. Thanadoulas can assist in navigating through the bureaucracy of the health care system, ensuring that the person remains the center of the process and the family is considered as well.
My services are wholistic, helping individuals and families plan for the future with estate planning and advanced medical care directives with support continuing through the death, funeral arrangements and home and family directed funeral planning. I am honoured to act as a Celebrant, creating a family-led funeral that is a true reflection of the life and soul of the departed.
“Barb, you have been an invaluable link between our mother and us, her children, living on the oposite side of the country. By helping mom with a myriad of issues facing a senior living alone, you have provided practical and emotional support, as well as peace of mind. We consider you a trusted family friend.”
Susanna G, Vancouver, BC
"During my journey through the ever changing landscape of caring for my loved one, Barb shared her specialized skills, knowledge and expertise. She guided me and my husband's family and friends in preparing for his death through the palliative at home stage, death at home, after death care for a home funeral, vigil, and disposition. As a Celebrant she officiated and helped create plans for a meaningful memorial gathering.
"Through this most difficult time, Barb was a pillar for me. Her words often underlined the beauty of this sacred journey, and her guidance allowed us to engage in this rite of passage in such a meaningful way.
"Barb's warm, caring and supportive ways also helped me keep my focus for all the paperwork involved. She has a gift for the tender work involved in dealing with the dying and the living who care for them. Thank you Barb."
I started on a personal journey when I became close friends with one of my older adult students. At the time, neither of us realized that I would eventually play a key role in the planning and preparation of this friends dying and death time. Being present and witness to his death was a life-changing experience for me. Participating in the planning process was an amazing privilege that taught me a lot about how people come to this place called death. Having endless conversations, recalling life events, lessons learned and how to die when it is our time – all these experiences together brought to focus what life and living was all about. I was inspired to learn more.
Let’s begin the conversations and discussions of personal preferences about our end of life care and help minimize the fear by embracing the truth for all of us. Having the opportunity to be actively involved in decision -making about our end of life is a gift and this website outlines some of the ways that I can assist you with the process of planning and implementing those decisions.
Feel free to browse through my website pages and I would welcome the opportunity to meet and talk with you about the various Thanadoula services and family-directed home funeral options I can assist with. I look forward to hearing from you.
I consider it an honour and privilege to be able to offer my support to individuals facing illness and death and to their families, in whatever form they find most meaningful.