Accompanying the Dying describes the human skill and art of companioning someone through dying. There is a wide gap in knowing how to accompany the dying, which is why this book is timely and needed at this juncture of the “death positive” movement. The book is meant to empower us as a society to understand how to die well in this modern age. Deanna describes the newly emerging role of the “end-of-life doula,” which is a non-medical role that provides practical, emotional, and spiritual support to the dying and their family.
Deanna Cochran is an RN, End-of-Life Educator, Doula Mentor and Program Developer. She is one of the earliest voices within the end-of-life doula movement and has been serving people with serious illness and the people who serve them since 2000.
After the death of her mother, she began to serve others as a death midwife and began educating about pre-hospice palliative care. She created Quality of Life Care, LLC (QLC) in 2005 and year after year has responded to the requests of the people who came to her: training end of life doulas, providing end-of-life doula program development to hospices, creating public education initiatives for consumers and fellow end-of-life practitioners, and mentoring pioneers around the world as they create innovative services for their communities.
Deanna has trained thousands of people over the years with her innovative approach that put end-of-life doula training on the map in 2010—the only program of its kind worldwide. The School of Accompanying the Dying is a powerful method providing deep transformation and confidence for the doula within a world class end-of-life doula curriculum, “Accompanying the Dying: A Practical Guide and Awareness Training.”
She is thrilled to be a founding member and first Vice President of the National End of Life Doula Alliance and is honored to serve as Chair of the NHPCO End-of-Life Doula Advisory Council. She is a grateful member of the training team for the first 3 years of Doorway into Light’s annual International Death Doula Conference, which utilizes her curriculum in their yearly certification.
She has always valued unity in the movement and collaborates regularly for special projects she sees as highly needed to bring solutions to our dying. She is Partner in Professional Doula International with Doing Death Differently and Doulagivers International, leading the way for end-of-life doulas to be advocates within mainstream healthcare. She also is Partner with Suzanne O’Brien for The National Certificate for End of Life Doula Hospice Programs (NCEHP), a powerful end of life doula program template for hospices, complete with not only step by step instructions to develop and implement a program but also proven trainings and systems for full integration within the hospice team.
Deanna’s innovative leadership style has gained the attention of corporate healthcare providers as well as small businesses and community educators. QLC’s Education Partner program provides a proven system and solid foundation for their end-of-life training needs. Many use her core curriculum in their branded programs.
QLC offers free public education through a variety of platforms. QLC’s free Community Discussion Program will be launched in 2019, providing 10 lessons for independent educators throughout the country to facilitate discussions with people in their own communities. She has also developed a specific role for the doula serving in the serious illness time period (before hospice), called Supportive CareDoula®. Stay tuned for more information on this very specific role.
Deanna has created many public service initiatives, which have been used and copied all over the world. She created the world’s first podcast show devoted to palliative care from diagnosis through bereavement, The Journey Radio, in 2014. It has since been transformed to Journey with Deanna, a blog and podcast continuing to educate and inform about palliative and end of life issues. She interviews leading international experts, the average non–medically oriented person living and dying in this world, as well as sharing personal stories and thoughts on trending topics in the field.
She created The End-of-life Practitioner’s Collective (ELPC) in 2014, which has been her labor of love joining families with end-of-life practitioners in private practice who work alongside of their present healthcare teams. The ELPC directory is for consumers to find independent end-of-life practitioners for a variety of services in one place. There is no other centralized place where people can find this kind of holistic support focusing on the end-of-life period. Join us in the collective at www.endoflifepro.org if you are a practitioner. You may join as a professional, community volunteer, or community resource.
Since 2000, Deanna has dedicated her life to empowering people to live and die exactly as they wish—with as much comfort, peace, and choice as possible. Visit our Free Learning Center on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/journeywithDeanna.
She has been proudly featured in The New York Times, Medscape, Quartz, Pacific Standard, The Austin American Statesman, Story Corps, and many other publications, podcasts, and radio programs.