The parallels between birthing and dying are profound. It can be an awesome experience to observe and a great honour to be present in the moment. Or it can be a stressful, awkward experience. Following are two poems. The first is a medicalised experience, full of fear and uncertainty. The second could be a natural, unhindered, unmedicalised, experience: Powerful and Beautiful.
In both birth and death there is an option to bypass the experience, particularly if it looks like poem one. This is a medicalised approach, with the purpose of avoiding stress, trauma or a long drawn out experience. Are we being impatient, or kind? Does it become necessary when overly medicalised, it it impossible for the experience to end without medical assistance? Is it a personal choice that should be available simply because we can?
As the medical becomes the normal, we must face these questions. We must prepare an Advanced Care Directive in dying, and birth’s equivalent: the Birth Map. There are doulas for birth and death to help inform, emotionally support and create a space of honour. Each of these very important life events can be prepared for. We might not know exactly how they will play out, but we can understand the possibilities, we can communicate our decisions for various options. Informed. Supported. Confident. We can lay down the foundations for a powerful, honoured, dignified experience.
Afraid, unsure, she seeks assistance
No explanations. No understanding.
Afraid, unsure, the time comes.
solemn faces, etched with worry
Relieved of the experience
It is in the hands of others
She is still unsure
The time comes.
It is over.
She knows what is coming
It is inevitable
She is not afraid.
She feels the stir
Waves pull her down
The time has come.
Free and relaxed
She welcomes this ending
This new beginning.
And with relief she feels love
Her entire being is glowing
She has emerged
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