"It does not matter how long you live, but how well you do it."
Martin Luther King Jr.
NTD Private Sessions
Nurturing Touch for the Dying is a group of techniques developed by Elizabeth Erbrecht LMT & End of Life Doula. Gentle nurturing touch is of course, important for all of us and more so when we are suffering from stress, anxiety or a terminal diagnosis. Equally, NTD offers those nearing the end of their lives a comfort and dignity that soothes the body and calms the spirit.
An NTD session lasts about 45 minutes to an hour, and takes place where you are able to comfortably relax. This could be on your bed or a favorite napping spot in your living room. If you are calmed by certain instrumental music or sounds from nature, that can be part of what surrounds you. Electronics are muted, placed away from you, and I hang a small sign on the front door asking that your bell or knocker not be used. You remain fully dressed as I begin by cradling your feet in my hands, then move to your calves, tops of thighs, hip area, stomach, hands, arms, shoulder, head and continue back to your feet.
I prefer to leave you in silence so you can rejoin the world at your leisure.
Writing Your Story
My Final Say
Whether in a private session or in a group setting, we’ll begin by learning a bit about the history of obituaries and read examples of different styles to ignite our own inner writer. There is a method of building an obituary, but it should evolve into a mini masterpiece that is as individual as you yourself.
We will spend some time with different writing exercises. No grading involved.
Then you will write a draft of your own obituary. I’ll standby to help if you’d like. Whoever wants to share their work may, and those who prefer to quietly create, that’s okay too. This will be a no-judgement zone.
My intention is to offer a casual and fun platform for everyone to pause and experience important realizations about the life they have lived, with the unique opportunity to also now decide how they might write the rest of their story.
This document is one that goes home with you as a piece you will continue to enhance. If you go one to scale the face of Yosemite’s El Capitan by all means, come home and add that. You may have a new grandchild or decide against cremation for a green burial.
I am delighted to meet with you privately, at your home or a public space, or with a group of friends you have pulled together. I am also available for community and religious groups.
You will need to arrive with whatever you prefer to write on and with, may that be pad and pen, journal and quill, or laptop.
Please contact for fee.
Personal Vigil Planning
ChorEographing My Last Dance
Planning a personal Vigil is the designing of your final space. It is your opportunity to control something around you when all else seems quite out of control.
Our five traditional senses transmit information from our peripheral nervous system through various pathways to our central nervous system and then on to our unique brain. While the smell of rain might soothe one, it might instead trigger the memory of a terrifying hurricane, in another. So, keeping all our senses in mind, we would spend lots of time considering what feeds your heart and your soul.
Within your home are the objects that bring you happiness, as you see them in your daily life. They could be a trinket brought back from a wonderful adventure, a painting, a group of photographs or baseball caught at the World Series. What it is, matters not. How it makes you feel, matters entirely.
From there, we will make note of what gives you pause as you catch its fragrance in the air. Would it be Dunhill pipe tobacco, garden roses, or fresh cut grass? What happens to your spirit when you hear lovely piano music, The Beatles, waves breaking on shore or songbirds chatting away? Have you always carried a pocket-cross or lucky coin? Or does holding a smooth stone cradled in your hands, offer calm and solace? Even during active-dying one’s lips are gently moistened. Would you love to have that flavored with chocolate, raspberry or perhaps a favorite rye whiskey?
You might easily imagine who you want at our bedside as you leave this world, but of importance is also who you don’t want in a 10-mile radius of your sacred space. You might be the only person with that knowledge. Here, in this document, is where you let those caring for you, know.
Do you imagine loved ones sitting next to you one at a time? Would they first spend a few minutes alone, quieting their thoughts and recalling a favorite memory shared with you before approaching? Or would lively groups of friends please you more? Should someone bring a guitar? Bubbles? Sparklers? Here we will build the rituals you want to have happen. Do you want anyone to lay in bed with you, brush your hair? Would you like a book for them to write messages in?
We will explore what you might like to have happening with and around your body as you approach and then give out into the world, your precious final breath. Do you want family members to encircle you, each with a hand resting on you? Do you want friends to cleanse your body with delicate oils before wrapping in a beautiful cloth? Do you want me to read to those present, a message you dictated, leaving behind last thoughts? Do you want old love letters, small stones, flowers or the fly fishing lures you handmade placed around you as people sing or pray or tell old stories?
I will document all of this for you, print and bind it in a way it can be kept at your bedside, so everyone understands your wishes. I can also drop your document onto a thumb drive for you to keep and modify for as long as you would like.