"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, always important but even more so when we are struggling with an illness or naturally nearing the end of our lives. NTD offers a comfort that soothes the body and calms the spirit.
An NTD session lasts between 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 door asking that your bell or knocker not be used. You remain fully dressed. 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.
Fee $85 per session
Writing Your Story
Planning Your Last Days
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.
Fee: Private sessions $85 per hour Group sessions $20 per person/minimum of 5 people