Christy Marek, a certified end-of-life doula, has seen firsthand the Smell My Bag Vintage Retro Shirt and by the same token and added stress that terminally ill individuals have had to endure because of the pandemic. One client had been living at home but decided that her health was putting too much added stress on her family. “She had considered going into a facility just so that she could get the level of support that she needed as she was becoming bed-bound,” says Marek, who is based in Minnesota. But the client found herself at a crossroads: she had to choose between the possibility of dying alone in a facility (upon admission, patients were required to quarantine alone with no visitation for two weeks) or continuing to rely on family care while spending the rest of her time at home.
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Marek made several phone calls to facilities to advocate for her client. “I said, ‘What if she doesn’t have two weeks? What are you going to do?’” Marek recalls. Ultimately, her client ended up getting 24-hour home care, but it wasn’t her first choice. “People are then dying at home because the Smell My Bag Vintage Retro Shirt and by the same token and last thing they want is to go into a facility,” says Marek. “They don’t have time to quarantine for the amount of time that [facilities] need. For centuries, doulas have been assisting with childbirth, providing emotional, physical, and educational support during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. But there aren’t just doulas for the birthing process: over time, both officially and unofficially, end-of-life doulas have emerged to help individuals with palliative care and support their families through the grief that comes with losing someone. A 2017 study found that women who had continuous support during their labor—whether from a nurse, doula, or partner—reported a more positive birth experience. It seems likely that the same kind of constant emotional support from a death doula would have an equally positive effect on processing the grief around passing.