Death Is A Human Experience

Suzanne B. O’Brien RN, creator of Doulagivers, has been at the forefront of the End-of-Life Doula Movement in the United States since it began building momentum nearly a decade ago. She has years of experience working with over one thousand end-of-life patients as a hospice nurse and palliative care professional.

Suzanne writes that Death is currently the number one fear in the world, and we are living in a death-phobic society. The awareness of death has been removed from our daily lives and we treat death as if it is optional. Not only does this not work, but it is also one of the sole reasons why death is not going well for most people right now.

When we deny the fact that one day our journey as we know it will come to an end, we deny ourselves:

  1. The gift of understanding the value of time. Time is our greatest commodity.
  2. The awareness that we are ALL so much more similar than different, no matter who we are, what we look like, or where we live in the world.
  3. The ability to plan ahead.


Suzanne believes that 80% to 90% of a Good Death is planning ahead, regardless of what the disease process is. She writes: Why did we ever remove death, as being a natural part of our life’s journey, from our awareness?

From working with over 1,000 people at the end of life, she can tell you that death can be absolutely beautiful and is a sacred experience. Death can connect you with a depth of love that is so much greater than just yourself, and it can teach you everything about how to live fully – with presence, gratitude, and compassion.

When we are able to share and teach tools to one another in this very feared space, we empower one another. When we bring light into something that is a dark place for many, it changes perspectives and allows for healing. When we share the TRUTH about this natural and beautiful part of life – it changes the world!

Suzanne says that somewhere along this journey we just forgot that death is not a medical experience, it’s a human one… and that with the right education, kindness and support, Death can be the natural and sacred experience it was meant to be.

Many of Suzanne O’Brien’s teaching videos can be found on YouTube.

Summarized by Margaret Verschuur