by Jenita Richards
Caroline Lee is a death doula. Yes, you heard that right. Maybe you’re familiar with a doula at the beginning of life, Caroline Lee is here to help at the end of life. As a death doula, she provides support, guidance, and companionship to those who are aware of their impending mortality.
She works with end of life planning for people who are aware that they’re dying soon.
But she also works with healthy people who want to come to terms with mortality and build an understanding of the temporary nature of their lives.
“Grief can be so lonely, and it doesn’t have to be.”
Caroline reminds us that our time in this physical body is limited. While we often get caught up in the illusion of endless time, acknowledging the temporary nature of life can bring us closer to the present moment. By understanding that anyone, including ourselves, could be gone tomorrow, we gain a fresh perspective on our goals, relationships, and the importance of cherishing each day.
"Facing the fears involved with dying can really make each day so much richer."
Caroline's journey in becoming a therapist led her to explore the integration of psychedelics in therapy. She discovered that lighter doses of ibogaine, a powerful plant medicine, can help alleviate anxiety associated with mortality and facilitate healing. However, she emphasizes the importance of engaging in such experiences under professional and loving guidance. Caroline believes that ibogaine can be a transformative tool for overcoming addiction or breaking free from patterns that no longer serve our higher purpose.
She sees ibogaine as a powerful tool for gentle trauma healing, even though the journey itself can be intense. Each person who embarks on this path receives unique answers and guidance from plant medicine.
For Caroline's ibogaine experience, she experienced a powerful moment of closure during a session. Caroline faced a pressing question after her divorce, “How do I start over when this person is half of everything that I am?” Through the session, she envisioned herself meeting her ex-husband in a forest, where they wept together and found love and closure. Although this closure happened within the realms of her mind and emotions, the experience had a profound impact on her external reality as well.
How do the end of relationships and death meet each other? They can both happen in an instant. They can both be blindsiding. They can both be slow and drawn out.
Caroline’s instagram post contains her relationship eulogy, a beautiful tribute to the relationship she shared with someone special to her. She challenges societal norms by choosing to approach the end of a relationship with the same reverence and respect that we give to death. In contrast to sometimes awful endings of a relationship where there may be bad mouthing and many negative feelings, she’s chosen to look back as a person looks back on a loved one’s death.
And on starting a new relationship?
Caroline recommends asking your date about their end of life plans! That’s a challenge for your next date! How much can you learn and what interesting conversation can stem from that? While this might seem like an unconventional topic, it opens up fascinating avenues for learning and deeper conversations. Exploring one's thoughts on mortality can lead to profound self-reflection and a greater appreciation for the fragility and preciousness of life.