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Meet Our Doulas

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Constance Miles

Constance has assisted families as a birth midwife for thirty-six years. Her four daughters were all born at home and she midwifed her eldest and her youngest at home for the births of her six granddaughters. She loves being a nana, a gardener a dancer, a poet. Transitioning from birth work to end of life work was a natural segue, after midwifing her son by marriage through his final journey and taking her mom off of life-support. Death is another sacred threshold and it is both a blessing and an honor to be able to accompany folks as they transition.  


Constance serves by holding presence, providing emotional, logistical and physical support and honoring the sacred nature of this work. She has also facilitated more than seventy rites of passages ceremonies over the years. Constance is a graduate of the Final Passages program and the Inspired Endings End of Life Doula training and is MAID certified. She is on the Core Council of Final Passages and assists with home and family funerals, as well as conscious dying. Constance is also a registered nurse, having worked in various settings besides women’s healthcare, such as home care for quadriplegics, subacute care of post-op, post amputee, post stroke patients, as well as assisting in the operating room.
 

Constance lives in Sebastopol at Mamalanda, a healing center with her husband, Barton Stone, a soto zen priest and teacher, and a small community of friends. She has self-published Lamentations: Grief and Remembrance, a heartful collection of poems.

 

 

Contact: moonsong@sonic.net

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Michelle Vesser

End-of-Life Doula, Home Funeral Guide, Spiritual Counselor,Tibetan End-of-Life Practices, & Grief Support

 

Michelle brings many life experiences into death’s sacred transition, which help transform the experience of dying and loss into an honoring of one’s life. She supports the whole family/friend community in the journey. Her deep connection with the natural and spiritual world has been inspired by her 35 years as a farmer/gardener.  She brings a grounded understanding of life’s natural cycles to her work as an End-of-Life Doula and Home Funeral Guide. 

 

Michelle began her training with Final Passages in 2014 and served on Final Passages Core Council for 7 years. In 2019 she trained with Inspired Endings End-of-Life Doula program. She is trained to support Medical Aid in Dying (MAID). In addition, Michelle has studied Tibetan Bon/Buddhist practice since 2005.  She has received teachings in Phowa (Transference of Consciousness), Zhitro (Purification Mandala), and other elemental death practices.

 

Michelle is a Reverend and brings has 20 years of experience as a spiritual counselor to her Doula work and.  She offers unique emotional and spiritual tools, which support individuals and families through the process of dying and death.  Michelle's support is beneficial before death comes, at the time of death, guidance in after death care and walking with grief after the loss of a loved one.

She has been deeply honored to support the many individual and families during this tender and precious time of dying and death.

Contact: michellemcv@gmail.com

www.everythingsacred.co

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Linda Suhr

Jerrigrace Lyons

After an eight-year journey with Alzheimer’s Disease, my beloved partner died peacefully at home on Hospice care surrounded by loved ones. Many years earlier, after watching both of his parents suffer with dementia, he carefully considered his own future and wrote clear medical care instructions for the late stage of Alzheimer’s Disease, which he thoroughly discussed with his loved ones. In 2017, when he was in the late stage of AD, even though it was difficult, we were confident we were making the right decisions and honoring his wishes. His foresight, in essence, was an incredible gift to us. It was then that I realized the importance of end-of-life planning and was moved to help others.

 

After his death, I immersed myself in learning how to prepare for the end of life. I attended the comprehensive End-of-Life Doula Training with nationally acclaimed doula Alua Arthur of Going with Grace. I attended myriad workshops, lectures and courses and read many books and articles on all aspects of preparing for and caring at the end of life from the practical to the spiritual. I loved and continue to love learning about this vital calling.


I support people in all end-of-life aspects. Many of my clients are those who are relatively healthy and are pro-actively seeking to put their affairs in order. My superpower is supporting people as they deeply reflect on essential end-of-life considerations, gather important documents and organize them all in a cohesive way so that their loved ones will be able to honor their wishes when the time comes. I also support those who are actively dying, along with their caregivers, in the medley of care needed at the end of life. I bring my heart along with my resources to the table and to the bedside.


I am fortunate to live in a special senior community called Oakmont, east of Santa Rosa, surrounded by parks in Jack London’s Valley of the Moon. I grew up in Napa and taught students - children to adults - in schools in California, Japan and Syria. Before moving to Oakmont, I sailed the US East Coast and eastern Caribbean for three years with my beloved Captain on our 45-foot sloop, Wayward Wind. These days, I enjoy the bounties of Sonoma County where you will find me cooking up my farmers market finds, practicing yoga or hiking with friends in the nearby hills.

Contact Email: linda@autumnoflifeplanning.com

www.autumnoflifeplanning.com

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Jerrigrace Lyons

Jerrigrace Lyons felt called to her career path as a result of the unexpected death of her dear friend Carolyn Whiting RN in 1994. Because of Carolyn’s interest in a natural and conscious approach to death care, she had left detailed instructions for her friends to prepare her body at home. Jerrigrace was profoundly moved by this experience and became passionate about reintroducing a choice that our ancestors once held sacred.


Jerrigrace is currently a death midwife and educator, End-of-Life and MAiD Doula, Reiki Master, Interfaith Minister, and a renowned pioneer of the Home Funeral Movement. She is the Founder and Executive Director of the non-profit, Final Passages started in1995, She created a certificate training program, guided nearly 500 family-led home funerals and taught thousands worldwide.


Jerrigrace offers a full spectrum of services that include consultations to explore and guide individuals who are in their final stages of life and those who wish to plan and prepare for crossing the threshold. Discussions might include conscious dying,
addressing fears and concerns, and legacy projects. Jerrigrace specializes in home funeral planning and guidance and is a certified MAiD (Medical Aid in Dying) Doula, supporting those who choose this option and those who are present to witness and hold space. She brings a sense of peace, calm and clear direction at an often emotionally charged time.

 

Jerrigrace attended the INELDA (International End of Life Doula Association) Training,and is a certified MAiD Doula through ACAMAiD. She has taught at the Int’l Death Doula Training in Hawaii, the First International Death Symposium in Toronto and a number of
conferences including Hospice, SAND (Science and Non-Duality) and City of Hope. Jerrigrace is featured in the acclaimed PBS documentary A Family Undertaking, and other media such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The NY Times, Coast to Coast radio, TV, podcasts and more.

Contact: sacredpassageswithgrace@sonic.net

www.finalpassages.org

End-of-Life Doula, Preplanning for End of Life, After Death Logistics and Support

Through deep listening and an open heart, Linda meets her clients and their loved ones wherever they are on their journey with life’s final transition.  Linda supports those who have a serious illness with the medley of care needed as they navigate this sacred time.  She provides practical support and education about options as well as emotional and spiritual support.

Linda also assists those who are relatively healthy to deeply reflect on the inevitable end of life and organize their wishes and practical information.  Clients feel an enormous sense of relief and give an invaluable gift to their loved ones.

After caring for her partner on his journey with Alzheimer's Disease and peaceful death at home, Linda found her calling as an End-of-Life Doula.  She trained with Going with Grace, Final Passages and Inspired Endings.  Linda began Autumn of Life Planning in 2019.  She serves on the Core Council of Final Passages and facilitates the Oakmont Café Mortel, a discussion group for aspects of dying and death.  Previously Linda was a teacher in California, Japan and Syria.  

As an educator, Linda believes knowledge and self-reflection enable us to make wise decisions.  It is Linda’s goal to support those who are healthy to feel confident about their end-of-life plan.  Linda’s goal for those who are actively dying and for their loved ones is to gain a sense of agency and peace of mind during this tender time.

Contact: linda@autumnoflifeplanning.com

www.autumnoflifeplanning.com

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Linda Suhr

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