A Pandemic and a Dream: The Origin Story of Death Doula Cincinnati

by | Jul 27, 2022 | About Death Doulas

Death Doula Cincinnati exists because of a dream that turned into a calling which is now being answered. Here is Jen’s telling of her dream:

The Dream

In the dream, my maternal grandmother who died in 1984, was dead and lying on a stone slab. She was wearing a white nightgown and her gray hair, normally pinned up in a bun, was left long and flowing around her face. She was beautiful and peaceful. She somehow communicated to  me that she wanted to be resuscitated, so I pounded her chest and administered CPR. She sat up, turned her body around with her legs dangling over the edge of the slab and looked toward me but not at me. Our eyes did not connect. End dream.


When I woke up, I was deeply moved and touched by her presence. I went about my morning and while reading emails, I opened one of many newsletters in my inbox and it featured an article about death doulas. It caught my attention but not enough to read it. I deleted the newsletter. An hour later, I felt a strong compulsion to find that newsletter and read the article. I scrambled to find it and was immediately drawn to the death doula role. The article pointed me to resources and associations where one could get training. From that point on, synchronicities continuously happened and no matter where I turned, the subject of death doulas and the death positive movement appeared in front of me.

Jen’s Nana 1977

Dream Interpretation

First I asked: what does my grandmother represent to me? She embodies warmth, comfort and trust. What does it mean that she was resuscitated? At first I thought about literal meanings attached to how she died, but symbolically, I felt that something inside of me was being awakened and it didn’t take long to realize it was the Death Doula. And it couldn’t have been delivered by a more credible, trustworthy messenger than my Nana in her Spirit state.

The Pandemic

Jen’s dream/calling is not unusual. Many death doulas are waking up and heeding the call around the world. It truly is an organic and spontaneous movement that gained momentum during the pandemic. So many people died, and so many were left untended, and it happened to millions of people around the world. 

The Creation of Death Doula Cincinnati, LLC

Prior to March 2020, Jen became a Board Certified Patient Advocate (BCPA) which helps people navigate the healthcare system during times of illness, especially if a person does not have a family member or friend to help with doctor visits, etc. When the pandemic hit, hospitals and doctor offices shut down, so the patient advocacy work was shelved. As the calling to be a death doula arose, Jen realized that patient advocacy seamlessly serves the role of a death doula. 

Jen continuously followed synchronicities and completed death doula training with the International End-of-life Doula Association (INELDA), continued her hospice volunteer work, created an LLC, built a resource rich website and is now in business in Cincinnati providing doula services. 

A pandemic, a dream and the manifestation of a business to help us, as humans, wake up to the fact that we will all die, and the sooner we can reckon with that reality, the better our death will be which serves the whole. Death Doula Cincinnati honors the ancestors who lived and died before us and the descendants who are inheriting the Earth after us. We honor the Circle of Life.

Thank you for reading this origin story and for perusing the website and for bringing Death, the Great Teacher, closer to your life.