Death Doula Cincinnati provides non-clinical services and support through the end-of-life. We honor and trust the Great Mystery of Living and Dying that befalls all human beings on Earth.
Our mission is to support and guide individuals and families to prepare for and to cultivate greater comfort and peace with death.
Eliminate a culture of death denial by encouraging people to talk openly about death in service to their own eventual death, the deaths of people around them, the ancestors who died before them and for the descendants who follow. How you die matters.
- Confidentiality and Discretion
- Trust and Integrity
- Deeply Listen to Understand
- Respect and Honor Each Person’s Unique Journey
- To serve with Heart, Compassion and Love
- To Hold Presence for All that Wants to Arise
Meet Jen Blalock, founder of Death Doula Cincinnati, LLC
Here are some highlights:
- Board Certified Patient Advocate (BCPA)
- Member of the International End-of-Life Doula Association (INELDA)
- Experienced hospice volunteer focusing on respite, companion and vigil care with Hospice of Cincinnati
- A rich and varied communication background including a BA and MA in Speech Communication, a professional trainer and teacher on many subjects.
- 30 dedicated years of personal development and heart-centered spiritual training including contemporary shamanism, rituals and ceremony, yoga, archetypes, integral theory, evolutionary consciousness, chakra energy system, the Enneagram and many more.
- World traveler – During the year of 2000, Jen traveled around the world by herself. The journey started in New Zealand, then Australia, Nepal, India, Hong Kong, Japan, S. Korea, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Thailand and then to Europe where she landed in Geneva, Switzerland, then France, England, Wales, Ireland, France and back home to Dayton, Ohio. In January 2001, Jen went back to France, lived there for eight years and returned to the US in 2009.
Jen has been drawn to death, dying and end-of-life care for many years.
There are two notable early influences on Jen’s path. First, in the 1990’s, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, also known as Dr. Death, because he believed that people dying of terminal illnesses deserved to consciously end their suffering by physician-assisted suicide, had a profound impact. He was a very controversial figure and was arrested, convicted of murder and served prison time for helping a man with progressed ALS die. Living in the midst of this cultural phenomenon, Jen’s perspective was clear that people should have the right to self-determination at the end of life. In 2022, ten states in the US legally allow for what is now called death with dignity. Ohio is not one of them. Read about Dr. Kevorkian here.
The next seminal influence for Jen was reading the book How We Die by Sherwin B. Nuland which demythologizes the process of dying. Nuland states, “My intention is not to depict it as a horror-filled sequence of painful and disgusting degradations, but to present it in its biological and clinical reality.” And he succeeds. Jen’s experience of learning how we actually die by a variety of causes was sobering, eye opening and freeing. Once she understood the biological underpinnings, it wasn’t as scary and she could be more objective about her own death and the deaths of her people.
Her mother died of cancer in 2003. Jen lived in France at the time but spent many months with her sister at their mother’s bedside to help care for her. Part of that experience is shared in a blog article here. As time happens along, other people in Jen’s life died – family members, acquaintances, friends. It’s the way of life – the longer one lives – the more people die in your sphere. For Jen, Death has become her Teacher – the wisest among many teachers throughout her lifetime.
A Pandemic and a Dream...
Read the origin story of Death Doula Cincinnati and how we came into being.