Nada Frazier: End-of-Life Doula and Death Cafe Host

For 28 years, Nada Frazier has been involved with the spiritual side of end-of-life care as a doula, inspirational speaker, and a hospice volunteer. She has served as a Hospice Ambassador and Spiritual Care Volunteer. Another title she holds is Death Cafe Host.

Cake is a death cafe tradition

Death Cafe events were started in 2011 by Jon Underwood in East London. His objective was, "to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives."

 

In a short amount of time, the Death Cafe was adopted for use in North America. The first one was hosted in Columbus, OH in 2012. Around that time the idea of a Death Cafe was introduced to Frazier.

Frazier had a memorable time when she first attended a Death Cafe. She described the experience as: “I was so deeply moved that all of these different community members come together to discuss life and death.”  

 

After experiencing a Death Cafe, Frazier took matters into her own hands and decided to host a Death Cafe in Jacksonville, FL.

Frazier has made an impact on many lives within her community by creating a safe space to discuss death. She hopes her Death Cafe informs others of the steps they can take to make the end-of-life process easy and comfortable for everyone involved. 

One of the people who attended Frazier's event was Linda Bannister. Frazier is Bannister's spiritual leader at the Unity of Jacksonville Beach Church. After Frazier started her own Death Cafe, she invited all of her spiritual group members to the event. Through their spiritual group and the Death Cafe, Frazier has played an important role in Linda's life. When asked what impact Frazier has had on Bannister's life she explained: "In her knowledge of the death and dying process, she had an influence on my dad by spending about three to four hours in the room by herself with him a day and a half"

An end-of-life doula can play a vital role for patients encountering the end-of-life. Doulas accompany patients through the final moments of life, whether it is months, weeks, or days. The doula is there to provide support, knowledge, and clarity during the toughest parts of the end-life-process.

End-of-life doulas are an additional resource for a patient that is also receiving medical treatment. Frazier stresses that a doula and a medical practitioner do often work together. She explained that her function as an end-of-life doula is not a replacement for medical care, but rather an extra layer of support. She said, “End-of-life doulas do not replace hospice, they do not replace nursing or doctors. An end of life doula is a non-medical person. There’s a lot of end of life doulas who have medical backgrounds, but it's very important that they discern and make sure that they adequately know which hat they are wearing at a given time.”

 

Frazier shares her experience and knowledge to train people who are interested in hospice volunteering or becoming an end-of-life doula. She is also a leader in her community and spends a significant amount of time consulting with patients and their families. Frazier, when asked about the fulfillment she gets out being an end-of-life doula, offered: “There is nothing more sacred than me being invited into this really special, sentimental, challenging time.”

For more information on Nada Frazier and the services and events she hosts, you can visit her page: The Sacred Servant

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