Hello! I am a Registered Nurse with specialty certification in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, living in Hamilton, Ontario. I also hold a Master of Divinity degree from the University of Toronto, having trained as a Roman Catholic priest (but without ordination, as ordination is still withheld from all women in the Roman Catholic Church). I have had a variety of professional experiences in palliative care, geriatric psychiatry, emergency and acute psychiatry, sexual assault and domestic violence, and eating disorders. As well, I have provided pastoral care in a variety of interfaith health and social service settings.
Recently certified as an End-of-Life and Home Funeral-Care Guide (Beyond Hospice, 2012), I have supported families before, during, and after the death of a loved one, in both expected and traumatic circumstances. In our death-denying culture, we are not used to seeing, let alone “touching” death. It is inspiring to witness families who courageously choose to sit with, hold, cry over, and care for the body of a loved one who has died. This presence with a loved one after death, though initially daunting for some, is often surprisingly “doable” and ends up coming naturally. After the fact, families will describe these moments or days of after-death care as an invaluable final expression of love, imperative in their process of saying good-bye.
I consider it a great privilege to support individuals facing the reality of death, and their families in saying good-bye, in whatever ways they find most meaningful. My professional practice is characterized by openness, respect, compassion, and strength. I am not easily offended or shocked. It is my opinion that, where profound realities such as death are concerned, there is no one “right way” to do or be. At a personal level, I try to cultivate a spirit of generosity and gratitude, which I hope suffuses all I do.