Ask A Doulagiver #
Nurse Hadley Podcast Interview ”The In Between”
Guest: Nurse Hadley Vlahos
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Episode Show Notes
In this episode of Ask a Doulagiver,
I have the great pleasure of interviewing Nurse Hadley Vlahos about her upcoming book THE IN-BETWEEN: Unforgettable Encounters During Life’s Final Moments.
The book shares beautiful bedside stories of that special time when people have “one foot in this world and one foot in the next”. This episode is a heart to heart episode, from one hospice nurse, to another hospice nurse, as we discuss the common experiences we have had with our patients that will change your life.
In This Episode, You Will Learn:
Topic #1 How Hadley became a Hospice nurse and why.
Topic #2 The common experiences we see with our hospice patients as they get closer to the time of death. Like seeing loved ones who have already died.
Topic #3 What she hopes to see in the world regarding our view of death in the years to come.
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Links Mentioned in This Episode:
Nurse Hadley on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nurse.hadley/
Get The Book: https://nursehadley.com/book
Learn More About Hospice Care: Click here to get your copy of the The Doulagivers Hospice Handbook: https://training.doulagivers.com/offers/TELMrnSe/checkout
Learn How to Care For Someone Who is Dying: Free 90 Minute Webinar Register here: https://my.demio.com/ref/UAcgSsF5SUUJhVhG
Learn More: Doulagivers Institute Click here: https://www.doulagivers.com
P.S. I will be giving a FREE COPY of the Doulagivers Hospice Handbook to everyone that shows up LIVE to the FREE Doulagivers 90-Minute Level 1 End of Life Doula Live Webinar Training Thursday, June 22nd at 7pm ET! Please make sure to share this podcast with at least three of your friends!
This is how we change the end of life- together. xo Suzanne
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Speaker 1 (00:02):
Hi everyone and welcome to this episode of Ask a Doula Giver. It’s gonna be a good one. We have today Chan Blas. And let me just give a little bit of background. She is a hospice nurse, but she is an end of life educator and she has really just come on the scene with this fresh way of sharing about end of life, which you all know is the number one fear in the world. So she is a hospice nurse. She is a mother. She is a wife, and she is an end of life advocate. And she has a new book that we are gonna talk about and we’re gonna get into a great conversation. So welcome Hadley. Thank you so much for being here.
Speaker 2 (00:42):
Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited.
Speaker 1 (00:45):
Me too. Because I was just like, oh, we could talk for hours and hours about this because we speak the same language and it’s gonna just be wonderful for all of our listeners. So the first thing I do wanna share with people, because I think it’s so instrumental in our journeys, is your own personal journey. And I know that you had somebody close to you die suddenly when you were in high school. And I feel like, you know, one of the things that we wanna remember in, in life, especially working with those at the end of it, is that everyone has this story and everyone has a journey and, and many times people, we don’t know each other’s stories, but there are moments that really are traumatic and painful. And there’s also those same opportunities that sometimes reroute our path or break us open to questioning. So can you share a little bit about that? Cuz that is really, again, I, I love listening to that cause I feel like that directly relates to, to where your work is now, in a sense.
Speaker 2 (01:41):
Yeah, it absolutely is. So when we were 15, the first football game of the season mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, we were all in the stands, you know, all of our friends and, um, my friend Taylor Hogan, um, was on the field playing and he went to catch the ball in the end zone and he jumped up and caught it. And, um, two players from the opposing team hit him from both sides. And I now know that it essentially burst his liver and he actually was able to run off the field, which is amazing. Yeah. And so we all watched this and then he collapsed on the sidelines, so EMS came over. So of course we saw him getting into the ambulance, but we had also seen him run off the field. So I was like, oh, maybe he hurt his leg. You know, like, you don’t think something like that.
Um, so he went and I was like, oh, he’ll be, he’ll be fine. You know, we’re 15 <laugh>, um, it’s a football game in high school. Exactly. And so the next morning, um, showed up with my friend, um, to like a school church carwash. And, um, everyone was crying and they said, you know, he died. And I was like, oh, someone’s grandparent must have died. And like, no, Taylor Hogan died and I could not, could not conceptualize that at all. Yeah, yeah. And for the longest time I just thought that he was gonna just show up again and, you know, it, it just like was not real for me and I really, really struggled with it in moving on and accepting it.
Speaker 1 (03:11):
Wow. Yeah, and I mean, I think it’s those moments, um, especially when you’re young in your whole life and, and, and like I think there’s threads to that. You watched him, you literally watched him run off the field, so there’s no way that you can put together those things, but they set us on a path and they, they start to break us open, uh, to, to seek out in different ways or know that, you know, what’s going on here. So I I love that. And then, you know, you, you share the story of you at 19 getting pregnant and having a baby and being shunned by your community. Um, do you wanna share a little bit about that? Because that, again, I feel like you, you were still like in that early discovery of rawness and then you had this beautiful gift and, and it and it wasn’t quite received that way.
Speaker 2 (03:56):
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I, um, yep. So I got pregnant, um, right after freshman year of college, uh, going into my sophomore year, the summer of I found out. And um, yeah, it was not received well to say the least. Um, I tried to make the best of it, um, but it was really, really, really difficult. Yeah. And you know, I had to leave the university I was at, I had to leave my sorority, you know, all of the plans that I had for life. And um, that’s how I ended up in nursing simply because I knew that it was two years and it would provide a stable income for Yeah. Me and the baby. And now looking back I’m like, oh, that’s exactly what was supposed to happen. 100%. Like I’m where I’m supposed to be.
Speaker 1 (04:38):
Yeah. A million percent. And I think it’s those, those moments in our lives and experiences that allow us to be so present in our humanity and compassion for others when we’re on the other side of them. So I applaud you. I wanna also tell you I went through a similar thing, not at 19, but I did have a baby. Um, and I did go to nursing school to make sure that I could provide for that baby and it was all meant to be and it’s the best thing ever. So I love that as beautiful. Okay. You became a nurse, you were working where, when you first graduated In the hospital?
Speaker 2 (05:11):
So I did a year internship in the hospital, which was during like my last year of nursing school. And then from there I did not get my dream job in labor and delivery, which also I now know is meant to be. But I was devastated at the time, <laugh>. Um, so I went to work in an immediate care clinic. Um, and then from there I took a job in a nursing home. Okay. And that is when I first saw hospice, you know, in nursing school they don’t really introduce it much to us. Um, but I finally got to really see it in the nursing home cuz you know, we had hospice patients.
Speaker 1 (05:44):
Sure. Beautiful. So, so tell me about your path to hospice then. Tell me about what that, what that route looked like. The calling.
Speaker 2 (05:52):
Yeah. So I was a manager, um, on the nursing in the nursing home, but I was also just being a nurse most of the time. You know how crazy it is a nursing home. So I’d be running around like a chicken with my head cut off, just trying to get everyone their medicine, just trying to really, yeah. Keep people off the floor and not fall and just trying to, you know, just survive and just, yeah. I remember running by and just seeing these hospice nurses just sitting with these patients for like an hour, just one patient just sitting there and I was like, I can, how, how like, is this really like a type of nursing where you just sit there and then they’d come to me, you know, being the nurse on the floor and they’d be like, this is the plan, this is what we’re gonna do. And you know, here’s where they, I they’re a little bit scared and you know, this is what their family’s like and I’m like, this is amazing. Like, you have time to sit there and do that. Like this is how medicine should be. Like this is what I wanna be a part of.
Speaker 1 (06:47):
That’s right. Um, it’s interesting because I, I think again, I I often will say that time and our presence is the best medicine we have to give to one another and it’s virtually impossible in mainstream medical. And I feel terrible for all the doctors and nurses in CNN and everyone who does all these. You have a million patients and nobody’s happy and nobody’s really getting the care that they need. So time is beautiful. And so did you then leave the nursing home and go to be a ho a hospice nurse?
Speaker 2 (07:16):
Yep. Then I’ve never looked back. <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (07:18):
Well you might be looking back a little bit cuz now you’re a hospice educator, but that’s okay. <laugh>. I
Speaker 2 (07:22):
Love that. Well no, I still do work as a hospice nurse today. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (07:25):
Well who knows what the future will happen and you will. True. And it is real and it is really beautiful because, and it’s interesting because I, I was a nurse in the mainstream hospital and I wasn’t happy and I saw things that really broke my heart, you know, and I was just like, is this what I went to school? Like there’s gotta be more. And I kept hearing, go to hospice, go to hospice meanwhile, and I knew it was end of life care and every time I thought about it, like my heart expanded, you know, there was something too. But I had no experience. Wow. And the first day that I went to see hospice patients, um, shadowing another nurse, I knew I was in the exact place I was supposed to be and I never looked back. But just like you, the universe sort of has, um, God, whatever our belief system has a plan for us.
And I think that for those of us, especially right now in this moment in time, that have this experience with the truth of end of life, with the sacredness of end of life coming out and sharing that so people can, in a practical way prepare for end of life in a beautiful way, understand that one day, this journey as we know it will not be here. So we live a little bit different. And also the the intense grief we have right now when people die that maybe, again I’m saying maybe cuz I never wanna tell people what they need to believe. I will always be honest, but, you know, maybe life never dies. That it’s just, and, and for, and we’re gonna talk about your book and your bedside, the in between cuz it’s so wonderful, um, us being privileged to see that with our patients and that completely changed my life and I wanna share that. And we, and we need to share that with everyone. So let’s, so okay, so let’s talk about where you started educating. How did that happen? And I love your TikTok, it’s amazing. So creative, so entertaining and so loving to the point. And I was just like, oh, it’s really great. So when did you start thinking, let me do some education on this?
Speaker 2 (09:21):
So it happened, uh, by chance for sure. Um, during the beginning of the pandemic March, 2020 when we had really no information. And as you know, they’re saying, uh, put a scarf around your face and come to work. And we, we had no idea what was going on at the time. Yeah. Um, and then the school’s closed too. Yeah. Um, my husband is a doctor of physical therapy for a low income state run facility. He’s the only physical therapist there. And of course I’m working in hospice and so both of our jobs are saying we need you. Um, and we, we couldn’t decide whose job was more important. Um, called my parents, um, who live basically on a ranch. Like a farm remote. Yeah. And they came and took the kids. Okay. So I made a short video for my family and friends to kind of share what was going on. Okay. And I ended the video saying like, this was never our plan <laugh>. Um, yeah. But we promised we would care for people and that’s what we’re gonna do. And so I, the, I thought TikTok was a video editor actually, so I made the video in there, posted it, that’s the only way you could save it still is. And it got like 2 million views.
Speaker 1 (10:34):
Speaker 2 (10:35):
People were just asking all these questions and they were like, what kind of nurse are you? And so I just started answering questions. That’s how it all started. There
Speaker 1 (10:43):
Are no, there are no accidents. Hadley no accidents at all. And it’s just so interesting and especially we were never busier with our work and doula givers with the pandemic because everyone now was so scared they were at home and you know, they really wanted to know, what do I need to like, help any, any which way. So I’m not surprised and it was such a good time for that. Um, I love that. So let’s talk about how, how did your book obviously probably came about because of this huge explosion in, in, um, the education and the TikTok and everything. Talk to me, if you would, about the very first experience you had with a patient that really changed your life and said, wait a minute. If, if you know, you can pinpoint one and then I know we have so many that we’ll talk about. Um, do you wanna share that first experience?
Speaker 2 (11:36):
Yeah. The first one that was really very pivotal for me in my book, I call him Carl. Of course, that’s not his real name. Yeah. But that’s what I call him. And we, I had him for about eight months. Um, but he, I got him like, you know, after you go through the training and they give you your patience, he was one of that first group, but I had him for a long time. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, so I got very, very, very close to him and his wife and um, you know, just trying to connect with him, you know, how you’re sitting in a home and you’re just looking for anything to connect with people. And he was watching sports and I said, um, tell me about sports. I don’t really understand it, but my boyfriend at the time now, my husband, he just, he’s obsessed with sports.
And so that was kind of my little let’s connect. Yeah, yeah. And of course you do that, you know how that is. Yeah. And um, so he started telling me about sports and I was like, oh, you know what? You’re gonna make me look so smart to my boyfriend, like, you’re the best. And we started talking more and he learned that I was a single mom and he would start like writing down all events for me cuz he’s just bedbound sitting, watching the news all day. And so I’d show up and he’d have a little, uh, piece of paper for me with like all the current events so I could stay updated. And so we got very close in that way. And he had experiences such as surge of energy and seemed deceased, loved ones that was very, um, I had seen it before, but this was the first person that I like really knew and trusted that I was like, I know that he is ab Yeah, absolutely seen this. Yeah. And, um, right before he died, um, he told me, thank you for giving me something to look forward to instead of death, like giving him something to do. And that was when I was like, wow, like this is, this is what I need to be doing. Like this is my calling.
Speaker 1 (13:26):
Yeah. You know, it’s so interesting you say that because I feel like we don’t train, just like you said, it’s not in nursing schools about hospice, it’s not in medical schools about hospice. In fact, it’s the opposite. In medical schools, we’ve taught our doctors how to keep people alive sometimes to a fault where there’s no quality of life. And that’s a very unfair thing to do to them. And so, um, when this shows up at the end of life, which by the way, as much as we try and avoid it and run it away, it’s a hundred percent one day that journey will be there. Um, I think there’s so much that doctors and nurses and just people in general when we have this knowledge, there’s, you know, when people say, I’m sorry, there’s no more I can do for you. There’s so much we can do for them. Right. Just totally agree. Yeah. Look, you connect with a man and ask them about their sports team and to teach you and like, you know, it’s, so this is really, really important. So that’s absolutely beautiful. And we only get one shot at it. Right. So if we don’t do it, then that’s why I love that you’re out here. Tell me the name of this book, the in between Explain, explain that to us if you would.
Speaker 2 (14:29):
Yeah, so I always say that I sit with patients in the in between. So basically it means that they’re in between our world and whatever comes next, in my opinion, you know, they’re in that in between. And of course you see this, I see this where people seem to go in between in that last week. They seem to go to that world and then come back to us and yeah, that’s always been the most interesting to me.
Speaker 1 (14:52):
Absolutely. And you know, I have to share with you that I, I call it, um, one foot in this world and one foot in the next. Yeah. And I say there’s a, there’s a time when they get their spiritual eyes and their spiritual wisdom and, and you know what’s so beautiful is that physics is validating this. So the, the study of physics is saying, yeah, we’re energy. And as that physical body is diminishing, the spiritual body’s raising and there’s one point that they have one foot in this world, one foot in the next. And that’s why I believe they can see their loved ones and they can see you mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I think it’s really important to share. And it’s also, look, if you are with somebody that says that they see their mother that they haven’t seen in 35 years or all of the beautiful things which we’re gonna have you share some of your other journeys, you, you’ll never look at life the same way.
Because not only are they not fearful anymore, but they’re almost excited about the next step. Yes. So it is, and you know, it is the most profound experience to be with somebody at the end of life. And it’s such a shame. And to me, one of the reasons why I feel like we’re in such chaos is that we’ve removed death and it’s the greatest teacher about life. Um, presence and compassion. So I love the in-between because you’ve got it. And that is where you will change your life. You will change your life in those experiences. It opens up a whole nother doorway. So do you wanna share a little bit more about that or some stories you’d like to just, or tidbits you’d like to highlight, um, for listeners that you’ve seen in that space?
Speaker 2 (16:20):
Yeah, so that same one since I’ve already kind of given a background on Carl. Yeah. Um, who I was very close to. So like I said, he was bedbound the entire time I knew him. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, just, he had c hf, so just could not get out of bed, do anything really. Um, so one day I showed up for a visit and he was not in his bed and I was like, oh my goodness, he died and they already came and got him and no one told me. And I freaked out and then I heard him and turned around and he’s walking around and I was like, oh my goodness, what is going on to his wife who’s right behind him, making sure it didn’t fall? And she’s like, um, I was hoping you were gonna tell me what is going on <laugh>. I’m like, no, I dunno what’s going on. And he’s playing hide and seek. He’s like, you know, where are you? He’s looking behind curtains under the bed, like this man who has not been outta the bed. Like he’s like kneeling down looking under the bed. Right. And um,
You know, he’s like Anna, he keeps saying Anna. And I’m like, who is Anna? Like I know every one of this person’s family. Um, and so I ask his wife, who’s Anna? And she’s just shell shocked. Um, and she’s like, Anna is our daughter. She was two. Um, she drowned and he’s always blamed himself that he wasn’t there, but I mean, he wasn’t there at all whenever it happened. Yeah, no, I, yeah. But he blamed, you know, the dad’s supposed to be there and he’s always blamed himself and I was in shock. Um, I had never even heard of Anna. Um, and she just was like, oh my goodness. So he is playing hide and seek with her and he sees her and you know, people will say that it’s like hallucinations. But then I go up and talk to him and he’s like, Hey, Hadley, like he knows me, you know, he also sees me like you said mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. And so he does that and you know, very soon after he goes back to bed, bam, the next day and then goes into a coma and then dies a few days later. But it was quite incredible to witness.
Speaker 1 (18:21):
So Hadley, had you known about deceased loved ones coming back at this point yet? Um, when this was happening.
Speaker 2 (18:28):
So I had seen it, you know, once or twice Uhhuh <affirmative>, but it was with people who I didn’t know that well and so Right. You know, other hospice nurses had told me. And I was like, that’s so intriguing. But to have someone who I knew their medical history, I knew their baseline so well and I knew that we hadn’t added any new medications. I, you know what I mean? All of these things that could be the variables. Yeah. Um, I was the only one who took care of him, so I knew that it was none of those things that people, the naysayers will say.
Speaker 1 (19:00):
Yeah. So there’s a couple of things that are so beautiful there. He had the surge of energy at the same time, so he was actually able to like, get down, look under things, <laugh>. I mean I love this so much. Um, and then, and then you knew him so well, so you knew that he was seeing exactly what he was seeing. There’s no doubt in my mind. And I’m the same way I’ve worked with families and you fall in love with your families all the time. And when they have those experiences, they are those experiences and they are not only life changing, but like open up a whole nother perspective. Um, that’s incredibly beautiful. It’s interesting for me, at my hospice, I was hired as an rn but I had no end of life experience and they didn’t teach me any end of life. And so they taught me the, they taught me the medications, but they also said, okay, you know, if you have any questions, just let us know and we’ll like, you know, teach you as you go, which is really intimidating.
So the surge of energy <laugh>. Yeah. So the surge of energy and these kind of things like I, what’s happening here, like, I would walk in on certain things and then because I’ve done hospice and oncology nursing with a lot of people, you have these experiences that happen that again, like you are complete, you know, life changers in the most beautiful way. So I love that. I love Carl. Um, I I love that whole experience and I think it’s beautiful. So then you go on in your book and talk about lessons that you’ve learned, you know, within different dynamics. So would you share some of those just poignant lessons about whatever you’d like, you think is, is what we wanna hear? Because I know that, you know, the reality of knowing the truth about end of life can be so inspirational and healing. Um, but we’re really in a very, very complicated time. We’re in an intense fear-based of death. We don’t prepare for it. And then also intense grief and I think are combined. So if we don’t prepare for it and acknowledge death when it shows up, it doesn’t go well. It usually doesn’t go well. And so what, what else would you like to share about what you’ve learned that you want people to know working with those at the end of life?
Speaker 2 (21:02):
Yeah. One that was really, really big for me for a life lesson. I call her Elizabeth in my book. Um, you know, going in, I had an eating disorder that I felt like I hid very well and I felt like she saw right through me. And I don’t know how, but she did. She wasn’t a hundred percent dead. And I was just sitting there, you know, sitting in the bedside charting and um, she was young and you know, forties like young for a hospice patient. And um, she had lung cancer with no known cause, never smoked a cigarette in her life. Picture of health just right. So unfair. So incredibly unfair. And, um, uh, she and I, she’s sitting in her bed, I’m charting and she was like, I need to tell you something. I’ve had a lot of time to sit here and think and I need to tell you something.
And I was like, okay. And she was like, you know, I spent a lot of my life on the treadmill instead of spending time with my friends. And you know, she didn’t have anyone around her when she died. She wasn’t married, she just didn’t have anyone around her. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and she was like, I skipped out on birthday dinners because I didn’t wanna have to eat the cake and I didn’t go to the beach cause I was afraid of how my stomach looked. And she was like, you know, I see myself in you and I just wish someone would’ve told me at your age to eat the cake. And I was like, wow. Okay.
Speaker 1 (22:24):
Speaker 2 (22:25):
And that was, um, you know, I, I have not had a moment since then. You know, that was like the last day of my eating disorder. Had very moments of weakness. But her, you know, words have rang true, repeated in my head so many times. She has no idea how many times
Speaker 1 (22:45):
Hadley. That’s so beautiful because okay, let’s go back to like their spiritual eyes. So they, so they get all of this wonderful that we all have access to, by the way. We just usually squish it down and don’t like think with our heart and our wisdom and that guided system, but more with the head. And she’s coming to you from that higher place that she could, you know, really resonate with what you were going through. But it was from that beautiful place of non-judgment and love. Unconditional love. Yeah. Which is so omnipresent at the end of life. I’m gonna cry right now. It is so omnipresent at the end of life that, and that’s the connection you feel when you’re in that space. And that’s when, you know, I’ve had people wake up from a nap and say, I get it now. Like, I understand why all that happened.
And they can make sense of like things they’ve been holding on in anger and guilt and shame for so very long. And she was able to give you this gift from this pure place, not of judgment, just that I and I and also she saw you so she resonated. And I love that you took that in in that way mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, so that you can have it. And you know what guys eat the cake. Yeah. Eat the cake. Whatever flavor you want. Um, which leads me to believe there is a story that you share about a young patient and the wisdom that, and I call them our little masters, right? Cuz they really teach everyone in their beautiful world about so much, um, before they actually physically leave this world. And so there was a young one that talked about not wish, they didn’t worry so much what other people thought, right? Yeah,
Speaker 2 (24:12):
Speaker 1 (24:12):
They presuming. Yeah. And, and we want, we want people to take this, these pearls. Um, so can you share a little bit more about your young hospice patient?
Speaker 2 (24:22):
Yeah. Um, well I’m trying to think which one you’re talking not in the book you’re talking about from TikTok, right?
Speaker 1 (24:28):
No, I’m talking about, it was an excerpt here and let me just, lemme I’ll paraphrase it. It’s really, yeah. It’s about that I wish I didn’t worry about spend so much time worrying about what other people thought in my life. And this is like we can all the time that we have, right? The gift that we have in this experience is such a gift and it’s so valuable and it’s our greatest commodity and we, we both know and I think everyone knows now that especially since the pandemic, that death can show up at any time doesn’t matter how much money you have, right? Yes. So yeah, so the, so what we’ve learned about people on their deathbed and that’s really important what they want you to share with others so that they can live just like this beautiful woman that you just had sharing with you eat the cake. We have other patients that share things and that we’ve learned that can make our lives today better. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right?
Speaker 2 (25:20):
Yeah. Yeah. I totally agree. Yeah. And I’ve definitely, you know, taken that in and stopped caring so much and you know, it’s prepared me especially, you know, for the book and for being online, you know how that is. And it’s important to really just take Yeah, I was just, you just live your life how you think is best.
Speaker 1 (25:36):
You have to, and so, yeah. So one of the things is living from your heart, not your mind. Because at the end of life when we see people really come into their beautiful heart, they’re being part of you. You know, we’ve been taught in this world to kind of diminish the, the, the heart and let, let the ego, the mind, the judgment run ragged. And so end of life teaches us that we’re all so much more similar. And also our patients talk about similar things like that we’re all connected and I’m going home or I’m going on a trip like these universal. And I wanna applaud you again for, you know, when you say going online, it’s like when you go into your heart and know that you’re supposed to be doing something, you have to do it with everything you’ve got and not be attached to the intention or what’s happening.
Because we do live in a world and there’s lots of reactivity and when you put yourself out there online, you know, there are people that are um, let’s just say not in their highest awareness that sometimes do things. And again, you just have to know that what you’re doing is landing for people. And I, and I applaud you. It’s just what it is. Um, we can’t play in that small space. We have to play in the heart space. And it’s a beautiful thing that you’re doing cuz you’re really, really reaching a lot of people and we need that so much right now. So a couple of questions to wrap up. What would you, um, what would you wanna share is probably one of the things you want people who are fearful of death. What, what do you want them to know from all of your work in combination? Just what would you say to somebody?
Speaker 2 (27:07):
I would say, you know, what I think is really important is that I was a skeptic. Um, completely. And I think that’s important to share because you know, there’s some people who, who never have moments where they question things and good for them For sure. Yeah. Um, but whenever people are fearful of death, you know, I’m sure you’re not, I’m not scared of death. Um, and I think it’s because there is that confidence in knowing that there is something after just because of what we’ve experienced. Yeah. And so I want people to know that I was extremely skeptic, I was extremely scared of death. Um, and through these experiences I’m not anymore. I feel very, very confident based on what I’ve seen, that there is something after this life.
Speaker 1 (27:54):
I love what happily so not only, I mean not only is there something else in my opinion, it sounds so incredibly beautiful and loving and amazing. I really feel like this is the hard part, right? This is the school of life learning our lessons and getting back to that heart centered. So I love that very much. And I think the same would would benefit people who are suffering right now from complicated grief. Um, loved ones. I hear this all the time and I see these posts online that, you know, I wasn’t there when my loved one died. Or you know, we weren’t prepared and it didn’t go well and holding onto all of those. I wish I could. I think that this bigger picture especially, you know, the phenomenon on people dying when somebody leaves the bedside Yeah. Happens all the time. So the bigger meaning that life continues on, um, can comfort us not only in this thing called death but also this thing called life. And then I wanna ask you, what do you think the point of life is then? And what can we learn from death as our greatest teacher about it?
Speaker 2 (28:58):
Yeah, I think the purpose of life is to learn lessons. I really do. Um, I think we’re here to learn lessons and to help other people along the way. And I think that we’re always impacting people around us in ways that we don’t know right now. But I do think that we will know one day. Yes. And I think that we’ll be shocked. You know, I think I always think about that. I’m like, you know, that person that I said I liked their hair in target did that like give them the confidence to like go do something that changed their life. Like I think that there’s more instances of that that we’ll learn one day that we just have no idea about. Yeah. And so I think that that’s, you know what, we’re here, we’re all kind of walking each other home is how I feel. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I think that that’s the point of being here. Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And you know, once we have accomplished those tasks, I think that’s when we get to go to the next life.
Speaker 1 (29:53):
I agree Hadley, that’s beautiful. And I often will share with people, you know, in, in the way that I live is really trying to live each day like a little lifetime. You know, trying to just, and like you said, be present, be kind, acknowledge people, um, because you don’t know the journey that they’re on and that one thing that you say, even recognition can be something that changes their direction. We need to get back to that and that’s free. Like that doesn’t cost anything. And so one of the things I recently had had shared is that our legacy, how we show up each day is our legacy. And it just means showing up in love, you know, in present. So beautifully said, made dear. Okay, last question for you. Um, what would you like to see or what do you hope we see in 10 years from now regarding end of life conversation? Education?
Speaker 2 (30:42):
I think, I think that we are already on the journey. I am very impressed how much has happened in the last three to four years. I really am. And I hope that we continue. Um, I really hope that we, the next step I’d like to see, I think the public is getting um, more open to these conversations. Yeah. And the next thing I’d like to see is really a collaboration with the hospitals to where there is enough education to where they understand when it is time to call us. Because so many times I’ll see where I look at the history and physical and it’s like they go into the hospital and they give them fluids and they send ’em home cuz they can’t do anything else. And I think that they don’t understand they could have called us then. Absolutely. And it’s taking their resources. Yeah. You know, they’re instead of being able to do other things and yeah. That is what I hope the next wave of education is that everyone understands this is when it is time to call hospice. Um, these are the conversations we need to start having and the first conversation should not be whenever we show up at the house.
Speaker 1 (31:45):
Uh, uh, I agree so much. So if we brought back that, you know, it’s almost like at a certain point in our, you know, you do your annual physical at certain point in, in those years maybe whatever people pick, we should start focusing on that conversation that there’ll become a time in our journey where we’ll switch from trying to fix to really managing and comfort. I mean just knowing that ahead of time, that and then oh, the day is here. Like Yeah. And you’re prepared. Prepared. Beautifully said. And also letting our doctors off the hook because they are not, they’re not enjoying this. This is not working. No. They’ve been to the profession to help. We need to all walk forward together. And you’re right, we are way into it already. I think in 10 years you’re gonna see this whole incredible shift and thank you for being such a major part of it. Okay. Natalie, let us know where we can get this beautiful book.
Speaker 2 (32:35):
Yeah, it’ll be everywhere in all stores. Amazon online. So exciting. Um, and it’ll be out June 13th if it’s not already out when you’re hearing this.
Speaker 1 (32:44):
Yep. Okay, wonderful. So we’ll put all the links below as well. Um, I’ll put your social media. I want you guys to go to her TikTok and stuff. You just, you know, you’ll just be so, it’s so fun the way she presents this and it’s so educational at the same time. Hadley, thank you so very much for being on this episode of Ask a Doula Giver. And you are such a gift. I can’t wait to do another one with you. Congratulations on the book and to be continued, my dear.
Speaker 2 (33:10):
Speaker 1 (33:11):
All right, thank you everyone. Welcome again, I enjoy this conversation and we’ll see you in the next episode of Ask a doula giver. We welcome all your questions. I’ll be answering them and again, we’ll put her links below. Thanks everyone. See you in the next episode.