Great Blue Heron ©Janice Sears

The Blue Heron

 

I chose the blue heron because it is a powerful bird even though it's legs are long and thin. Herons are able to hold steady, to ground themselves wherever they are. The blue heron represents innate wisdom, tranquility, self determination. Native Americans believe that the blue heron allows us to recognize opportunities and the ability to progress and evolve. I believe wherever you are on your journey - in this moment, within you, is everything you need. You will have the opportunity to discover for yourself  that you have what it takes to complete your journey with grace.

Holly Menard

I've been involved in healthcare my entire life. My experience includes being a chemotherapy nurse and massage therapist. Through it all, a driving question has been:

"How am I making a difference in the lives of people I'm serving?"

In caring for my patients, clients, family, and friends, I've witnessed the fear and turmoil around death and dying as well as peaceful acceptance. My son's unexpected death, in 2015, stopped me in my tracks - causing me to question at a much deeper level.

 

"Was he afraid? Am I afraid of dying myself, and what about my loved ones? What will it be like? Will there be pain? How will I manage all the emotions and tasks that must be dealt with?"

 

In time I was serendipitously guided to learn about End of Life Doulas, and the more I read and asked questions, the more I was attracted. Once I completed the training, I focused on becoming a companion and guide for individuals and families working through the death and dying journey. The pandemic has impacted where and how I work with clients and their families. See section on the Initial Consultation for more detail.

 

I've never been as clear as I am now that this is my calling. I am a member of NEDA and listed in their directory. I network with other doulas and attend training classes to become aware and informed so that I’m better prepared to serve my clients as they navigate their end of life experience. I am also a member of the Society for Oncology Massage. I show up to create a steady, safe, non-judgmental space, provide support in managing details, advocate, when desired, for my clients' wishes. My goal, whenever possible, is for my client to live a rich, full, meaningful life up till the last breath, where they want to be and with those they love.